Playing a key role in developing our country’s economy, the EDB is responsible for strategies that enhance Singapore’s position as a global hub for business, investment, and talent. As such, it comes as no surprise that EDB places an emphasis in the professional growth of each employee.
EDB Scholars Dixon Yu and Michelle Poh are currently undergoing the inaugural 1-year Associate Programme for fresh graduates which has been designed to build tangible skills requisite to a capable EDB officer. Associates will learn to appreciate EDB’s strategies, understand the end-to-end journey of EDB’s work, and be trained on the process and mechanics common across EDB. They will also be mentored by EDB management, learn the various areas of investment promotion and policy considerations from experienced EDB officers. Dixon and Michelle tell us more about their fruitful journey so far.
EDB Scholar, Associate
What sparked your interest in applying for a scholarship with EDB?
Dixon: My first ever interaction with EDB was at a junior college (JC) scholarship fair. The representative I interacted with gave me the impression that EDB is a vibrant organisation that places a lot of trust in its young officers. I also found EDB’s goal of building industries and creating jobs in Singapore to be inspiring. Based off a gut feeling that my aspirations aligned with EDB’s, I sent in my scholarship application, and have not looked back since.
Michelle: My first encounter with EDB was actually a matter of happenstance. It was only during a school trip to Japan that I was acquainted with a senior from the Humanities Programme who was studying in Japan under the EDB scholarship. We became fast friends, and through our interactions, I got to appreciate EDB’s industry development efforts and found EDB’s role in creating good jobs for Singaporeans meaningful. I liked that EDB is external-facing and has a horizontal view of all the industries. She inspired me to consider the EDB scholarship, and the rest was history.
EDB Scholar, Associate
Share with us the opportunities you received as an EDB scholar.
Dixon: EDB has been supportive of my experiences both in and out of the classroom. Apart from my undergraduate studies at Northwestern University where I pursued a double degree in Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing & Design Engineering, I was given the chance to pursue language opportunities as well. I found myself in Barcelona and Panama learning Spanish, as well as in Munich and Berlin learning German. I never thought that I would one day gain mastery over more than two languages.
Beyond language classes, I also got the chance to intern at EDB’s Frankfurt office during the third year of my studies. The summer-long internship provided an exciting glimpse into living and working in a country with a foreign language and culture. It was through this experience that I truly saw how far-reaching the EDB network really is, and how multi-faceted and engaging EDB’s work is.
Michelle: I had no prior knowledge of either French or Japanese when I took the plunge to study at Science Po (France), to pursue a joint undergraduate programme with Keio University (Japan) in Economics & Social Sciences. However, EDB arranged for me to attend a month-long language immersion course in Paris. Likewise when I ventured to Japan to continue the programme, EDB stepped in to support my Japanese language studies.
Beyond that, I also got the chance to do a two-month long internship with the team in New York, where I was exposed to our client base there where I gained insight into EDB’s global reach and operations.
How does EDB groom and develop young graduates to effect change in the new economic landscape?
Dixon: Through the Associate Programme, I have had the chance to be exposed quickly to key industries in Singapore. This allowed me to appreciate industry development and the challenges that come with it early in my career. Having this appreciation, and being in an organisation that effects change in the local industries puts young graduates in good stead to play a contributing role to Singapore’s economy. Given the broad range of industries that EDB deals with, it also allows young graduates to work in a field they care about, which adds meaning to the work.
Any advice for those thinking of applying for a scholarship with EDB?
Dixon: A scholarship goes beyond just receiving a prestigious award to study overseas; it is a reciprocal commitment between yourself and the organisation. After JC, it may not be possible to be completely sure of your next step. However, you should still take initiative to find out what the organisation believes in and see if that resonates with you. If EDB’s purpose aligns with your own motivations, then the EDB Scholarship would be a great fit for you.
Michelle: Do consider your interests and skills, and how that might align with a career with EDB. A scholarship is more than just a subsidy for your overseas education after all. Do your due diligence and explore your options carefully so that you may make the right decision that is best for you.