International Enterprise (IE) Singapore is the government agency entrusted with the mission of driving Singapore’s external economy. In the last few decades, Singapore’s external economy has grown by leaps and bounds as IE Singapore helps promising local companies bring their goods and services to overseas markets.
Sarah Chan is part of the team behind IE Singapore’s Technology and Business Group. As a Manager in the Consumer and Emerging Technology Division, Sarah helps home-grown companies which rely on Internet and mobile technologies, especially in e-commerce, expand their reach and presence in overseas markets. She shares, “Due to the fact that these companies’ products and services have the potential to reach a very wide customer base worldwide, they have probably already looked to expand beyond Singapore’s borders from the time they were founded. We are simply helping them to clinch their first big deal overseas.”
A Global Perspective
Sarah’s poise and composure in her work has been aided by her considerable time abroad in the US as an IE Singapore Undergraduate Scholar. She first read Economics as an undergraduate at Duke University before pursuing a Master of Science (Management Science and Engineering) at Stanford University.
“My time at Duke University taught me to have an open mind about foreign concepts, especially when analysing conflicting viewpoints. This is something I carry over to my work at IE Singapore,” she tells us.
During her scholarship journey, Sarah also undertook a semester as an exchange student at Waseda University in Japan, where she read courses on the Japanese language and culture – much of which is very applicable to business dealings in Japan. She also took up an internship in the same year at IE Singapore’s North Asia and Pacific Group, and an internship the following year at the Trade Services & Policy Group.
Empowered to Excel
Furthermore, Sarah got the chance to visit the IE Singapore office in New Delhi, India as part of IE Singapore’s Global Executive Porgramme. This in-house integrated training programme is aimed at easing new IE Singapore officers into the fast-paced and dynamic workings of global business, providing a comprehensive set of learning and development opportunities in areas such as business etiquette, corporate finance and business strategy assessments.
Her experiences have taught her to not only be well-versed in both market breadth and industry depth, but also exposed her to the long-term strategy and vision of IE Singapore. She muses, “The IE Undergraduate Scholarship really pushes you to take risks and empowers you to be able to handle these risks. Taken together, my experiences have provided me with a strong grounding point to solve future challenges in IE Singapore and in my career.