The SgIS provides young Singaporean talents with the perfect podium to anchor and advance our country’s strategic sectors. The SgIS channels these bright and driven individuals to 16 dynamic industries, ranging from aviation, engineering, and maritime; to healthcare, arts and culture, and social services. SgIS scholars can choose from one of the many leading sponsoring organisations to launch and grow their careers with.
Regardless of one’s chosen pathway, the SgIS ensures the continued growth of each scholar through the SgIS Scholars’ Development and Engagement Programme. This comprehensive programme aims to inculcate in scholars strategic and progressive thinking, and enables them to receive invaluable professional exposure with their sponsoring organisation and connect with fellow SgIS scholars.
Two SgIS scholars, Lee Yu De and Joy Ong Junyi, give us a glimpse into their enriching journey and the unique takeaways they have gleaned through the scholarship.
Fuelling Your Interests
Yu De was drawn to the engineering sector for its many prospects as well as opportunities to grow. Hence, it was only natural for Yu De to choose YTL PowerSeraya Pte. Limited – one of the largest energy companies in Singapore – to pursue his future career. “The SgIS bridges our passion and goals with our organisation of choice. Through internships with our sponsoring organisation, we get to acquire industry exposure and valuable skills even before we enter the workforce,” says the Chemical Engineering student from the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Fellow SgIS scholar Joy has embarked on a different route. The chirpy young lady decided to enter the healthcare industry with Alexandra Health System (AHS). This was a unique choice for Joy, who is currently pursuing an Environmental Studies degree at NUS. She shares, “Many people have asked about my decision to enter the healthcare industry. In fact, during my interview, I was asked if this scholarship would pull me away from my dream of becoming a tree hugger. That’s not really the case! Environmental Studies is one of the few interdisciplinary programmes that exposes students to a broad range of subjects – from sustainability and geography to public health. The knowledge and insights I’ve gained from my education can be applied to many industries, including healthcare. What I appreciate about the SgIS is that it gave me the opportunity to join the healthcare industry without limiting me to the clinical profession.”
Lee Yu De
SgIS Full-Term Scholar with YTL PowerSeraya Pte. Limited
Gaining Real-World Experiences
As part of their professional development, all SgIS scholars get to undergo internships with their sponsoring organisations. Yu De had completed two internships – the first with the Multi-Utility Services Division and the second in Performance & Planning. During the three-month internships, Yu De was also assigned a mentor to show him the ropes. He was given an overview of the organisation and got a closer look at its day-to-day operations. “YTL PowerSeraya’s power station on Jurong Island is massive – you have to cycle to get around! Through my internships, I got to meet many friendly and helpful colleagues. The company fosters a supportive culture where everyone is always willing to share their knowledge,” says Yu De.
As for Joy, she had undergone two internships at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) – one of the hospitals under the care of AHS. Her first internship with the Corporate Communications department saw her engaging in numerous activities and events. Joy had the opportunity to interact with staff of all levels and be involved in KTPH’s anchor events, like the Nurses’ Day celebrations. She had also written several articles for KTPH’s internal staff website!
Joy’s second internship with the Ageing-In-Place (AIP) Programme department was self-initiated. “I requested to do a one-month stint to learn about the various departments within KTPH. AHS was flexible enough to grant my request and even linked me up with the relevant people in-charge,” Joy says with gratitude.
During the internship, Joy gained exposure to the multiple facets of the AIP Programme, including the ABLE Studio’s innovations to assist the elderly in living more independently. “Being exposed to different segments has allowed me to see how the hospital holistically comes together to help the elderly age comfortably,” Joy adds.
Joy Ong Junyi
SgIS Full-Term Scholar with Alexandra Health System
The SgIS holds many exciting activities and events to keep scholars engaged throughout the year. One key event is the SgIS Dialogue Series, which features dialogue sessions and behind-the-scenes visits to ensure that scholars remain plugged into developments across strategic industry sectors. Joy attended the tourism sector session, which comprised a sharing by both Singapore Tourism Board and Sentosa, as well as an eye-opening behind-the-scenes visit in Sentosa.
As part of the SgIS Orientation Programme, Yu De attended a two-day event that included fun team-building activities and insightful sharing by industry experts where they shared their wealth of work experiences.
In addition, scholars get to network with and be inspired by prominent industry leaders through the SgIS Leaders’ Forum. The Forum enables thought leaders from public and private sectors to share about their valuable insights and leadership experiences, which can in turn broaden scholars’ strategic perspectives.
The SgIS also keeps its scholars well-connected via the SgIS Scholars’ Network. Besides social bonding activities, the Scholars’ Network also organises the Y Movie Treats – a Community Involvement Programme in collaboration with YMCA, Bishan Home for the Intellectually Disabled and Blue Cross Thong Kheng Home. These opportunities have enabled Yu De and Joy to forge meaningful friendships and learn from fellow scholars.
The Future Beckons
Now into their final lap of studies, both Yu De and Joy are slated to commence work with their respective organisations after they graduate this year. Looking ahead, Yu De hopes to manage a team and inspire new colleagues at YTL PowerSeraya in the near future. As for Joy, she relishes the prospect of gaining in-depth exposure through job rotations within AHS.
For those aspiring to take up the SgIS, Yu De offers his own insights, “SgIS has a wide pool of private organisations with differing expectations and requirements. They look beyond academic performance to consider the skill sets and fit of the applicants to the organisation’s needs and culture which is important.”
Joy also imparts some wise advice. She concludes, “There are many opportunities available for scholars, but ultimately it is up to you to maximise seizing them. Aim to assimilate your experiences and continuously build upon them.”