The infocomm media (ICM) industry plays a key role in transforming existing work processes and increasing productivity of the modern workforce in an increasingly digital economy. By 2020, the ICM industry is expected to create more than 13,000 new Professional, Manager, Executive and Technician (PMET) jobs, while the industry’s value added is forecasted to grow by about six percent per year, which is twice as fast as the overall economy.
Seizing this dynamic wave of opportunities are Blockchain Application Engineer, Edison Lim, 26, and student, Tan Tian Shou, 25, who are looking to play their part in using technology to shape lives and contribute to the thriving infocomm media arena through the Singapore Digital (SG:D) Scholarship by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). From how IMDA helps to feed their passion, to the plethora of opportunities provided through the scholarship, the two scholars share what makes the IMDA experience a special one.
Singapore Digital (SG:D) Scholarship,
Fast Track Bachelors-Masters Scholar
Blockchain Application Engineer, Zilliqa Research Pte Ltd
Bachelor of Science, Information Systems Management – Singapore Management University
Master of Science, Information Security Policy and Management – Carnegie Mellon University
What attracted you to the Singapore Digital (SG:D) Scholarship?
Edison: When I was in university, I had to find a way to fund my studies in the United States. Initially, I was closed to the idea of having a scholarship as I did not like to be tied down by an organisation. But the SG:D Scholarship is unique in the sense that it allows you the possibility to work for any Singapore-registered company. This gives you a lot of flexibility by letting you choose your organisation upon graduation. This way, I get funded for my studies and I get to come home to a job I am passionate about.
Tian Shou: It is the numerous opportunities that the SG:D Scholarship provides that attracted me, along with a clear accelerated path towards my dream career in an established company. In addition, I am exposed to various events that allow me to interact and network with industry professionals. This provides me with an edge that takes me one step closer to my goal.
Edison, in what ways does the scholarship support global exposure, and how did your graduate studies in the US prepare you for your role?
Edison: As a SG:D Scholar, you get the option to apply for a study mission overseas, which I did in Malaysia for a week. IMDA is very receptive, allowing you to do an international education or exchange, and is supportive of those who wish to sign up for courses to improve themselves.
As part of the scholarship, I did my Masters in Carnegie Mellon University where I focused mainly on Cyber Forensics and Big Data. This allowed me to possess a good understanding of cyber security, which is also something that is complementary with blockchain development. My experience in the US certainly made my outlook more global. You get to meet people from different educational and cultural background and learn from them through social interactions both at school and outside.
The SG:D Scholarship offers scholars the flexibility to choose the companies they wish to work at. Share your experience with us, Tian Shou.
Tian Shou: This is one of the main advantages of the SG:D Scholarship over many others – the ability to work at your dream company certainly won me over. It has always been my dream to work for Ubisoft Singapore, with them being the biggest publisher in Southeast Asia and also one of the best in Singapore with a melting pot of creative professionals. The SG:D Scholarship gave me the opportunity to work with the best of the best. Being able to have a clear picture of my exact career path really makes all the difference.
Tan Tian Shou
Singapore Digital (SG:D) Scholarship - Undergraduate Student,
Bachelor of Arts in Game Design
– DigiPen Institute of Technology (Singapore)
What makes your role as a blockchain app developer rewarding?
Edison: As this role is very dynamic, I see my mission as transiting the world’s application into decentralised application. It is a very new area, and there are no existing and predefined best practices to restrict the way you do things. Thus, you have to come up with solutions based on what is needed, and this challenge motivates me. We had a pilot project with other companies recently, including Mindshare, where we could see how blockchain helps in building reconciliation and making payment processes more efficient for companies. When organisations see these cases of blockchain application and realise how it can help their business, it makes me realise the impact my career makes.
Tian Shou, what is your advice for aspiring scholars planning to apply for the SG:D Scholarship?
The famous phrase “stay hungry” resides within my belief for success. One should not be content with the work they produce in school but should be striving to make a mark out there in the community. Be it a personal portfolio or real-life experience, one should engage in more non-academic projects to boost what they can offer.
The SG:D Scholarship combines the various scholarships formerly offered by IMDA (i.e. the Infocomm Polytechnic (iPOLY) Scholarship, National Infocomm Scholarship (NIS), and Media Education Scholarship (MES)).