TThe Singapore-Industry Scholarship (SgIS) was launched in 2012 in partnership with the Singapore Government with an aim to develop a strong core of Singaporeans to anchor strategic sectors in Singapore.
The strong and firm government-industry partnership in talent development provides young talents with opportunities at different stages of their university education, both locally and overseas. The SgIS also spans across many industries ranging from aviation to social services in a vision to develop individuals in multi-faceted fields.
Follow Your Passion
Two such diverse scholars are Ong Bao Xiong and Mariel Chee.
Bao Xiong was passionate about engineering, but the lack of personal finances was a great hindrance in achieving his dreams. He took a chance and applied for the SgIS Full-Term Scholarship. Being awarded the SgIS with Senoko Energy Pte Ltd was a turning point in his life. “The SgIS bridged my passion and goals. I was fortunate to intern in the same industry that I was majoring in,” shares the NTU engineering alumnus, who is an engineer with the organisation now.
Mariel, on the other hand, has always been interested in the arts. “In my freshman year, I did an internship with National Gallery Singapore and fell in love with the vibrant working environment, the warmth of the colleagues, and the passion everyone had for their work” shares the ecstatic Yale-NUS, Liberal Arts graduate. Inspired by that, she applied for the SgIS Mid-Term Local Scholarship with National Gallery Singapore, and there was no looking back. She is now a senior executive in the education department.
Mariel Chee Wei Lin
SgIS Mid-Term Local Student with
National Gallery Singapore
Senior Executive (Education)
The SgIS offers students not only sponsorship for university education but also exciting opportunities for broad-based development through the SgIS Scholars’ Development and Engagement Programme. Mariel is particularly grateful for opportunities in strategic engagement where she learned from interactions with public and private sector leaders.
“During the SgIS Leaders’ Forum, I was a bit hesitant to moderate a discussion with Mr Lee Chee Koon, Chief Executive Officer of The Ascott Limited. But the experience helped me to develop confidence in engaging with different kinds of people on topics beyond my comfort zone, pushing me to become more adaptable,” she muses.
Bao Xiong shares similar sentiments with Mariel, citing SgIS Dialogue Series with LTA and STB, SgIS Leaders’ Forum, and SgIS Scholars’ Network - as excellent avenues for personal and professional development. “The SgIS Leaders’ Forum widened my horizons as I got a chance to communicate with Ministers and industry experts. SgIS Scholars’ Network allowed me to build rapport and share knowledge with scholars of the same industry and other industries,” he enthuses.
He found the internship at Senoko Energy, one of the largest power companies in Singapore, to be a highly valuable experience. “In terms of professional development, Senoko Energy has given me opportunities to apply my skills and knowledge to practical situations. The mentorship programme was beneficial as I could seek help from my colleagues for technical help. Through the programme, I have also developed effective interpersonal and business communication skills which have groomed me to become a better engineer and team-player now,” he reflects.
His internship gave him an opportunity to understand the industry dynamics, its technical and soft-skills requirements for fresh graduates like him. Owing to the liberalisation of Singapore’s electricity market, he looks forward to exciting times, as Senoko Energy draws up new plans for household consumers.
Ong Bao Xiong
SgIS Full-Term Scholar with Senoko Energy Pte Ltd
The SgIS not only gears up the students to become leaders in their respective industries, it also strives to develop holistic scholars. “I like that the SgIS offers partnerships across a diverse range of industries. That is what makes the SgIS unique.” Mariel shared. “Our sector is evolving very quickly, which means that one has to be nimble, resilient, and ready to jive with change. It also means that we have the privilege of actually shaping the scene with other fellow culture builders,” she elaborates.
Bao Xiong concurs, adding that SgIS is not a stand-alone scholarship programme, unlike others. It provides various opportunities to network with people, and that widens the outlook much more. “Getting a scholarship was a huge leap in my life. However, I was fortunate to have the right people to guide me and provide advice, which was what led me to where I am today,” he concludes.