Should you be interested in scholarships offered by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and/or SPRING Singapore, you will only need to submit one BrightSparks application to either organisations. All applications received will be pooled together and considered equally during the selection process, for the merged entity of Enterprise Singapore.
Through its network of over 35 overseas centres, IE Singapore provides home-grown companies with the support they need to become globally ready and competitive. It plays a critical role in driving Singapore’s external economy through an in-depth understanding of overseas markets. Gaius Lim, a recipient of IE Singapore’s scholarship, shares about his passion in enabling Singapore businesses to thrive in the international arena. He touches on the opportunities he received to grow in the organisation and how they equipped him to excel in his role today.
What ignited your interest in the undergraduate scholarship with IE Singapore?
Two things led me to IE Singapore’s scholarship. Firstly, a career in the public service appealed to me, as I would be able to contribute to Singapore. Secondly, I was keen to bring my academic interest in economics into my job scope. An economic agency like IE Singapore was highly relevant to me and a perfect fit for my aspirations.
IE Singapore Undergraduate Scholar
Center Director - Designate, Bangkok
Tell us about your main roles and responsibilities at IE Singapore.
Over the past few years, I was heavily involved in the Technology Business Group. I worked with companies and startups from various sectors – ranging from consumer electronics to telcos – and helped them to internationalise. It was through this constant rotation of sector portfolios that I discovered my affinity for, and interest in, working with tech startups. The idea that it has never been easier to start a company and disrupt entire industries really struck a chord with me.
What skills and qualities does one need in order to succeed at your role?
Being adaptable and willing to learn is very important. You realise there is no hard and fast rule when dealing with foreign companies or governments, so being a quick learner will definitely put you in good stead. Working in Singapore for a few years will provide a definite advantage as interacting with Singapore companies will provide a solid foundation in your understanding of how Singapore companies operate, what their capabilities are, and how to pitch their businesses to foreign partners.
Describe the corporate culture and environment among its staff at IE Singapore.
The environment in IE Singapore provides ample opportunities for learning and growth, particularly for fresh graduates. There are many people in the organisation, both local and overseas, who are friendly and open. They are more than willing to share their knowledge and experiences from their areas of expertise. The culture at IE Singapore encourages pro-activeness and inquisitiveness. If you take initiative and ownership over your work, you will find yourself learning a lot from the people around you.
What are some programmes and initiatives that IE Singapore has implemented to bolster your personal and professional development?
There are numerous opportunities to attend training programmes, both internally and externally. The management team is very open to staff taking some time off work to attend workshops or conferences. Given that IE Singapore is a very international organisation, there are numerous internal sharing sessions that help you to understand what other industries or market groups are doing.
What advice do you have for those exploring their scholarship options?
Firstly, do not take up a scholarship that doesn’t feel right or that you don’t believe in. Secondly, if you want a scholarship, choose something that will be meaningful to you after graduation. Scholarships are a leap of faith – the organisation takes a chance on you, and you take a chance on the organisation. The only way to really know is to try.