MaritimeONE Scholarships (Singapore Maritime Foundation/SMF)
Features | Maritime

Sailing In A Sea
Of Opportunities

The MaritimeONE (Outreach NEtwork) initiative aims to raise awareness, recruit and nurture key talents for the maritime industry, which contributes to seven per cent of Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product and employs over 170,000 people.

Even as a backwater fishing village, Singapore’s fortunes have always been tied inextricably to the sea, and today, Singapore is the world’s top transshipment hub connected to over 600 ports globally.

The MaritimeONE Scholarship Programme attracts and nurtures talents for the maritime industry to help maintain Singapore’s standing as a vibrant maritime nation and establish the maritime industry as a key pillar of economic growth. MaritimeONE scholars Lorayne Teo and Mun Yong Jian share about their experiences in this dynamic industry.

A key industry

Lorayne was first drawn to the maritime industry as she enjoyed watching the huge ships out at sea. She recalls, “When the Singapore Management University (SMU) launched the Maritime Economics Concentration (MEC) programme in 2013, I knew I had to go for it. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the business and economic aspects of shipping, as well as the challenges of the industry.”

Lorayne finds the maritime industry complex and intriguing, adding, “Another significant factor that attracted me was how Singapore as a leading International Maritime Centre in the region, offers a breadth and range of maritime services that few can match. I hope to gain insights into how I can contribute to the prosperity of Singapore’s maritime industry in future!”

Mun Yong Jian
PIL – MaritimeONE Scholar

Studying: Bachelor of Science in Maritime
Studies (Honours) with Business Major,
Nanyang Technological University

"The various MaritimeONE events, such as networking and knowledge-sharing sessions, better prepare us to enter the industry!"

On Yong Jian’s end, the Nanyang Technological University undergraduate sought a degree that would equip him with specialised in-demand skills for a key industry. He shares, “I initially wanted to pursue a business course, but considered it too general. I thus decided to pursue a degree in Maritime Studies as it would teach me unique skills that I could use to help advance Singapore’s position as a maritime hub.”

Opportunities abound

With Singapore’s vibrant maritime sector, it’s no wonder that Lorayne is raring to take on the role of a Management Trainee with Thome Group in August this year. She enthuses, “I will rotate between departments such as Crewing, Human Resource, or HSSEQ (Health, Safety, Security, Environment & Quality). I am certainly excited to learn more and build on the knowledge gained from school!”

For his part, although Yong Jian has just recently graduated, he has already gained early insights into the operations of his sponsoring company Pacific International Lines (PIL) through internships over his past three summer breaks.

He explains, “PIL’s core business involves transporting cargoes around the world using shipping containers which are loaded on board PIL vessels and moved to different ports around the world with Singapore as a main transshipment point. I’ve had the chance to learn more about PIL business activities inside its Logistics Division and Singamas, the container manufacturing subsidiary of PIL.”

Yong Jian was also awarded the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s (MPA) Global Internship Award in 2014, where he was sponsored for a 10-week internship. He enthuses, “I spent four of those weeks with PIL China in Shanghai, and it was amazing to interact with the people there and learn about Shanghai’s culture.

“I also visited the container manufacturing factories, container depots and the Shanghai port. In fact, this is one of the many reasons why I love the maritime industry – the opportunities to learn about the world are simply boundless!”

And for Yong Jian, such opportunities are everywhere – he counts night ice-skating in the dark Norwegian outdoors and lying on the icy ground to gaze at the stars as “unforgettable” experiences during his exchange programme to Norway. He further enthuses, “We even headed towards the Arctic Circle to catch the Northern Lights. The experiences that we gained from five months of student exchange equaled our four years of academic studies!”

Lorayne Teo Zhi Qing
Thome – MaritimeONE Scholar

Designation: Management Trainee, Thome Group
(Starting in August 2015)

Studied: Bachelor of Science in Economics
with Maritime Economics Concentration,
Singapore Management University

Unwavering support

Even as Lorayne gets down to the serious business of taking on her Management Trainee role, she recalls how the MaritimeONE Scholarship helped prepare her for the smoothest possible transition. She says, “Through the multiple networking sessions organised under MaritimeONE, I was able to meet my seniors from other schools who had already started working with their sponsors and find out more about their respective management trainee programmes to better know what to expect.”

During her final year at SMU, Lorayne also had the opportunity to do a part-time internship at the dry bulk operations division of another maritime company. She says, smiling, “I learned in detail the processes and stages involved, allowing me to draw links between what I’d learnt in class and actual operations, and this really enhanced my understanding of the entire process. I was really glad to have this opportunity even when the semester was still ongoing!”

Yong Jian is also quick to highlight the privilege of being able to embark on an internship during each summer break, and is thankful for the opportunities that he has enjoyed. He says earnestly, “PIL has been really supportive of me and other scholars when it comes to our learning journey.

“The maritime sector places a strong emphasis on nurturing the next generation of its workforce. It’s reassuring to know that our degrees are relevant and that we’ll be in-demand and ready to take on new challenges upon graduation. The various MaritimeONE events, such as networking and knowledge-sharing sessions, better prepare us to enter the industry!”

Embracing the maritime challenge

Fresh out of school and about to embark on a career with Thome Group, Lorayne is excited to offer some advice to aspiring MaritimeONE scholars. She muses, “The most important quality to have is the right attitude. Knowledge and experience can be earned, but a good attitude will help you make the most out of your experiences. And of course, don’t forget to enjoy the journey!”

Yong Jian advocates an open-world view for aspiring MaritimeONE scholars and the courage to step out of one’s comfort zone and challenge oneself. He says, “The world is your playground and you should embrace every challenge that tests your abilities. One should also embrace opportunities to work and study abroad. Set your sights far and don’t be afraid to be ambitious, but of course, always remember to remain humble and work hard!”