Economic Development Board
Feature | EDB

Driving Growth for Singapore’s Economy

Singapore Economic Development Board Scholar Kate Tan is motivated to create new possibilities to enhance Singapore’s position as a global centre for business, innovation and talent.
Economic Development Board

Kate Tan is a Senior Associate in EDB's Strategic Planning Division. Her division takes a long-range, big picture perspective in assessing Singapore's competitiveness and drives strategic coherence across the organisation. She is a recipient of the EDB Scholarship and holds a Bachelor in BioChemistry & Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Science in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University.

The Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB)’s mission is to create sustainable economic growth, with vibrant business and good job opportunities for Singapore.

This mission is one that Kate Tan, an EDB Scholar and currently a Senior Associate in EDB’s Strategic Planning division, resonates with. “At the end of the day, we bring in investments from leading corporates to create economic growth for Singapore and jobs for Singaporeans, and if we ever feel like our work isn’t contributing to that, we should take a big step backwards and re-evaluate what we are doing,” Kate said.

An Early Head Start

Kate’s interest in EDB sparked after participating in EDB’s Promising Young Leader Award, where she had the rare opportunity to learn about EDB’s work and the challenges it had to tackle. “I remember being drawn to the fact that EDB’s work lies in the intersection of the public and private sectors, and that it’s a fast-paced, exciting environment!” she enthused.

As an EDB Scholar, Kate was sponsored to pursue her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley and master’s at Stanford University. The Board also supported Kate’s summer school programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), which gave her the opportunity to gain exposure to a different continent and one of the best schools in Economics.

Kate also had the opportunity to gain real-world exposure through an internship. “I spent a summer interning with EDB’s Healthcare division which allowed me to get an even better understanding of what day-to-day work in EDB was like, and it helped prepare me for my career in EDB,” Kate shared.

 Kate Tan

Kate Tan

Meaningful Work

Kate is now part of EDB’s Strategic Planning division which is tasked to take a long-range, big picture perspective in assessing Singapore’s competitiveness and EDB’s operating model in view of changes in the domestic and global environment.

She works alongside her teammates to develop an independent view of the key economic problems and issues that EDB needs to address and look internally and externally to develop ideas and solutions to these problems.

“In the uncertain global economic environment that we live in today, it feels like there is a new crisis for the world to respond to every month, and we have to frequently adapt our strategies to respond to these new challenges and opportunities. This is one of the ways in which my team drives strategic coherence for EDB and Singapore’s economy,” she elaborated.

Kate has found her role meaningful as she has seen how EDB’s work impacts Singapore and Singaporeans.

“Helping to organise EDB’s International Advisory Council (IAC) meeting for the past two years has been very meaningful to me. IAC convenes annually to help Singapore navigate the complexities of the global economy. Although the process of planning for this event is very time-consuming, the payoff of hearing the advice from business leaders of leading international companies have for Singapore makes it all worth it!”.

“Everyone is united by their public service mission – the goal of creating sustainable economic growth and good job opportunities for Singapore.” Kate Tan

Learning Opportunities and A Collaborative Environment

For Kate, EDB provides a unique opportunity to understand both the considerations and nuances of public policy, as well as the operations and challenges companies face.

“Because of this, starting your career at EDB is a great way to pivot to different parts of the public and private sectors with highly relevant and transferable skillsets in account management, industry development and strategy formulation,” Kate explained.

Kate found the friendly and collaborative workplace helpful when ramping up in her new role as a fresh graduate.

“Because everyone is working towards the same goals, people are always ready to offer their time to help you. Informal coffee chats are a huge part of the EDB culture, and no one has ever said no to spending 30 minutes to an hour of their time to talk to me and give me some advice, even if they’ve never met me before and are far busier than me,” she beamed.