Charlotte Lim Jia Jie is a CAG Overseas Undergraduate Scholar who just matriculated for AY20/21 into Duke University, USA.
Changi Airport continues to stand as a fixture of our skies, even as the global aviation ecosystem is battered by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the organisation has never been one to take things lying down, and it is constantly innovating, streamlining and moving forward to embrace the world ahead.
In proof, Changi Airport Group (CAG) continues to offer their scholarships to promising individuals, looking for talent that would lead them through the upcoming upheavals. One such diamond-in-the-rough is Charlotte Lim Jia Jie, who just matriculated for AY20/21 into Duke University (US).
She sat down with BrightSparks to tell us exactly why she chose CAG, and the promise within the aviation industry.
How did you get interested in aviation?
I grew up in the East Coast and visited the airport quite often with my family. As a child, I really enjoyed running through the spacious terminals and plane-spotting at the viewing gallery, which explains why the airport holds a special place in my heart even till today.
Over time, I became more aware of the importance of the aviation industry to Singapore and how it connects Singapore to the world. I wanted to play a role in shaping how Singapore presents itself on the global stage and working in the aviation industry seemed like a natural choice.
What was the defining factor that made you apply for CAG, out of all the scholarships out there?
I am excited by the dynamic nature of CAG's work and the prospects of working in an industry that would allow me to work with individuals from all over the world. I also appreciate that I would be working in an organisation that balances public objectives with private, business-oriented ones.
Is there anything that you learnt about CAG during the application process that made you wish to work there?
I think the application process gave me greater clarity on what I value in my future career and allowed me to envision what it would be like to work at CAG. In addition, CAG generously offered me the opportunity to take a gap year shortly after I graduated from junior college in 2018 to explore and discover my academic potential.
Wow, a gap year! CAG really supports its scholars fully. What did you do during the gap year?
I had the opportunity to intern at a law firm, a statutory board and a non-profit organisation. Although these organisations are not part of the aviation industry, I enjoyed learning about how various organisations work to solve societal problems in their own unique ways. Overall, I would say that my gap year gave me the space to reflect on what I am passionate about and how I would like to spend my time at university.
Unfortunately, those plans seem to have been derailed by the pandemic. How has COVID-19 affected your pursuit of overseas studies?
As there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 situation in the US, I decided to stay in Singapore and take online lessons for the Fall 2020 semester. While keeping up with time zone differences and finding ways to connect with others has its challenges, I am thankful that CAG supported my decision to pursue my studies abroad.
What is your biggest takeaway as a student so far?
My biggest takeaway would be the importance of recognising the limitations of our own perspective and to remain open-minded to new ones. Personally, I have really enjoyed engaging with American and international students in my college classroom and observing how our different backgrounds shape our thoughts on topics like freedom and the market.
How are you looking to apply what you have learnt at CAG?
As a student majoring in Philosophy and Public Policy, I hope to apply my knowledge towards navigating unpredictability within the aviation industry. Philosophy equips me with the skills to think critically about a range of topics from ethics to information systems and I hope to provide new perspectives on those areas.
On the other hand, Public Policy equips me with the skills I need to understand how political and economic forces shape the way we interact with stakeholders all around the globe. I hope that my background in Public Policy will help CAG to forge greater valuable partnerships.
What opportunities are you looking forward to the most when you start work?
While I will be glad to work in any division within CAG, I am definitely looking forward to working on Air Hub development and working with international stakeholders such as airlines.
Most importantly, I hope to play a role in helping Changi Airport become the airport of the future and aid in its post COVID-19 recovery.
The Sharp Shooter
Charlotte was a 10m air-pistol shooter in secondary school and in junior college. The hobby taught her not only how to pick her targets, but also the value of hard work and discipline which helped in many areas of life.
Other than Air Hub development, what possibilities are there for scholars working at CAG?
CAG has various business units that present great opportunities for scholars to work in areas they are interested in and best suited for. The diversity of job scopes also makes it possible for scholars to explore how they can contribute in different roles and capacities.
What advice would you give to aspiring scholars looking to join CAG?
I think that it is important to reflect on what you can bring to the table that might be different from others and how you can connect that to CAG's organisational goals. I also think that it is important to be honest about what you know, what you do not know, and what you want to learn.