Comprising port, shipping, maritime services, and offshore and marine engineering, the maritime industry is a vibrant and flourishing one. Shipping is responsible for 90% of the world’s trade and Singapore is proud to be a major player in this industry, making big waves as one of the top maritime capitals in the world.
To support the country’s vision of developing into an International Maritime Centre (IMC), the MaritimeONE Scholarship Programme, set up by the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) to help build a pipeline of talent for the shipping industry, enables students pursuing maritime-related degrees to explore the industry through internships, networking sessions and learning journeys. MaritimeONE Scholars Aaron Goh and Quek Qin share their hopes for the future and how the scholarships develop their competencies and connections to fulfil these aspirations.
What attracted you to the MaritimeONE scholarship?
Aaron: The scholarship allowed me to pursue an overseas education in a specialised course at a university with a strong alumni in the international maritime industry. This has equipped me with an expanded worldview – an important quality in the maritime industry. I was also very drawn to opportunities like exchange programmes, invitations to networking events organised by SMF, and industry events that could connect me with like-minded individuals.
Quen Qin: The vast portfolio of scholarships from the various arms of the maritime industry! The scholarship offers multiple opportunities to broaden my understanding of the industry. There are many invitations to exclusive networking events, panel discussions and learning journeys. These have given me a competitive edge over my peers who are also pursuing maritime related courses.
Aaron Goh Zhao Rong
Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA) – MaritimeONE Scholarship
Bachelor of Science (Hons),
Maritime Business and Logistics
In what ways do you see the industry expanding even more exponentially?
Aaron: The increased push for digitalisation in the industry and incorporation of these new technologies will help to strengthen our competitiveness and efficiency. For example, the development of the Next Generation Port at Tuas is well under way. This will double container throughput that our Ports are currently managing. Besides, there is also an increased focus in developing the talent pool. These continued efforts to stay competitive in the global maritime scene will enable Singapore to expand steadily.
Quen Qin: I agree with Aaron. As mentioned, the industry has become more receptive to new technologies, such as Big Data, the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence. Ship owners are now venturing into new areas to improve the performance and efficiency of their ships through the integration of IT onboard and the building of autonomous ships.
Upon graduation, how do you strive to contribute to this growing industry?
Aaron: After I graduate, I hope to join a management trainee programme or explore the field of energy and dry bulk commodities. In the long run, I hope to be involved in innovative projects – either at the industry or academic level – that can strengthen and disrupt the maritime industry.
Quen Qin: I hope to work in Ship Operations after I graduate. I was inspired to join this team when I boarded a bulk vessel during one of my internships and saw how important Ship Operations is. The team was responsible for coordinating the costs and day-to-day operations of the ship, all of which is crucial in ensuring that the ship functions properly during its voyages.
NORDEN & ORIENT FOND – MaritimeONE Scholarship
Bachelor of Science,
Nanyang Technological University
How has the scholarship equipped you with the skills and knowledge to achieve these career aspirations?
Aaron: As part of my overseas education, I have travelled to cities in Europe such as Paris, Brussels, Ghent, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Berlin, Venice, and Milan. These experiences taught me to appreciate different cultures, and understand how maritime connects everyone on a global scale.
This scholarship also enriched my maritime learning experience through field trips to ports and international regulatory bodies like the IMO, which have deepened my understanding and appreciation of the industry.
Quen Qin: The scholarship has groomed me into becoming a more outspoken and confident individual, and has helped me to form closer connections with people in the local shipping community.
Words of wisdom for those considering a MaritimeONE Scholarship?
Aaron: Someone from the industry once mentioned that shipping is here to stay – it is the most sustainable mode of transport that can effectively fulfil global demands for different commodities. Maritime is transforming and changing, and I would encourage those who would want to be a part of something bigger to join the industry.
Quen Qin: I would strongly encourage others to sign up for the MaritimeONE Scholarship as the programme does not only provide financial assistance, but also opportunities to learn more about the industry through career workshops and networking sessions.