Singapore Maritime Foundation
Feature | SMF

Sailing towards the future with the MaritimeONE scholarship

The MaritimeONE scholarship programme represents the collective support of the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) and the industry in nurturing the next generation of talent.

left: Yin Jinghong, SMOU-MaritimeONE Scholar, has a Diploma in Marine Engineering from the Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA) at the Singapore Polytechnic. She applies her knowledge daily as a 4th Engineer in BP, where she maintains vital MARPOL equipment and keeps watch over the engine room.

Right: Chia Wei Tao, Darren, streamlines processes and manages vessels’ supplies as a Management Associate with Pacific International Lines (PIL). He is a PIL-MaritimeONE Scholar and holds a Bachelor of Science in Maritime Studies from Nanyang Technological University.

While most scholarships are sponsored by a single entity, the MaritimeONE scholarship differentiates itself as a scholarship sponsored by some of the industry’s leading organisations.

This reflects the maritime industry’s overall commitment to investing in talent. Administered by the SMF, the scholarship aims to equip MaritimeONE scholars with a fuller experience to complement their education through industry networking events, overseas exchange programmes and internships.

To date, the programme has awarded over 380 outstanding students with more than $10 million worth in scholarships. We spoke to two MaritimeONE scholars - Chia Wei Tao, Darren and Yin Jinghong, to learn more about how the scholarship has shaped their maritime journeys.

Taking The Plunge

Darren was quick to assert the importance of Singapore’s maritime industry, and hence its merits as a place to make a name for himself. “My time in the navy as a Naval Diver helped me appreciate and understand the importance of our surrounding waters,” he told us.

“The maritime industry is a key pillar of Singapore’s economic growth, and our dependence on this significant industry as a nation piqued my interest in the field.”

In contrast, Jinghong’s interest was born from a childhood fascination that turned into a lasting commitment. “When I was young, my parents brought me onto a cruise ship. I was deeply amazed by how a huge ship could sail so smoothly through the waters. The experience sparked my interest in ship engines and I developed a strong passion for this field over time,” she recalled.

Setting Sail

Applying for the MaritimeONE scholarship was thus an easy decision. The maritime industry stood out as it presented a wide range of exciting career paths.

“The MaritimeONE scholarship gives students slightly more flexibility in serving out their bonds, as compared to other scholarships,” Jinghong shared. “For example, some sponsor companies allow their scholars the option of serving their bonds with other maritime companies.

As there are so many different companies in this dynamic industry, they have plenty of options to explore.”

Darren was quick to highlight another benefit of the scholarship - the extensive opportunities for scholars to interact with industry professionals at networking events, conferences and seminars.

“At school, we can only learn about fundamental theories, but I felt that if I wanted to make the best out of my learning, applying for the MaritimeONE scholarship would be the way to do so,” he said.

“As a MaritimeONE scholar, I had the opportunity to be invited to industry events organised by SMF. During such events, I got to interact with many maritime professionals across all sectors of the industry. The knowledge and insights gained from speaking with these individuals cannot be learnt in the classroom. Furthermore, I could contribute to society work through voluntary work.”


Lights, Camera, Action!

Darren has starred in three television commercials, but refused to tell us more.
Maybe you have seen him?

Work in the Water

Darren and Jinghong, like many other MaritimeONE scholars, are pursuing their passion in their respective fields.

Darren is a Management Associate at Pacific International Lines (PIL), where his main responsibility is to streamline work processes to achieve greater efficiency amongst employees. He rotates between departments every six months. Currently, he is working in the Procurement Department, managing stores and supplies for the vessels he is assigned to.

“During my time with each department, I provide ideas and suggest possible solutions to the respective department managers to better streamline work processes that have been in place for long periods of time,” he outlined. His moment to shine came when he assisted in the successful setup of an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), which removed the need to input data manually into an external vendor operating system. By removing the human element, the margin for error and time spent on the task were greatly reduced.

Rotating between departments requires him to work with different people, and he credits his university experience with having taught him essential teamwork skills.

“Through group projects in school, I learnt the importance of teamwork, and it is something I practise actively in my current job. Also, meeting tight submission deadlines has trained me to manage my time effectively, and helped me to remain on track at work,” he elaborated.

As for Jinghong, her work takes her out to sea. Her position as a 4th Engineer in BP has her maintaining International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) equipment, such as the oily water separator, incinerator, and firefighting equipment such as the fire extinguishers, fire hose and nozzle. Aside from MARPOL equipment, she maintains the air compressors and purifiers, and is also involved in watchkeeping duties, to ensure that the machinery in the engine room continues to work properly.

“At the Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA) in Singapore Polytechnic, I attended various workshops which taught me about the different equipment found onboard vessels, and how to dismantle and assemble them.

Even though the actual equipment I work on may differ from the models I learnt in school, the operating principle is the same, thus I am able to apply the knowledge and skills to my current job,” she told us.

The Next Dive

When asked what advice they would give to students looking to work in the industry, it’s no surprise they both zoomed in on the dynamism of the industry and its opportunities.

“Keep an open mind to what each sector of the industry can offer,” said Darren. “And look out for internship opportunities so that you can expand your knowledge beyond what you learn at school.”

Jinghong smiled as she imagines welcoming future scholars. “The dynamic maritime industry offers a myriad of career opportunities.

Be adventurous and try out something new! I am sure there will be something that suits you!”