Izumi Tan works closely with leading conglomerates to identify opportunities for growth and innovation in his role as a Senior Associate in the Conglomerates Division. He is a recipient of the EDB Scholarship and he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from New York University as well as a Master of Science in Strategic Marketing from Imperial College London.
Evident from the proceedings following the outbreak of the pandemic, employment has been a pivotal issue for many people in Singapore. For that, Izumi Tan feels gratified to be able to work with his team in bringing in quality investments that can create good job opportunities for Singapore in his role as a Senior Associate in the Conglomerates division at Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).
Indeed, job creation is one of the missions of EDB and to do that, the organisation works diligently to attract promising businesses and investments. This is accomplished through well-thought-out strategies that enhance Singapore's position as a centre for business, innovation, and talent.
On the ground, EDB officers like Izumi engage companies, helping them broaden their expertise and further entrench their economic presence in Singapore. In Izumi's case, he has large conglomerates under his management and he has to understand the nuances of a diversity of businesses.
The 27-year-old shared with us his journey with EDB so far and how he feels about contributing to Singapore's economic success.
What made you apply for the EDB Scholarship?
I was inspired by EDB's work in creating opportunities to work with global companies to develop niche and sustainable industries despite Singapore's resource constraints that required creative minds to work together.
While studying abroad, I also grew to appreciate EDB's important role in preserving Singapore's economic interests in a business environment that was becoming increasingly complex with geopolitical tensions and disruptive technologies. I knew I wanted to be a part of EDB's efforts in helping to improve Singaporeans' livelihoods and enlarge our little red dot on the global business platform.
Share with us your experience at the Associate Programme upon joining EDB. How was it able to help you start your career at EDB?
What I appreciated about the Associate Programme was the rotational stints across EDB's core functions in account management, investment facilitation, strategy and planning. I would liken it to a Liberal Arts programme that provided a protected timeframe to gain exposure to various industries, build personal networks within the organisation and learn how to learn well. These were important aspects that required time to develop, and also later helped me shape my career aspirations and pathway within EDB as a young officer.
Towards the end of the Associate Programme, we were able to submit our preferred choices of divisions to rotate into. I was fortunate to end up in the Conglomerates division as my top choice.
What is a typical day like for you?
Together with my account management teams, I partner with clients to help address business concerns and shape business plans that would benefit both the company and Singapore's economy. Through building up knowledge of various industries and the operating structure of each conglomerate, we learn to serve our clients' requests better.
We also help companies uncover opportunities for innovation across various sectors in Singapore. For instance, we hosted companies on visit programmes to explore collaborations with research institutes and start-ups on leading technologies such as additive manufacturing and i4.0 solutions. Throughout our engagements, we strive to provide a seamless client experience for our clients by frequently aligning conversations with our overseas-based International Operations officers who often engage our clients' headquarters.
How do you think your role is contributing to EDB's mission?
I remember a few occasions where my friends would share with me a career opportunity that either they or their parents were considering, that was a result of EDB's collaboration with companies. Those became personal reminders of how livelihoods of real lives can be improved and transformed as part of EDB's work, and form a key motivating factor for me.
What career opportunities are there for scholars at your organisation?
I actually appreciate how EDB does not have a special career advancement track for scholars to allow for a more open, transparent and accessible approach for all to various career opportunities. Such opportunities include an overseas stint at one of EDB's International Operations offices, EDB's in-house business analytics team or even helping to shape new business areas for Singapore like Agri-tech and Space Technology.
The opportunities for scholars are more in the form of the early exposure and networking opportunities presented from the time we sign the scholarship agreement. Scholars are also required to do a compulsory internship with EDB during our undergraduate days, which allows us to broaden our exposure/network and build up the skillsets needed to do well at EDB.
Finally, why should aspiring scholars join EDB?
Join us if you would like to work with some of the most brilliant, innovative and entrepreneurial minds at the global business stage and within government in shaping new businesses and creating new ideas.