Photo credit: Youth.SG/Amanda Wong

Getting advice from Neil Patrick Harris

She went to New York for a career development programme and ended up meeting the 'How I Met Your Mother' superstar.

Amanda Wong

Published: 17 August 2018, 12:00 AM

When Charlotte Lee went to New York City for a career development programme, she certainly wasn’t expecting to cross paths with a Hollywood celebrity.

The 20-year-old did not just meet American actor Neil Patrick Harris up close. Charlotte, who aspires to work in the entertainment scene, received career advice from the man himself.

He gave her practical advice like asking her to figure out what she is most passionate about, and to take on as many jobs as she can in the industry.

“You have to plant a lot of seeds and have a thick skin,” he said to her, before wishing her the best of luck.


Neil Patrick Harris (left) signed Charlotte’s How I Met Your Mother book and took a photo with her (right).
Photo credit: YouTube Screenshot from NewYork.SG


How was it like meeting the How I Met Your Mother actor in person?

The Ngee Ann Polytechnic graduate gushed: “I was so happy that I cried at the end.”

“I told somebody: ‘I don’t think I’ll be as happy when I get married, this is the best day ever.'”

Check out the video of Charlotte's meeting with celebrity Neil Patrick Harris.

In March, Charlotte spent a month in New York with NewYork.SG, under a career development programme for youths interested in the media and creative fields.

Interestingly, Charlotte almost missed the chance to participate in the programme, as it originally reached out to media students. Charlotte, who graduated in May, had studied product design and innovation in school.

However, she always had an interest in media and took up additional projects for exposure, such as editing videos and hosting for her school events.

Determined to make the cut, she sought help from her teacher to nominate her for the programme. Charlotte passed the interviews and found herself flying off to New York.


Charlotte (top row, third from right) visited Good Morning America’s set and met news anchor, Robin Roberts (top row, fourth from right).
Photo credit: Charlotte Lee


With 12 other Singaporean youths, Charlotte visited major media companies like Twitter, Spotify and HuffPost. She also participated in panel discussions and worked on individual and client-based video projects.

Despite being the only participant without any technical media skills, Charlotte felt that her enthusiasm made up for her shortcomings.

Charlotte recalled her experience with one of her video projects: “The difficulties that my friends and I faced were totally the opposite. They struggled with talking to people to get things done, but they had the technical skills to do it.

“Meanwhile, I wanted to do a video and talk to people. However, I did not know how to edit [videos].”

So, Charlotte picked up some editing skills from her friends, and in return, helped them engage people for their projects.

“I felt incompetent at first, like I was just ‘floating around’. I was worried that I could not do as well as the others. After receiving the support that I needed, I was in a much better place.”


Charlotte (first row, fourth from left) and her friends taking the subway together.
Photo credit: Charlotte Lee


“At first, I wasn’t sure if this was what I really wanted to do because I didn’t know the standard of the industry.”

“After experiencing the programme, I was very sure that this was what I wanted,” said Charlotte, who will be studying communications in Singapore Institute of Management – University of Buffalo in August.

She also hopes to return to New York to advance her career.

“The culture there is very different, it’s pretty unconventional and open-minded.”

“My goal is to make it to the Oscars. If I ever get to meet Neil Patrick Harris again, I’m going to show him our picture and ask him if he remembers me.”

Applications for NewYork.SG’s November program, which focuses on youth who are interested in the media and creative fields, will be open until August 22.

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