T ogether with industry partners, the Singapore Maritime Foundation initiated the MaritimeONE (Outreach NEtwork) Scholarship Programme to ensure that the maritime industry constantly has a pool of talent that could propel the sector forward. In partnership with various maritime associations and companies, the scholarship programme aims to enhance the image of the maritime industry through the profiling of the myriad of education and career opportunities to students and young individuals.
We speak to two promising talents, Cai Xue’er and Liu Xiaoyang, who dived into the opportunity to enter the maritime industry with their sponsoring company PSA Corporation Ltd and IMC Industrial Group respectively.
A Diverse and Vibrant Industry
Fresh out of Junior College, Xue’er was unsure of what exactly she wanted to pursue in university, but she felt that it was important to gain specialised knowledge and skills that would give her an edge over others when she graduates. Whilst researching on the various degree programmes available, Xue’er got acquainted with the maritime courses and started discovering more about Singapore’s maritime sector. “The sheer scale of the maritime industry intrigued me. I was fascinated that an array of sectors – from port to shipping to maritime services to the offshore and marine sector – needed to work together in order for the industry to thrive,” she shares. “Besides, the future job prospects and opportunities were boundless.”
Xue’er is currently at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) pursuing the Maritime Studies programme. While choosing her sponsoring company, Xue’er was attracted to PSA‘s established reputation and dynamic working culture. She also wanted to be part of an organisation that could provide her with invaluable skills and exposure. “PSA’s stability and reliability reassured me of my job advancement prospects and welfare in the organisation. Its employees are also well taken care of, with comprehensive packages to help employees better manage their physical health and well-being,” she explains.
PSA – MaritimeONE Scholar
Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Maritime Studies student at Nanyang Technological University
In contrast to Xue’er, Xiaoyang was always firm on his passion and aspirations. Thanks to his father who worked in a shipyard, he was exposed to the maritime sector from an early age. “I have very fond memories of my father showing me around his workplace and explaining to me the difference between the various types of ships. To me, a ship signifies a mysterious yet exciting place to be. It is the vessel that could bring us across vast oceans to new places.”
Xiaoyang opted for IMC Industrial Group as his sponsoring company. He shares, “IMC Industrial Group is a well-diversified company that has business operations in dry bulk, tankers, as well as the offshore industry. I wanted to expose myself to the different facets of shipping and this is something which IMC Industrial Group offers.”
A Fulfilling Journey
Xiaoyang had the opportunity to do an internship stint with his sponsoring company, IMC Industrial Group. He was attached to the Research and Asset Ownership department and was responsible for providing market research relating to IMC’s business operations. Xiaoyang reveals, “Through this experience, I have since developed the habit of keeping up with market trends and this has helped me gain a broader understanding of the maritime industry.”
Xue’er on the other hand is looking forward to her trip to Oslo, Norway this year, for a semester-long exchange programme which all students from the Maritime Studies programme at NTU will get to participate in during their third year of studies. “Being a person who likes to travel and socialise with people of different cultures, this opportunity motivated me to take up the degree programme. It would also allow me to focus on my learning and development beyond Singapore,” she shares. Xue’er is also eager to begin her upcoming internship with PSA, which she believes would prepare her well for her future maritime career with the skillsets gained.
IMC – MaritimeONE Scholar
Management Trainee, IMC Industrial Pte Ltd
Beyond The Waters
Today, Xiaoyang is working in the Asset Ownership department at IMC Industrial Group. Having to adapt quickly to the dynamic tempo of the working environment, Xiaoyang quickly learnt the importance of time management. “When I first joined the company, there were so many tasks coming from all directions. At times, I felt overwhelmed; but I learnt to break down the large projects into workable sizes, tackling them one by one.”
As for Xue’er, she plans to enter PSA as an Operations Executive upon graduation. She hopes to be able to contribute significantly to PSA by being an effective team leader and player. In the long term, Xue’er aspires to acquire a Master’s degree in Maritime Studies so that she can attain greater depth and more knowledge of the industry.
When asked for her advice to aspiring scholars, Xue’er stresses the importance of preparation and taking the first step. “Research carefully on your scholarship and sponsoring company but most importantly, do not be afraid to try out for your desired scholarship.”
“Dare to dream big, give it a shot and have no regrets,” Xiaoyang concurs.