Fun facts about myself
I love long-distance running and not-so-secretly wish I could break-dance and parkour. I dislike beer, but enjoy the occasional gin & tonic. I appear quiet and reserved at the outset, but love extremely corny jokes and playing pranks on my close friends. I travel quite a bit, but am actually a homebody at heart. I'm a reformed grammar Nazi and recovering perfectionist.
How it all began
Almost a decade ago as a fledgling English teacher, I constantly asked myself one question: "How do I get my kids up to speed with the standards required of them?" But after drilling them endlessly on literacy strategies and seeing little fruit, I realized I was asking the wrong question. Instead, I began to ask: "What would it look like if our culture were designed to draw out, celebrate, and develop the innate strengths of others?" This one question has fundamentally transformed every aspect of my work as a writer, editor, and StrengthsFinder coach.
The common thread
There's a proverb that goes: "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." Often, we think that "the way" is a set of standards or principles that we (or others) have to live up to, and somehow we have to fulfill the ideal mapped out for us -- even if it goes against our grain.
In reality, "the way" refers to the natural bent or inclination of the child. This means that our job is not to reshape others into what society dictates they must be, but rather to identify their innate wiring and to create an environment in which they can thrive.
This is my goal as a writer, editor, or strengths coach. When I'm writing an article for a business, for instance, I dig until I discover the DNA of that organization. Then, I'll map out a long-term content strategy that will accurately represent the best of that company and put them on the map in their industry.
The same goes for strengths coaching. Instead of helping others fix their perceived personality flaws and shore up their weaknesses, I believe we are at our best when we grasp who we were designed to be. When this happens, we will no longer chase the approval of others around us, but instead will naturally begin to bring our best to our work and relationships.
"My session with Meiling gave me hope that I could be the best me." - Jocelyn Lee, Civil Servant
Freelance Writer & Editor
January 2016 - Present
Chief editor for the full-length book, Living the Kingdom Life, by Kenny Tan. Partnered with various startups to launch inbound marketing campaigns, reaching over 110,000 unique visitors monthly.
Head of Learning & Development
Strengths School Singapore
May 2016 - February 2018
In charge of the company's overall communications and marketing strategy. Led SEO efforts to consistently rank on the first page in Google for high-performance keywords. Part of a 3-man Business Development team that increased annual revenue by $180,000.
Operations and Media Executive
Petra Church Singapore
Feb 2015 – Dec 2015
In charge of designing and writing teachings and marketing materials for various events and departments. Managed the organization’s social media accounts, website, e-store, printed materials, and teaching CD’s.
City College Singapore
December 2010 - December 2013
Pioneered the intensive English language program for foreign learners. Designed and wrote a holistic EFL curriculum from scratch. Planned and taught lessons for a 2-year GCE ‘O’ Level English class.
University of Southern California, Rossier School of Education
Master of Arts in Teaching
GPA: 3.96/4.00 (Top 5% of cohort)
2013 - 2015
University of Cambridge
Cambridge CELTA + YL Extension
Pass A (Top 4% of candidates)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Dean's List in Spring and Fall 2009
2006 - 2009