Social cohesion is impera tive in a comm unity as diverse as Singapore’s. That’s where the People’s Association (PA) comes in. Their mission: to build and bridge communities in achieving one people, one Singapore.
To achieve this takes more than just talk – that’s why PA has a wide range of programmes catering to Singaporeans from all walks of life, for the purpose of connecting people to people, and people to government. The work is dynamic and demands a readiness to adapt to diverse areas within the PA network. Working together with supportive colleagues in a vibrant environment, you will encounter opportunities to give back to the community, which is exactly what PA scholars Tan Si Qi, 19, and Haikal Afiq Bin Mohd Rizal, 20, look forward to doing.
Tan Si Qi
People’s Association Scholarship (Overseas)
Bachelor of Arts in Politics – Warwick University
Why did you choose a scholarship with PA?
Si Qi: While browsing through the numerous scholarship providers, I looked out for organisations that aligned with my life principle of servant leadership – where service always comes before leadership. This is a fundamental belief in PA that leads our approach in connecting people and being the bridge between Singaporeans and the government. Concurrently, being a PA scholar also provides me with the opportunity to serve as the bridge between the government and grassroots, uniting the different stakeholders in Singapore amidst diversity.
Haikal: Having constantly been involved in student council work, I knew I wanted a fulfilling career in a vibrant organisation that allows me to continue my love for community service, where I can continue to interact with others on a daily basis, learn about their life stories and be able to serve them in any way I can.
I chose PA because I felt that I share the same purpose and vision of strengthening the social ties of the residents in our community, fostering a community that has a deep sense of belonging and cares for one another.
How has the scholarship helped you to develop for your future career?
Si Qi: With PA’s extensive reach of community initiatives, I am provided with the flexibility to decide my course of undergraduate study. I believe that my area of study will allow me to develop analytical and people management skills. Possessing such practical skills will hence shape me into becoming a competent civil servant, contributing back to the nation in my best capacity.
Haikal: The PA scholarship has dynamic opportunities for us scholars to learn and develop our potential as leaders and public officers. As part of their structured career development plan for scholars, PA provides us with internships during our course of study that allows us to have first-hand on-the-ground experience of socialising with the community at the events and programmes that PA organises. After returning to PA once I graduate, I look forward to being assigned to an exciting mix of roles across various divisions.
Haikal Afiq Bin Mohd Rizal
People’s Association Scholarship (Local)
Bachelor of Social Sciences in Sociology – Nanyang Technological University
(Awaiting commencement of studies)
What are your plans after your graduation?
Si Qi: There is a disparity between the ideal and what is feasible, which can make it challenging to develop programmes and initiatives. I hope to use what I have studied to meet this challenge in my work at PA.
Haikal: I am quite excited to join PA once I graduate and be attached to the different divisions within PA, where I would be able to learn new skills from my fellow mentors. I also aim to use the knowledge and skills that I would have learnt as a Sociology major to better understand the dynamic interactions of the people in our community, which I hope will help me to plan and execute more effective programmes for them. I look forward to being able to create a positive difference in the community and develop it further into a place where all residents are proud to call it home.
Any advice and encouragement for scholars planning to follow in your footsteps?
Si Qi: Take time to research about each organisation’s work philosophy and direction, considering if they align to your personal direction and principles. Ultimately, in order to enjoy and stay committed to any organisation, you should feel passionate about joining and playing a part to contribute to their greater purpose. If reaching out to the public and actualising government initiatives through a plethora of platforms excites you, wait no more and apply for the PA scholarship!
Haikal: Take some time to reflect about what you enjoy doing in life and consider whether the organisation’s mission and vision resonates with your life goals. If you have a love for the community and would want to be part of the nation-building process, you should most definitely apply for the PA scholarship!
At the end of the day, if you have a direction in mind and are willing to commit to it but you feel afraid of taking that first step, just remember that sometimes all it takes is a leap of faith and the passion in your heart will lead you through.
Want to make a positive impact for the community and bring people together?
Get started with our local and overseas scholarships today. Details can be found at www.pa.gov.sg/careers/scholarships.