2019 award recipients with Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information.
The Smart Nation Scholarship develops and nurtures technology talents and leaders within public service. Offered by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), Government Technology Agency (GovTech), and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the scholarship gives recipients the opportunity to carve out their own career pathway in applied technology for the public good. It also aims to identify and develop promising young talents to boost Singapore’s ICT capabilities. Scholarship recipients will pursue undergraduate studies at reputable local and overseas universities in various disciplines, from computer science, information security, business analytics to law. This reflects the diverse range of expertise required as well as the array of exciting job roles that is available in the ICT field.
Each recipient will begin their career in one of the three agencies. There, they will be groomed for various ICT leadership roles in the public sector, work on meaningful projects with the potential to improve people’s lives, and have a direct hand in shaping Singapore’s journey towards a Smart Nation.
At the Smart Nation Scholarship award ceremony in September last year, 14 recipients were awarded the scholarship. The event was graced by Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information. With a nearly three-fold increase in applications compared to 2018, these recipients faced stiff competition. They managed to perform well in aptitude tests, management interviews, and agency-specific assessments, eventually emerging tops from among 614 applicants.
Award recipient, Goh Jia Yi, who will join GovTech after her studies, felt that her passion for technology as well as confidence was a contributing factor to her clinching the scholarship. “Being able to convey my strong interest in technology and express my thoughts clearly allowed the interviewers to know me better, and assess that I possessed the qualities that they were looking out for”, she said.
While the recipients come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, they share a common drive stemming from a deep interest in the field of ICT. They were motivated to pursue technical knowledge and skills such as programming, data visualisation and cybersecurity, and refined their craft through self-developed ICT projects or participation through competitions.
Award recipient, Lee Penn Han, who will join IMDA after his studies, gained early exposure to technology-based learning in school. This exposure piqued his interest in the technical functions behind computer systems, which led him to enrol in a Data Science course after his National Service. “I was amazed by the potential of a computer’s automation capabilities from just several lines of code. Through these experiences, I grew increasingly interested in this field”, he said.
CSA’s scholar Ryan Kwok, enjoys solving tough challenges through logical thinking, and found an avenue to apply his skills in the field of cybersecurity. He hopes to contribute to Singapore’s cyber defence the best that he can. “Singapore is an attractive target for cyber-attacks, and I want to do my part in defending the information we hold in our nation”, said Ryan.
Application for the Smart Nation Scholarship will close in April 2020.