Goh Yi Feng, a SgIS Full-Term Scholar currently working at GE Aviation, Engine Services – Singapore Pte Ltd, graduated from Nanyang Technological University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. His brother, Goh Yi Hui, is a SgIS Full-Term Scholar with Tuas Power Generation Pte. Ltd. who graduated from Nanyang Technological University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering, with Business Minor.
A strong foundation is integral to Singapore’s continued growth as a nation. And that starts with grooming the next generation of young talents in their core skills and competencies. By taking on the Singapore- Industry Scholarship (SgIS), Goh Yi Feng and Goh Yi Hui have been granted not only a sponsorship for a university education, but also exciting opportunities for development during their work and access to a committed and cohesive alumni network to ensure they continue to bring their best.
The pair of siblings, working at GE Aviation and Tuas Power Generation respectively, are poised to learn more and explore further thanks to the opportunities created by SgIS.
In Search of a Path
After graduation from Singapore Polytechnic, Yi Feng was looking for some career direction. “I applied to whatever I felt interested in at the point of time,” recalls the 31-year-old. He was good with hands-on activities, and liked mathematics and science, so he knew he wanted a career in the engineering sector; just not specifically what it was.
The SgIS turned out to be just what he needed. It gave him a wide variety of options, from which he could choose a suitable industry and then a company that best fit his interests. The scholarship had helped him find the path that best suited him.
So when his younger brother, 29-year-old Yi Hui, faced a similar dilemma, he felt he could recommend the scholarship based on his own experience. “This is one option that has benefitted me, so you should give it a try,” Yi Hui remembers his brother telling him. In Yi Hui’s case, it was the industry-specific nature of the scholarship that appealed to him. “You can choose multiple companies through a single application form and if they are keen they will approach you,” he points out.
And having a job with those companies waiting after they finished their studies was especially attractive for both brothers, as the SgIS allowed them to pursue their passions in their industry of choice without needing to worry about their university expenses.
A Unique Approach
Being a SgIS scholar, working in their respective companies was different from day one. “A scholar gets more responsibility,” Yi Hui elaborates. “They expect you to get on a faster learning curve, and there are also more opportunities.” His work entailed overseeing the planning and maintenance of five combined cycle power plants, and one steam plant. While technicians handled the hands-on tasks, his responsibility was heavy as engineers such as Yi Hui were the “last port of call”, expected to provide solutions for any problems the technicians found. Also, he felt that he benefitted from the interaction with experienced staff and that they were very willing to share.
Similarly, Yi Feng was given many opportunities to grow and develop during his time with GE Aviation. In his role as a Manufacturing Engineer, overlooking the repairing processes of engine components, he worked with many different people – from technicians requesting fixes to engineering experts sharing ideas. As a SgIS scholar, his exposure to many different products and outlooks culminated in his team winning the prestigious Workplace Safety & Health (WSH) Innovation Award 2019 for their “Auto Twist Machine”.
“If you are a SgIS scholar, companies typically give you more opportunities. But at the end of the day, your performance matters the most,” both brothers collectively assert.
Keeping in Touch
SgIS has a cohesive Alumni Network where alumni members (SgIS scholars who have graduated from university) can remain engaged through networking events to promote interactions among the SgIS alumni community. These include the Scholars’ Development and Engagement Programme initiatives, as well as exclusive industry events, forums or workshops.
Yi Feng feels energised by these events as he is able to meet other scholars to share experiences, and it also broadens his horizons as he learns about work outside his industry. Yi Hui also values these events, and was deeply inspired when Vincent Chong, President & CEO of ST Engineering, spoke to the scholars at one of the SgIS Leaders’ Forums and described how he rose from his beginnings as an engineer and eventually took on the role of CEO.
A Scholarship For All
“Go for it!” says Yi Feng. “There’s nothing bad about this scholarship.”
He has reasons for his enthusiasm. For those unsure about what they wish to pursue, the SgIS provides a variety of options in many different fields. In choosing what to specialise in, Yi Hui simply went down the list, striking off the subjects he felt no affinity for and then approaching the companies that offered career opportunities he was interested in.
Alternatively, for the undergraduate who has a goal all planned out, the SgIS provides not only sponsorship for university education, but also exciting opportunities for a broad-based development through the SgIS Scholars’ Development and Engagement Programme. Yi Feng, naturally inclined towards engineering as a career, found that the scholarship guided him every step of the way – from what modules to take in university to gaining him recognition at his workplace.
“This scholarship is a good stepping stone both if you’re unsure as to what you want, and if you know what you want,” the brothers agree, as they exemplify its goals and advantages.