With its first-class services and unrivalled capabilities, Changi Airport marks the pinnacle of aerospace excellence. Yet, it constantly strives to scale new heights to stay ahead. In 2017, it raised the bar even higher with the opening of a new Terminal 4, featuring innovative technologies that enable the airport to increase its overall capacity to 82 million passengers a year.
It was during Tan Yu Jun's Junior College days that he first knew of Changi Airport Group (CAG), the manager and operator of Changi Airport. Wanting to be part of the top-notch corporation, Yu Jun applied for the CAG Overseas Undergraduate Scholarship.
Looking further into the near future, the upcoming Terminal 5 will top this impressive figure, enabling the airport to handle another 50 million passengers per annum and bringing Changi Airport’s total capacity to a gargantuan 135 million passengers each year in its initial phase. The airport is also going beyond aviation facilities to redefine the way people travel with Jewel Changi Airport, a lifestyle and retail hub featuring exciting attractions like Singapore’s largest indoor ‘forest’.
This expansion and growth mean exciting things for Changi Airport Group (CAG), the manager and operator of Changi Airport. Joining this incredible journey are CAG Overseas Undergraduate Scholar, Glenn Choo and CAG Local Undergraduate Scholar, Juliette Chia. They take us behind the scenes on what it is like being part of a stellar organisation.
Part of a Global Movement
Glenn was drawn to Changi Airport because of its special place in the hearts of Singaporeans. He grew up enthralled by Singapore’s gateway to the world. As he grew older, he knew he wanted to contribute to the unparalleled success of the organisation.
Juliette too, was first attracted by Changi Airport’s excellence, something that she noticed permeated the airport all the way from the beautifully designed carpets to the stellar service and use of groundbreaking technology.
She declares, “Invisibility is a mark of honour of well-designed airports. Most well-designed airports are ‘invisible’ in that passengers flow though seamlessly without inconvenience. Changi Airport does just that.”
She explains that compared to the older generation of Singaporeans, she and her peers have had greater access to flying and travelling. She believes that this increased emphasis on air travel in the current generation is what makes the aerospace industry a promising field to enter.
Glenn echoes these sentiments and believes that the growth in demand for both quality and quantity of air travel will motivate airports to continually upgrade, making it an important industry for young talents to contribute to.
“I believe that young scholars such as myself can bring in fresh perspectives and relevant skills that the organisation needs. This will sharpen CAG’s offering and enable it to meet the challenges and needs of the dynamic tourism and aviation industry,” he says.
Juliette Chia Yan Yin
CAG Local Undergraduate Scholar
Bachelor (Liberal Arts), Yale-NUS
Taking Flight From A Runway
Both Glenn and Juliette feel that their scholarships have helped prepare them for life at CAG by giving them unparalleled opportunities to learn and grow. Glenn is particularly grateful to CAG for giving him the opportunity to further his education at the University of Cambridge, something he would not be able to afford on his own.
Studying overseas has been pivotal in exposing him to different frameworks of thinking and cultural contexts, which is instrumental in giving him global perspectives needed for the aviation industry.
He fondly recounts, “I’ve had amazing opportunities to learn from the best academic minds in the world, and attend a diverse array of lectures and seminars by distinguished guests and eminent speakers. I’ve also been able to engage with like-minded peers who are passionate about their various fields of study.”
He also found CAG extremely supportive in helping him get used to life overseas. The organisation is frequently in touch with scholars to ensure their needs are met – which Glenn says is just one of many instances of CAG’s commitment to its people. Another way, he recalls, is how the organisation offers multiple internship opportunities to help scholars prepare for working life. For example, he had interned at two different departments at CAG and learned diverse skills and operational knowledge in these rotational opportunities.
Juliette agrees that she found her internship in airport management especially meaningful as she received unwavering support from her CAG colleagues and mentors. Although the learning curve she faced was steep, it was through their advice and assistance that she managed to overcome her challenges to eventually succeed.
Glenn Choo Jing Yan
CAG Overseas Undergraduate Scholar
Wolfson College, University of Cambridge
Words of Wisdom
“I think that many of us go into “scholarship hunting” with financial incentives in mind. However, I feel that as the company will invest a lot in their scholars, we should genuinely be interested in what CAG does and how we can value add to the organisation as well,” Juliette advises.
Glenn too, sees scholarships as far more than a simple economic solution. He recommends aspiring scholars to take the time to research and find out if the values of the organisation resonate with their personal beliefs.
He shares, “Be bold in approaching people – talk to your seniors, parents, or friends – ask them for their perspective and advice. Accepting a scholarship is just the start of a long road ahead – but when chosen with wisdom, it is definitely an enjoyable one.”