Left: Louis Low is an aspiring cybersecurity expert who is studying at the
SMU School of IS. He is a recipient of the SG:D Undergraduate Scholarship.
Right: Vienna Wong produces news bulletins as a Studio Director at Mediacorp. She is a recipient of the SG:D Undergraduate Scholarship and holds a bachelor’s degree in Arts from the University of Melbourne.
Infocomm media (ICM) is part of our daily lives in more ways than we expect. The broad nature of ICM led to the conceptualisation of the Singapore Digital (SG:D) Scholarship, a scholarship that empowers students to chart their own career path in an ICM role in any organisation, and in any industry.
Aspiring cybersecurity expert Louis Low and studio director Vienna Wong share their journey into the exciting and ever-evolving sector.
Digital abundance has facilitated many technological innovations and game-changing services. As much as information technology has improved our quality of lives, the constant connectivity may leave us vulnerable to cyber-attacks if measures are not put in place.
Case in point: SingHealth had a major data breach in mid-2018, where 1.5 million patient records were left exposed by hackers. The severity of this incident intrigued Louis Low so much that it led him to apply to the Singapore Management University (SMU) School of Information Systems (IS) and choose a Cybersecurity major.
“I made the decision to major in Cybersecurity after meeting a couple of friends at a session initiated by one of my coursemates in IS. I realised there was so much that I did not understand about Cybersecurity and hacking but yet it played such an important role in protecting people and their data,” explains Louis.
The 23-year-old is a recipient of the SG:D Undergraduate Scholarship. He was exploring his options and looking for ways to finance his learning. His solution came when he received an email from BrightSparks.
“The email encouraged me to apply for scholarships available in the period and that was when I came across the SG:D Undergraduate Scholarship. I knew it was the scholarship that would help me achieve my goals and dreams in Cybersecurity and Software Development,” he enthuses.
Louis is also grateful for the financial benefits that come with the scholarship.
He says: “The scholarship helped to reduce the financial burden my mother had to carry while supporting me in my university studies and my younger sister for her studies. Being a single parent, she gave me full support to take on the scholarship, trusting me to put in my best to give back even as I had received.”
With that in mind, the SMU undergraduate has already set his sights on becoming an Offensive Security Certified Professional in the next five years and contributing to Singapore’s Cybersecurity scene in the future. He also hopes to work in an environment where the culture is empowering and strong in encouraging innovation.
“If it is in the area of defence, I hope to bring a better IT security framework to many different areas of the company about how we can protect the company as individuals whom the company belongs to.
In the area of offensive security, I hope to become a strong pentester and help companies find their vulnerabilities before other malicious agents do. It is more than for the bug bounty, but improving security for companies means a better security climate and better assurance to members of the public.”
Most definitely, it is comforting to know that while we are enjoying the services that come from digital abundance, there are cybersecurity experts like Louis to keep us safe from hackers.
Orchestrating a Production
The Trump-Kim Summit in Singapore was a historic event in every sense of the word. It was the first-ever meeting between the leaders of the two nations, and they chose to do so in the Lion City. Many of us would have inevitably tuned into CNA to catch the coverage. One of the key persons who brought you the in-depth coverage is 24-year-old Vienna Wong, Studio Director at Mediacorp.
Vienna has certainly come a long way since her days as a student at Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Film and Media Studies.
“Through my time in Ngee Ann (Polytechnic), and in particular my course Film, Sound, Video, I got the chance to see how media is made. Rather than being turned away by the tough nature of the workplace, namely the heavy lifting of equipment or working in ever-changing set locations, I was more intrigued by, simply put, the ‘movie magic’,” she explains.
“Once you see the work reflected on screens, it just feels different and gratifying. Therefore, the sense of achievement I get from finishing a production is what drives me to continue on in the media industry.”
She did well in her studies and secured an SG:D Undergraduate Scholarship with Mediacorp before pursuing a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne.
On why she took on the scholarship, she says: “The opportunity to receive support for further education was the selling point for me. Ultimately, I wanted to challenge myself to see how far I could get in the process because I never had perfect grades. Thankfully the scholarship board looked beyond grades and now I have the chance to work in such an exciting environment.”
In her role as a Studio Director, Vienna directs the morning bulletins on CNA, which include the Asia First and Asia Now segments.
“The director’s role in a news bulletin is quite similar to a conductor in an orchestra. The director is there to make sure everything flows in order and at the right pace, ensuring that the look of a news bulletin is cohesive and comprehensible for the audience.
“On top of that, directors are also assigned projects to manage. For me, I recently completed the revamp of CNA’s flagship morning programme, Asia First. The transformation from the traditional physical studio set to a virtual reality (VR) one is a massive addition to our workflow. It is a big endeavour which required a lot of hard work but it paid off! Our set really stands out with the beautiful Singapore skyline.”
Indeed, the sky’s the limit for Vienna. Despite her impressive list of achievements, she is constantly looking to improve and hone her craft.
“I love to continuously take on challenges, whether it is trying out other news bulletins, or even learning other forms of directing. I am only at the start of my career, there will be many challenges ahead and only by getting a broader knowledge will I be equipped for them.”