With the industries under the purview of the Economic Development Board (EDB) accounting for about 40% of Singapore’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the work that the agency engages in is vital towards enhancing our country’s status as a global centre for business, innovation, and talent. This is in line with EDB’s mission of creating sustainable economic growth with vibrant business and good job opportunities for Singaporeans.
Economic growth is hard to achieve if our existing core of companies and industries stagnate or operate inefficiently. EDB creates a pro-business environment by working with companies and other government agencies to ensure the workforce stays competitive through the development of talent.
Rovik Jeremiah Robert
Associate, Business Environment
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science – Northwestern University
Master’s in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation – London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
At EDB, people are their biggest asset, and the agency is committed to bringing out their full potential and helping them chart a career path that is in the best interests of both individual and company. EDB Scholars Shauna Jayne, 28, and Rovik Jeremiah Robert, 25, are part of the dynamic team of spirited individuals at EDB who aren’t afraid of challenges and take pride in making a difference to our economy. We talk to them about the opportunities presented by the scholarship as they provide an insight into working under an organisation that makes a real impact.
A Culture That Cares
Although the duration of the journey of both scholars differs at EDB, with Shauna working for four years and Rovik only joining the organisation in August 2018, the supportive and inclusive culture which EDB takes pride in fostering is already apparent to them. As an agency which taps on the most promising young talents in the country, teamwork is a quality that is held in high regard – a factor that has proved to be useful to Shauna and Rovik.
“What is good about EDB is that firstly, you get a lot of opportunities to try different things. The bosses are also supportive of your career interests, so they do try to address them and find roles for you that suit them,” shares Shauna. “In terms of culture, people here are very helpful and open to sharing the information they have, which is valuable to me in my line of work, where I engage in business process mapping with various business units, product backlog grooming with our vendors, and change management across the organisation.”
Rovik concurs, saying that the culture has been the highlight of his EDB experience and was the deciding factor for him in choosing a scholarship with them. “The culture is what sold it for me. I remember shopping around different scholarships and when you go to other agencies, you really see why EDB is special. I attribute it to not only the kind of work you’ll be doing here, but also the teams you are part of and the type of people you get to meet,” he says. “A lot of people here recognise the impact of what they are doing, and topics like what we can do for Singapore happen in our conversations regularly. So it’s the vocabulary and mindset we have here that attracted me to EDB.”
Senior Lead, Digital Enterprise
Bachelor in Political Science and Economics – Sciences Po
Master’s in Public Administration (Economic & Public Policy)
– London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Equal Opportunities To Grow And Serve
EDB’s emphasis on career growth and personal development is also apparent in job rotations, where officers are encouraged to explore various functional areas, and keeping in touch with the real world. For Shauna, the annual scholar meet-ups organised by the agency allowed her to gain important information on EDB, while the flexibility with her choice of extra-curricular programmes enabled her to have a holistic development beyond her main education. But it is EDB’s belief in equal opportunity that resonates with her. “In EDB, there’s always this emphasis on treating everyone equally regardless of whether you’re a scholar or freshly-hired graduate,” says Shauna.
The personal touch EDB gives through the scholarship also ensures that Rovik’s passion and interests are not neglected as he serves in his capacity as an Associate in Business Environment. “From the onset, I knew I wanted to work in public service and in an organisation with a strong sense of purpose. EDB tries to create jobs that are not only relevant, but are also beneficial to Singaporeans. We get to be at the forefront of certain technologies and actively be part of an exciting vision,” he says. “Unlike other organisations I know of, EDB doesn’t just give you a scholarship and leave you alone; they care about your personal development and partners with you to map out both your studies and developmental opportunities along the way. For example, I was supported in pursuing German classes. The scholarship is therefore very personal and ensures that when you do join EDB, you are in the best position to make the most of your career.”
From overseas exposures to a dynamic work environment, the options at EDB are varied and exciting. Both scholars showed no hesitation when encouraging others to join them on this scholarship journey. Rovik advises, “Be confident of the fact that you are committing 10 years of your life to a purpose, and you have to be sold on that purpose.”
Shauna, on the other hand, looks back at her former self a decade ago and reminisces, “At 18, you don’t know how big the world is, and the different job opportunities out there. Go overseas on your own if you can afford it and do internships through the course of your university life before making the decision. You want to be sure it is a decision you will not regret so that you are fair to yourself, the organisation, and your future colleagues.”