Left: Aditya Rayakar is an Operator (Capesize Operations) as part of the fourth stage of the Oldendorff SOTP trainee programme. The BW – MaritimeONE Scholar has a Bachelor of Science in Economics, Double Major in Economics (Maritime Economics) and Operations Management from Singapore Management University.
Right: Tan Pei Lun is a PSA – MaritimeONE Scholar pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Science) at Nanyang Technological University.
Launched in April 2007 by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF), Association of Singapore Marine Industries and Singapore Shipping Association, the MaritimeONE (Outreach NEtwork) Scholarship is a key manpower outreach initiative that plugs young talent into this exciting industry.
As its name suggests, this is a scholarship for the explorers, trailblazers and adventurers out there that wish to leave their mark globally.
Aditya Rayakar and Tan Pei Lun are both MaritimeONE Scholars currently pursuing a path in maritime. While Rayakar is presently posted to the Operations Department as part of the Oldendorff SOTP trainee programme, Pei Lun is a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science undergraduate at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
BrightSparks spoke with them to uncover their motivations behind undertaking the MaritimeONE Scholarship and the opportunities that maritime promises.
Captain of your Own Ship
Aditya, have you always loved the seas? Was this scholarship the obvious choice for you?
Aditya: Yes, ships have always commanded my awe and respect. I knew I had to pursue a career where I have a hand in contributing to this amazing industry and the opportunity to work with vessels.
The MaritimeONE scholarship was an obvious choice for me as I was sincerely interested in gaining a deeper understanding and exposure into the Singapore maritime industry. The offerings by world renowned maritime companies furthered my resolve to give my all and attain this prestigious opportunity.
What attracted you to pursue a career in this sector?
The maritime industry is a melting pot of personalities, ideas, and opportunities. SMF, through its tireless efforts, initiatives and well-planned events has exposed me to like-minded individuals that share the same enthusiasm and passion for the industry. These initiatives reinvigorate me and I am reminded of why I have chosen to pursue a career in maritime.
But, there is a sort of reluctance to enter the maritime industry for some. What would you say to that?
There seems to be a misconception that the industry is strictly technical and requires one to get their hands dirty. What needs to be clearly communicated is that the industry is an ecosystem with roles for talent across all backgrounds, including engineering, finance and economics to name a few.
There is a part for everyone to play in this fascinating industry as long as one is willing to learn and work hard.
Speaking of working hard, you are in the midst of the Oldendorff SOTP trainee programme. Tell us more about your main tasks and responsibilities.
As a trainee at Oldendorff, I have the privilege to explore the roles and responsibilities of different departments on a rotational basis.
My present and longest rotation is in Capesize Operations where I am familiarising myself with the day-to-day operations of vessels. I work with cargo charterers, vessel masters and owners to optimise cargo transport and other matters.
Was there anything that stood out particularly to you?
My experience in Oldendorff has been extraordinary thus far. Having reached the halfway mark of my trainee programme in August, my rotations have exposed me to the different roles played by each department.
What would you say to convince someone to join the maritime industry?
If you would like a career that constantly challenges you to strive for better work-related results and personal growth, surrounded by people who are caring and equally passionate about their jobs, then the maritime industry is for you.
Making Waves with Tech
Pei Lun, why did you choose to start your career with PSA Corporation?
Pei Lun: During my application process, PSA Corporation was one of the few organisations which I felt drawn to right at the start, mainly because I found a lot of meaning in its work. To me, being part of an organisation critical in contributing to Singapore's trade and economy is a fulfilling and rewarding career choice.
PSA Corporation's commitment to sustainability efforts and giving back to the community further motivated me to choose a place where I would have a greater sense of ownership in my work and the community.
You are currently studying Computer Science. How are you looking to apply what you have learnt at your future organisation?
I have been building up my technical skillset both within and outside of school. Also, working on passion projects with engineers from different backgrounds has given me a different perspective into the software development process.
I hope to bring this knowledge to PSA Corporation when I start working there and value-add to the organisation's operations and business needs, especially now that we are integrating digitalisation into more areas for growth.
We understand you have interned at PSA Corporation before as well. Aside from internships, what possibilities are there for scholars working there?
PSA Corporation organises many industry events for their scholars, where we get to meet different people and expand our professional network, gaining valuable insights about the maritime sector. Such opportunities give us a head start by preparing us for the industry and showcases a wide range of possible roles. Internally, PSA Corporation has also been pushing for digital transformation, and scholars will get to be part of this exciting change.
And personally, what opportunities are you looking forward to the most when you start work?
PSA Corporation has been continually innovating and driving digital transformation to be future-ready. As PSA Corporation moves towards new technologies to enhance efficiency, I am excited to work on new systems and processes using artificial intelligence, predictive data analytics and the Internet of Things, among others.
Finally, what would you say to convince someone to join the maritime industry?
A career in the maritime industry, whether land-based or offshore, offers exciting opportunities for dynamic career experiences. For those who are keen to take up new challenges in a unique and ever-changing environment, this industry is for you!