S gIS provides a platform for capable and driven individuals to get a career head-start with market leaders in Singapore’s strategic sectors. Whether it is the Arts, Aviation, Energy or Engineering, the sector you choose would see your talents flourish. SgIS ensures scholars are given the support they need to be well plugged into their industries of choice through an overarching development programme called the SgIS Scholars’ Development and Engagement Programme.
This holistic programme seeks to instil in scholars a strategic and global outlook, allow them to gain meaningful professional experiences with their sponsoring organisation, and build their connections within the SgIS community.
Two SgIS scholars Heng Wei Shuen and Nicholas Chiam sit down with us to talk about the SgIS. They let us in on their career motivations and interests, and the opportunities they have received as SgIS Scholars.
Setting the Foundation
Wei Shuen chose Senoko Energy to pursue her future career among the list of established SgIS sponsoring organisations. She was first introduced to Senoko Energy, which operates a power station located at Senoko, back when she went on a school tour as a student of Nanyang Polytechnic. “I looked around and learnt its operations, and caught a glimpse of what my future job would be like,” says Wei Shuen cheerfully.
Now into her final year at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Wei Shuen shares about her internship back at Senoko Energy as a third year undergraduate. Her two-month internship in the electrical section was where she not only put her engineering knowledge to good use – she also built upon it.
Chiam Chia Kiat Nicholas
SgIS Full-Term Scholar with Novartis
Singapore Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
She tells us, “I was able to embark on mini projects with the technicians and engineers, who were very friendly and approachable. I am grateful for my internship opportunity because it opened my eyes to new engineering perspectives, and helped to set the foundation for the modules I am currently taking.”
As for Nicholas, the Pharmacy student from the National University of Singapore chose Novartis Singapore Pharmaceutical Manufacturing as his sponsoring organisation. He saw the SgIS as a means for professional growth with one of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world.
He tells us, “Novartis is expanding widely in Singapore, and there are a lot of opportunities for me to develop professionally. For instance, it recently opened up a biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility, as well as a new eye-care product manufacturing plant called Alcon. I will be heading towards Novartis Singapore Pharmaceutical Manufacturing where my roles will be centered on tablet manufacturing and drug preparations. Being with Novartis will also present opportunities for me to venture overseas to its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland.”
His internship during his summer holidays was spent in the Finance, Business Planning Analyst team. Although it was not directly related to his course teachings, the stint exposed him to management practices and the company culture.
“It was certainly a good opportunity to interact with both the management and my seniors who have already started their careers there. I had the chance to go on many site tours and learnt about the various functions of certain departments. Most importantly, the internship enabled me to think about where my interests lie for my future career,” Nicholas tells us.
Heng Wei Shuen
SgIS Full-Term Scholar with Senoko
Energy Pte Ltd
Beyond the academics, the duo are active chasers of their interests. Wei Shuen is heavily involved in the NTU Welfare Services Club (WSC), a non-academic constituent club for students to serve the society.
For her part, she contributes to the WSC Youth portfolio. The team organises personal development activities for youths and also has also expanded its reach to include students from ITE College West a year after Wei Shuen joined the club. “We go down to enhance the engineering knowledge of year 1 ITE students. It is empowering to teach them and offer them academic mentoring,” Wei Shuen explains.
On the other hand, Nicholas contributes to the SgIS Scholars’ Network as the Marketing and Publicity Director. This network has given him the opportunity to exchange insights with fellow SgIS scholars from different courses and universities, and who are well on their way to becoming future movers and shakers in their respective industries. Together, they attended bonding sessions such as the SgIS Beach Day, University Club Orientations and community-involvement events.
He adds, “Within the Scholars’ Network, we also see scholars participate in meaningful events such as the Y Movie Treats programme, a partnership project with YMCA Singapore. This sees our scholars engage with residents of the Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled engage through movies. The programme reminds us to give back to society, and reach out to others who are not as fortunate as us.”
Word of Advice
Possessing insights and aspirations, both Wei Shuen and Nicholas have nuggets of wisdom to share with aspiring SgIS scholars. “It is important to know what you want,” Wei Shuen advises. “Make the most out of your exchange programme too if you do manage to go overseas. My time spent on exchange in Canada’s University of Waterloo allowed me to make new friends and soak up Canada’s dynamic academic culture.”
On his end, Nicholas highlights that decision-making is not an overnight process, and one has to gain an idea of their career choices early. “First you have to discover your talents, strengths and interests. A knowledge of these would help you as you make your career decisions. Apart from that, I believe it is also important to identify how your work will help you contribute to society. Pursuing your interests and partaking in meaningful work will be your greatest motivating factors,” Nicholas concludes humbly.