As a leader in communications technology, Singtel plays a critical role in connecting millions of people and businesses around the world daily. Together with regional associates AIS, Airtel, Globe, and Telkomsel, the Group has a footprint across Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, and the US.
As the company continues to grow its digital businesses and accelerate its digital transformation, it seeks to nurture young talent to be the innovators and leaders of tomorrow by giving them the necessary support and opportunities to develop professionally. BrightSparks speaks to Singtel Group Undergraduate Scholars Koh Jia Qi, 25, and Edward Tan, 24, on the many doors the scholarship has opened for them.
Koh Jia Qi
Singtel Group Mid-Term Undergraduate Scholarship
SMU Bachelor of Business Management
When and how did your passion for technology begin?
Jia Qi: I have always been fascinated by technology and how it enables us to do things better and more efficiently than before. I still remember MSN Messenger, my first online communication channel on my home computer, which made it so much easier to communicate with my friends and exchange information. Fast forward a few years and we have smartphone and social media applications that connect us instantly. I believe that technology is a key driver that improves the lives of people and creates opportunities for businesses to break out of the traditional brick-and-mortar concept. This also motivated my friends and I to create an e-commerce platform for non-profits and welfare organisations, to help them gain a presence online and reach out to a wider audience.
Edward: I have always been curious and interested in the latest technology and gadgets but it was not until my first SHINE internship with Singtel that I really saw how technology can make a difference in the lives of customers and businesses. Since then, I have developed a deeper passion for technology and I am looking forward to start my journey as a Management Associate at Singtel.
What made you apply for a Singtel Scholarship?
Jia Qi: I was first introduced to Singtel’s business during my stint as a marketing communications intern under the Singtel’s SHINE internship, which gives tertiary students early exposure to the work environment by involving them in real world assignments. I realised then that the integrated communications industry has a huge future role and I was interested in what I was learning during my internship. When I found out about an opportunity for a Singtel Scholarship, I immediately applied for it. I am grateful for the chance to experience Singtel’s business before I applied for the scholarship as it offered me a glimpse into what Singtel has to offer and affirmed my interest in the industry.
Edward: I knew that I wanted to kickstart my career in an exciting industry with a nurturing organisation that has an expansive international reach. More importantly, I wanted to make a difference and drive meaningful changes in society. Singtel stood out among other companies as being in the business of enabling and driving connectivity among people and businesses, essentially creating impetus for change in society. Being one of the world’s top 100 most sustainable corporations, it consistently invests in community development and supports efforts to make our society a better place. Among its efforts are the Singtel Touching Lives Fund, and the Singtel Future Makers programme that grooms social impact start-ups.
Singtel Group Undergraduate Scholarship
NUS Double Degree in Bachelor of Engineering (Industrial & Systems Engineering) & Bachelor of Business Administration
How have you benefitted from the scholarship?
Jia Qi: The Singtel Scholarship has opened doors for me in the form of multiple SHINE internships, which allowed me to discover my career preferences and options that best suit my interests. During my first internship, I learnt about Singtel’s enterprise business and its reach and impact on local businesses. For my second internship, I was keen to find out more about the consumer business.
I had a chance to be hands-on in projects and learn from different teams in a dynamic and collaborative environment. These experiences gave me a better understanding of Singtel and the telco industry, even before I graduate.
Edward: Through the internship programmes and networking sessions, I better understood the organisation and the various functions that drive its success. I was also fortunate to have a mentor who was patient with me and shared his own experiences working in the industry.
The scholarship also provided me with the opportunity to participate in overseas exchange programmes that pushed me outside of my comfort zone, to work alongside international peers, and gain new perspectives.
What do you hope to achieve with Singtel career-wise?
Jia Qi: I hope to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself in exciting fields that are related to integrated communications technology. I am looking forward to honing my technical skills and soft skills as I take on different roles and embark on my career at Singtel as a management associate.
Edward: I hope to learn and grow through Singtel’s Management Associate Programme, where there will be opportunities to work alongside senior leaders in the industry and gain invaluable exposure to the dynamic communications technology sector. With opportunities for rotation across different business units, I would also be able to delve deeper into diverse fields such as cyber security and big data analytics, and develop a holistic understanding of the industry’s breadth and depth.