Scholars Jin Hao and Alex Chong, who have just begun their careers with JTC as Assistant Managers in various departments, walk us through their scholarship experiences and aspirations with the organisation in bringing Singapore to greater heights.
What made you determine that JTC and its scholarships were the best to develop your passion in engineering and urban planning?
Jin Hao: I always had the heart to contribute to Singapore’s economic development and felt that JTC was a solid organisation that propelled the growth of industries in Singapore. Under JTC’s undergraduate scholarship, I found out that the benefits and opportunities would groom me adequately to excel in a career in this industry.
For example, one year prior to graduating, I participated in JTC’s summer internship and worked on the development and planning of one-north, a work-live-play-learn research and business park. During the internship, I gained a profound appreciation and interest in urban planning, and how spatial strategies can influence the trajectories of a place and the people working and living in it. This newfound interest spurred my decision to take up a graduate degree in urban planning at University College London (UCL)’s Bartlett School of Planning.
The scholarship also allowed me to embark on an exchange programme where I spent half a year at the Georgia Institute of Technology - the leading university in Industrial Engineering. These experiences have broadened my worldview, and this in turn has been beneficial to my work at JTC as it allows me to approach projects from a holistic angle.
Assistant Manager, Engineering Services,
Industrial Facilities Management
JTC Mid-Term Scholar
Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering)
National University of Singapore
Alex: With the Government’s recent impetus in developing engineering expertise and the appointment of JTC as the Centre of Excellence (CentEx) for building and infrastructure projects and facilities management, there is no better place and time to get in on the action. In addition, I was attracted to JTC’s scholarships because the organisation is an industrial infrastructure innovator, providing the platform for young engineers and planners to play their part in shaping the future industrial landscape of Singapore.
One example of the opportunities was the chance to attend a summer exchange programme at Stanford University where I took modules on technology and innovation. I also participated in the Silicon Valley Innovation Academy programme that gave students access to leaders of innovation through panels, coaching sessions and site visits.
Now that you have graduated and joined JTC, what are your key roles and responsibilities?
Jin Hao: My role as Assistant Manager of New Estates Division involves the coordination and planning of one-north’s development to enhance its work-live-play-learn vision. This includes planning where and when developments will be launched in one-north, curating building projects, driving testbeds of innovative technologies, and even organising events as part of one-north’s community building initiatives.
Alex: My work as Assistant Manager in the Engineering Services Department involves planning, scheduling, and conducting technical and management aspects of engineering projects. These roles would include the maintenance and repairs of the mechanical and electrical services of JTC’s industrial properties. My team also reviews policies and processes such as Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC) charges, enforcement, parking charges, and anything that contributes to the smooth, safe and cost-efficient operation of our facilities.
Assistant Manager, New Estates
JTC Undergraduate Scholar
Bachelor of Science (Industrial & Systems Engineering)
National University of Singapore
Master of Science (Urban Regeneration)
Bartlett School of Planning
University College London, UK
JTC offers Professional Development Opportunities via Structured Training Programmes to bolster career progression among its staff. Share your experience with us.
Alex: JTC has a three-week Foundation Programme for new hires, which serves to introduce us to JTC’s business and processes, as well as to build a sense of camaraderie amongst our colleagues from various clusters and divisions. Apart from the foundational “101” modules that cover a wide range of areas from project management to engineering, it also covers many topics that are not conventionally taught in schools, such as writing professional papers and giving effective presentations. JTC also encourages us to continuously develop our skills and capabilities. As young officers, and even as interns, we receive mentorship from our supervisors and frequently discuss our personalised development plans with them.
Jin Hao: We are given various opportunities in the form of courses and workshops to develop our capabilities. These courses can be technical, such as auditing and software learning or managerial, like leadership and time management.
That certainly makes it easier for scholars to transit into JTC. What is the direction that JTC is taking in the near future, as an industry and thought leader, that they can look forward to being a part of?
Jin Hao: JTC is at the forefront of developing mixed-use estates with plans for how people work, live, play, learn and create. Industrial real estate trends are moving away from traditional industrial estates and towards integrated, mixed-use business parks such as one-north and the Punggol Digital District, which were launched earlier this year. With the growing importance of concepts such as the Smart City, Circular Economy and Sustainability, JTC will spearhead discussions on how innovations can drive the transformation of Singapore’s industrial properties into smart, sustainable estates of the future.
Alex: JTC’s support for industries and innovation has extended beyond simply providing land and space, as we have started opening our estates and developments for test-bedding technologies like autonomous vehicles and drones. We will continue to push the boundaries of innovation to improve productivity and environmental sustainability, and ensure that Singapore remains competitive and sustainable in the global arena for the future.