S ingapore’s prime location in the heart of Asia makes her an ideal destination for businesses to flourish. In the last decade, our country has enjoyed consistent economic growth and a dynamic financial industry.
In fact, Singapore has maintained her position as the second-most competitive economy for five years, according to the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Report. For Liao Longchuan, this certainly motivated her to pursue a career in the economic sector. She remarks, “Singapore has achieved remarkable progress towards becoming an international financial centre. I wanted to have a hand in safeguarding Singapore’s robust economy.”
With a bit of research, Longchuan learnt more about MAS and its crucial role in shaping our economic and financial landscape. She was immediately drawn to the variety of functions and opportunities that the organisation offers.
“MAS is unique because of its integrated functions in central banking, financial supervision, and financial sector development. With such diverse roles, I knew that I could find my niche within the organisation and contribute to Singapore’s economic development,” shares Longchuan.
Following that, Longchuan decided to take up the MAS Undergraduate and Postgraduate Scholarships as a gateway to pursue her aspirations and join the dynamic organisation.
Supporting Your Development
MAS believes in enriching and developing its people at every stage of their journey. Longchuan experienced this first-hand while she was pursuing her economics degree at New York University. Despite being miles away from home, MAS officers made the effort to stay in touch and offer her support, such as through linking her up with the MAS New York Office.
MAS Undergraduate and Postgraduate Scholarship recipient
In her second year, Longchuan also had the opportunity to do an internship with MAS’ Economic Policy Group (EPG). The internship gave her good exposure to both quantitative and qualitative economic research. She conducted two research projects – one on the US Manufacturing sector and another on Trade Theories – and presented her findings to the management team within EPG.
“Internships are a good platform for you to try your hand at different roles and learn more about the inner workings of the organisation. This certainly helps you to find an ideal job fit upon graduation,” says Longchuan.
To promote continuous learning, MAS also conducts a range of in-house training courses through the MAS Academy. This includes the MAS Diploma in Central Banking, which is offered to entry-level officers. Besides introducing young officers to the key functions of MAS, the Diploma programme also aims to develop their knowledge and skills. Senior officers may take on more advanced programmes that emphasise functional training, coaching, and leadership.
MAS officers may also undergo overseas postings, attachments at financial institutions, and secondments to government agencies and supra-national organisations like the International Monetary Fund.
Growing with the MAS Family
As an Associate in the Financial Centre Development Department (FDD) at MAS, Longchuan oversees a portfolio of UK banks. She actively engages external stakeholders, such as CEOs and business heads of financial institutions, to help anchor and develop their businesses in Singapore. She also monitors and evaluates global trends and regulatory developments that may impact Singapore’s financial sector and its competitiveness.
In addition, together with other departments in the development arm of MAS, the FDD hosts dialogue sessions and events with agencies such as the Economic Development Board. The Department also organises high-level meetings for the International Advisory Panel to discuss key strategies for Singapore’s financial sector.
Longchuan admits that the initial learning curve was steep. Apart from familiarising herself with the organisation’s processes, she also had to gain in-depth knowledge on the UK banks under her purview.
Fortunately, the supportive culture at MAS has helped Longchuan acclimatise to her job scope quickly and comfortably. “My teammates are always willing to teach me and answer any of my queries. The collegial environment at MAS is truly refreshing! Some of my colleagues, who were previously from the private sector, have commented on how they really appreciate the unique culture at MAS,” enthuses Longchuan.
Balancing Work and Play
While MAS values high performance at work, the organisation also encourages all employees to bond and have fun. Longchuan fondly recalls her first day of work – which interestingly was not at the MAS office.
“I went to a team-building camp at Bintan with other entry-level officers! We participated in both indoor and outdoor activities, which allowed us to learn more about ourselves and each other,” shares Longchuan.
As a member of the MAS Recreational Club (MASRC), Longchuan is also actively involved in organising team-building activities for her fellow officers. These activities include the MAS Sports Carnival, annual Dinner & Dance, talks, and community service programmes.
A Purposeful Path
With a multitude of opportunities to learn and grow, Longchuan’s time with MAS has been nothing short of rewarding. The amiable young lady looks forward to welcoming more passionate, young talents to join the team.
“I did not study economics in Junior College, so do not be daunted even if you have minimal economics or finance background! Knowledge can always be acquired along the way – what matters is having an analytical mind and a willingness to learn. With that said, you should definitely have a keen desire to serve the public and contribute to shaping Singapore’s economy,” concludes Longchuan with a smile.