In the Singapore Public Service, work is not about maximising profits but serving the public and improving the lives of Singaporeans. For those who wish to touch lives through their work and make an impact, the PSC offers fulfilling careers where you contribute to the betterment of the nation.
Two PSC Scholars, Asif Iqbal from the Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth (MCCY) and Priscilla Ong from the Ministry of Transport (MOT), tell us about their desire to serve the public and how their current jobs allow them to do so.
Have You Always Known You Wanted A Career In The Public Service?
Asif Iqbal: As an immigrant and eventual naturalised citizen, I have always felt deeply indebted to Singapore. I marvelled at her efficiency, transparency, and availability of opportunities that many would count themselves lucky to have elsewhere. When the time came to choose a career path, I was intent on giving back to Singapore by ensuring that these ideals and opportunities would be upheld and enhanced for generations to come.
Priscilla Ong: I was first attracted to the idea of a Public Service career when I was a student. As a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and my school’s Interact Club, I tutored underprivileged students, cleaned the homes of the elderly, and organised various other community service projects. These eye-opening experiences sparked a desire to give back to the community. Coupled with my keen interest in public policy, it seemed natural to choose a career that allows me to combine my interests with the opportunity to serve the community.
Public Service Commission
Overseas Merit Scholarship (Open)
Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY)
Tell Us About Your Role Today.
Asif: I am an Assistant Director in the Youth Division at MCCY. Together with our partners at the National Youth Council, we serve as the national focal point of youth affairs and oversee the development of policies that impact youth. Areas that I cover include strategic youth engagement, building a spirit of resilience through Outward Bound Singapore (OBS), youth international affairs and encouraging youth volunteerism and service through Youth Corps Singapore (YCS). I find that work at Youth Division is fulfilling, as a lot of our policies and decisions have an immediate impact on youth.
Priscilla: I am an Assistant Director in MOT’s Sea Transport Division. In partnership with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, I help to formulate policies and strategies in support of Singapore’s growth as a premier global hub port and an international maritime centre. Policy areas that I oversee include port competitiveness as well as tax incentive schemes and manpower development initiatives for the maritime sector.
Public Service Commission Overseas Merit Scholarship (Open)
Sea Transport Division
Ministry of Transport (MOT)
Share With Us About Some Of The Memorable Episodes You Have Had At Work.
Asif: MCCY and MOE made the policy decision in 2016 to expand outdoor adventure experiences to all youths through OBS. With a new OBS campus on Coney Island to be completed in 2020, we hope to enable youths to thrive through a sense of adventure, resilience, and challenge. As an outdoor enthusiast myself, the project thus far has been very promising. For me, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop a lasting legacy in outdoor education for young people for generations to come. I firmly believe that such experiences are crucial in developing our youth to have a can-do spirit, preparing them for life’s challenges.
Priscilla: I had the opportunity to visit Phases 3 and 4 of our port’s Pasir Panjang Terminal, which feature cutting-edge technologies such as remotely-operated rail-mounted gantry cranes. It was fascinating to witness ongoing initiatives to improve our port’s productivity, including the piloting of driverless automated guided vehicles to ferry containers around the port. I am excited to be part of the team that will build on these efforts and help realise our next-generation port at Tuas. The future port will utilise new technologies and processes to achieve even greater levels of efficiency, and provide higher value-added jobs for Singaporeans.
What Advice Would You Have For Students Exploring Their Scholarship Options Now?
Asif: At the end of the day, PSC is not just looking for people who have strong academic backgrounds. You must want to make a positive difference for Singapore, uphold standards of governance, and challenge the status quo when necessary in order to improve the lives of Singaporeans. Potential PSC scholarship applicants should really ask themselves why they are applying, in order to determine if they have the right motivation and passion for a career in the Public Service.
Priscilla: Keep an open mind, and make use of available resources to find out as much as you can about the scholarships and agencies. Do online research, attend engagement sessions, and talk to current scholarship holders about their experiences. Finding the scholarship and agency that is a right fit for your values and interests will go a long way in helping you discover a meaningful and rewarding career in the Public Service.