Learning can occur anywhere, not just in formal classrooms or courses. When looking to pick up new skills, a surprising space to explore is hobbies. By definition, the hobbyist is motivated to hone those skills out of self-interest. Offshoots Academy team members share what they’ve learned through their hobbies, and how these skills transfer into their professional work.

Curriculum and Projects Intern

Daniel checks his alocasia plant for pests.

I enjoy gardening indoors! Right now, I care for about thirty-five houseplants. To keep them healthy, it’s vital to prune away weak or diseased leaves or branches. This practice of pruning calls to mind Offshoots Academy’s #1 writing hack: less is more.

Just as how I let my plants grow out and then trim them back, I often write a long first draft and then excise redundant or repetitive bits during the editing process. Furthermore, gardening teaches me patience with long-term project outcomes. New leaves and flowers never sprout overnight — they in fact require consistent watering and cleaning. I trust that the same patient, consistent approach at work will allow my projects to bear fruit.

Senior Manager, Marketing and Operations

Jarod going hard in his weekly spin class.

My hobbies are a mix of lower-body exercises like cycling, spinning and running. I particularly enjoy endurance sports — previously I participated in events like the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon.

Through these activities, I’ve cultivated values like discipline, the ability to follow instructions, and a resilient “just do it” mindset, which pushes me to be task-oriented in my professional role. Furthermore, my exercise regime includes setting clear goals, such as clocking a certain distance or spinning for a set time period. I apply a similar approach to Offshoots Academy’s internal operations, ensuring that our team achieves tangible results. Finally, I cannot overstate the the physical health benefits of exercise, which I credit for helping me achieve better back posture to withstand long hours at the office.

Senior Content Strategist

I’ll take two Spiked Sweet Potatoes for breakfast, please.

I recently started playing Cookie Run: Kingdom, a delightful and beautifully designed action gacha game with several storylines. The playable characters are named after cookie flavours and have various skills that can be combined in battles against enemies.

While the gameplay is rather easy, it’s a great way to practise assembling teams with complementary skills and managing resources (e.g., coins, gems, goods, even time) to level up the cookie characters or build the kingdom. As a content strategist, I manage projects where I work with freelance and in-house teams of writers and designers. Choosing the right people and resources for each story or project is similar in-game and in real life.

The game is also full of witty puns related to cookies, dough and baking. The use of wordplay in the game is definitely relevant to my work as a writer and editor. I’ve also applied my knowledge of this game to share character design possibilities for some aspects of Offshoots Academy’s branding. Finally, I’ve become more familiar with gaming jargon now!

Social Media Intern

Time to delete all the unglam shots!

My hobby revolves around video editing and curating content for my personal social media accounts. I’ve honed various skills, such as seamlessly stitching together footage, generating creative concepts for filming and editing, ensuring fonts align with the video’s vibe, and controlling the pacing for optimal viewer engagement.

These skills translate well in my work at Offshoots Academy, where I handle social media marketing. I find joy in making people laugh and strive to create videos that are both interesting and short — reflecting my own preference for quick, digestible content. It’s this personal motivation that fuels my commitment to produce high-quality and compelling clips to amplify Offshoots Academy’s social media presence.

There are no demands, expectations, and no boss looking over your shoulder in the hobbyist space. We encourage anyone reading this to explore hobbies, always aware of myriad learning oppotunities on the horizon! ☺︎

Text by: Daniel Yee | Cover design by: Xinyi Liew