In order for Singapore to prosper and thrive, it is imperative that the Singapore Public Service continues to attract suitable talent committed to upholding the values of integrity, service and excellence. The PSC scholarships are for outstanding young men and women who want to serve Singapore and Singaporeans, through a fulfilling and rewarding career in the Public Service.
We spoke to two PSC Scholarship (Open) recipients Miss Genim Tan, 25, and Miss Denise Tan, 27, to learn more about their opportunities and experiences.
PSC Scholarship (Open) Recipient
Designation: Executive, Energy and Climate Policy Division, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources
Studied: Master of Science in Global Health Science, University of Oxford, UK
Master of Philosophy in Technology Policy, University of Cambridge, UK
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Life Sciences, National University of Singapore
Creating a Sustainable Future for Singapore
Genim has always been drawn to the Public Service and to serving Singaporeans. She shares earnestly, “I wanted the impact of my work to touch lives, instead of it being simply measured in terms of dollars and cents. A career in the Public Service would enable me to play a role in looking out for the interests of Singaporeans and shaping the future of the country.”
The intricacies of policy analysis also intrigued Genim. She adds, “I wanted to partake in the mentally-stimulating process of teasing out the complexities of government policies and mapping out their various options and implications. I was also drawn to the prospect of taking on tasks of a different nature, such as project management or service delivery. Therefore, I applied for the PSC scholarship in pursuit of a career that would be constantly challenging and refreshing.”
As an Executive in the Energy and Climate Policy Division at the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR), Genim has had an exciting start to her career. She enthuses, “I am involved in the mitigation arm of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Climate Change, which focuses on how Singapore can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
“I help to formulate Singapore’s long-term climate change mitigation strategy and coordinate and track the efforts of various sectors to reduce carbon emissions. I also have a hand in building capabilities to support the development and implementation of policies, as well as assessing trends in energy technology and innovation to ensure our work remains relevant.”
There are few global challenges that are comparable to climate change in terms of scale and complexity, and Genim relishes the opportunity to be a part of Singapore’s efforts to address an issue that affects nations worldwide. She says, “As a young officer, I am particularly thankful for this portfolio as it has given me a taste of the multi-faceted nature of Public Service work. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this whole-of-government undertaking, where numerous agencies have to pool their expertise and resources to serve a common goal.”
Developing Singapore as an International Maritime Centre
Denise first came to know about the PSC scholarships during her final year of polytechnic studies. She recalls, “I wanted to be part of an organisation whose values and goals were aligned with mine. I also wanted to make a difference in people’s lives in a big way and wanted a job that would continually challenge me.
“I pursued my undergraduate studies in Biotechnology and Cell Biology because I believed it would equip me with the skills required to achieve that goal – for instance, by developing a new drug. After speaking to people in both the public and private sectors, I was convinced that a career in the Public Service would help me realise my goal to better the lives of others as well.”
PSC Scholarship (Open) Recipient
Designation: Assistant Director, Sea Transport Division, Ministry of Transport
Studied: Master of Public Administration, Columbia University, US
Master in Public Policy,
National University of Singapore
Bachelor of Science in Cell Biology,
University of Melbourne, Australia
And Denise is certainly playing a role in advancing Singapore’s economy and the maritime industry as Assistant Director, Sea Transport Division, in the Ministry of Transport. As a team member handling the maritime portfolio in MOT, she helps to develop and implement policies that will help grow Singapore’s maritime cluster. This entails creating a vibrant environment for maritime companies in Singapore. She elaborated, “Our international maritime centre forms an important pillar of Singapore’s economy, contributing to 7% of GDP and creating 170,000 jobs. We are the world’s second busiest port in terms of container throughput and the world’s largest bunkering hub. In order to maintain our competitive edge, we need to formulate policies that will either mitigate challenges or harness opportunities in the long-term. This includes looking at both domestic and international issues – from developing our port infrastructure to ensuring the safety of our waters and maintaining Singapore’s maritime such as the International Maritime Organization. We do not work alone either. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore is a key player in enabling us to do a lot of this work. I want to formulate the right policies to ensure that the maritime sector will continue to grow and contribute to Singapore’s prosperity, providing Singaporeans with a sea of opportunities and good jobs for many more years to come.”
A Scholarship Holder’s Journey
Genim shares, “The PSC scholarship provides developmental opportunities which include personal development workshops, community service placements, policy seminars, dialogue sessions with senior policymakers and internship programmes. I had my first glimpse into the Public Service at 18 years of age through an internship programme at the Ministry of Health.
“In addition to the programmes offered by PSC, we were given the flexibility to pursue other initiatives based on our interests. For instance, PSC was supportive of my requests to conduct fieldwork in London for a social entrepreneurship research project, attend an academic conference on international relations in Seoul and spend a semester on exchange at the University of Copenhagen.”
On the other hand, Denise particularly enjoyed the opportunity to attend the 21-day Outward Bound South Africa course. She tells us, “Although it was really physically challenging, I came to realise that mental fortitude can overcome any obstacle.”
During her time as a student in Australia and the US, Denise enthuses, “ I experienced everyday life like the locals, which gave me the time I needed to adapt to and understand the new culture and social norms, and immerse myself in new things and get to know new people! Studying overseas gave me fresh perspectives on life and helped me better appreciate the things I have.”
Based on her experience so far, Denise says that aspiring scholarship applicants may wish to consider whether the career they want will also help them fulfil their own personal goals and vision. She concludes, “At the end of the day, it is genuine passion that will keep you going in the long haul!”