Left: Julia See is in her final year studying a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences at NTU. She is a Full-Term SgIS Scholar and will be working at Alcon Singapore Manufacturing Pte Ltd upon graduation.
Right: Ng Kang Jin is a SgIS Mid-Term Scholar with Toppan Ecquaria Pte Ltd. He is in his final year studying a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems at SMU.
The Singapore-Industry Scholarship (SgIS) stands out from the rest. SgIS lets you lend your passion, skills and expertise to a leading organisation in Singapore's strategic sectors.
Furthermore, the SgIS is the only multi-industry scholarship in partnership with the Singapore Government, offering scholarships at different stages of their university education, locally and overseas. The scholarship was started in 2012 with 28 Sponsoring Organisations. A decade later in 2022, there are now 79 Sponsoring Organisations and more than 1,100 scholarships awarded to deserving young talents.
They include Julia See and Ng Kang Jin, who will be plying their trade at Alcon Singapore Manufacturing Pte Ltd and Toppan Ecquaria Pte Ltd upon graduation. With the support of the SgIS, Julia is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences at NTU. Similarly, Kang Jin is studying for a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems at SMU.
BrightSparks managed to catch the duo amidst their busy study schedule and got to learn about their fulfilling experience as SgIS scholars, as well as their hopes and aspirations.
Why did both of you consider the SgIS?
Julia: The scholarship provides professional and personal development throughout the Scholar's Programme. Beyond that, being a SgIS scholar puts you in a diverse network of people, facilitating interaction with scholars and leaders from different backgrounds. There are also development programmes for you to gain valuable skills and insights. Apart from the financial benefits, SgIS provides a gateway to a career with well-known organisations from Singapore's leading industries.
Kang Jin: Julia has described the benefits of SgIS quite comprehensively. For me, after being admitted to SMU, I wanted to be more self-reliant and financially independent. I also wanted a platform where I could elevate and improve myself as an aspiring programmer. Fortunately, I found SgIS, which offered everything I was looking for and I applied without hesitation.
Julia, out of all the organisations that are sponsoring the SgIS, why did you choose a biomedical and pharmaceuticals company, Alcon Singapore Manufacturing (ASM)?
Julia: It was a tough decision as all the sponsoring organisations are well-established in the industry. After researching their ethos and portfolio, and how they can match my personal development as well as career aspirations, ASM ended up as my first choice.
How about you, Kang Jin? Why did you choose to go with Toppan Ecquaria, a company that provides digital government consultancy and solutions?
Kang Jin: The company reached out to me and a conversation with one of the directors gave me an insight into the work that Toppan Ecquaria does, and it is very similar to what I had always envisioned myself doing in the future.
His belief and passion in Toppan's values, as well as his friendliness left me with a very positive impression of the company. I did not hesitate to accept the offer after I was shortlisted, thinking it would be a great pleasure to work for someone like him in such a wonderful company.
Julia, we read that you are involved in a number of projects under the SgIS Development and Engagement Programme. Tell us more.
Julia: I am the Vice-Chairman of the 8th SgIS Scholars' Network EXCO, and along with my team, we organised events such as the 2021 SgIS Orientation Camp, and the SgIS Industry Bonding event for current SgIS scholars and alumni. We also prepared exam welfare packs for our scholars and put together learning and development events such as financial literacy talks. Beyond event planning, I worked closely with SgIS team to publicise the scholarship through various campaigns.
Overall, I've gained plenty of valuable insights, leadership and advisory experience from Ministers and industry leaders from these events. They have also provided a huge opportunity for me to develop my leadership and networking skills, and the chance to work directly with the SgIS team in creating many new opportunities and events for SgIS scholars.
Kang Jin, how did SgIS support you during your studies?
Kang Jin: SgIS provides a platform for me to gain internship experiences with Toppan Ecquaria to learn things that are not covered in university. As much as it is useful to study the course materials provided by the university, it is vastly different going out into the real world and the journey thus far has truly been an eye-opener for me.
Speaking of which, what are you looking forward to the most when you eventually start work with Toppan Ecquaria?
Kang Jin: I am looking forward to working in a team under a mentor who cares about not just outcomes, but processes as well, and to improve myself as a programmer. In university, I constantly strove for self-improvement, and it's no different at work. In our ever-evolving society, it's important to remain relevant so as not to become obsolete. The most important thing, however, is that I hope to make a noticeable difference in the lives of others, no matter how small.
Similarly for Julia, how do you see yourself contributing at ASM?
Julia: As I had undergone internships under ASM, I have a much clearer understanding of the processes, specifically in the Quality Department. I'm excited to return to work in Quality Management and collaborate with other departments to meet different requirements.
Besides being extensively trained and experienced under Quality Assurance, I'm looking forward to progressing and diversifying further through the rotations at the various departments at ASM.
Kang Jin, what do you hope to achieve in your career?
Kang Jin: I want to become an outstanding software engineer that can truly make a difference. I hope to learn and absorb as much as I can, titles and promotions are not my priority, at least for now. There is still a lot to learn and I hope that I can become a programmer that my team can rely on.
Finally, what would you say to convince someone to consider the SgIS?
Julia: If you have a specific industry that you are interested in, have a willingness to network with a diverse cast of people and have the drive for continual learning and development, SgIS will provide everything needed to help you achieve your goals.
Kang Jin: Take the leap of faith and apply! Opportunities are always present, and taking up the opportunity is what makes the difference. I've never once regretted my decision and if I could make the choice again, I would choose SgIS every single time.