Charlene Tan

Light the Creative Spark

Two individuals in the Creative Industries show you what life can become when you unleash your creativity and live your dreams.

By Charlene Tan

Seated in the 6000-seater Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal Studios Hollywood for the wrap-up party of DreamWorks Animation’s 2010 3D computer-animated fantasy film, ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, 39-year-old Wong Hock Hian felt a rush of satisfaction.

“After a good decade in the film industry, never have I felt my work more vindicated when I saw the film. It has wonderful story telling and great visuals. It is truly one of those projects that I am proud to be a part of,” says Hock Hian.

Breaking boundaries

The 39-year-old has come a long way from his student days in the Art Elective Programme (AEP) where his latent interest in the creative industries was nurtured.

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Breaking Boundaries with JTC


Time and again, JTC Corporation transforms land spaces into innovative industrial solutions for work and play. Find out what it takes to be part of Team JTC, Singapore’s industrial infrastructure innovator.

By Charlene Tan

Today, modern industrial estates in Singapore are nothing like the dull and grey rows of factories pictured in textbooks.

Many sport lush gardens and parks, state-of-the-art manufacturing plants and a full range of amenities, such as food courts, retail outlets and recreational facilities.

Behind these sleek developments is an extensive framework of innovations and hard work put in by JTC Corporation (JTC) and its team of dedicated officers.

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Globetrotting the World Brings Endless Possibilities

From the sunny climes of Singapore to the plains of China and India, STB scholars are leveraging on these vibrant economies and leaving footprints that will boost Singapore’s as a travel destination of choice.

By Charlene Tan

When 21-year-old Gina Ng mapped out her plans for tertiary education, she was sure of one thing – she wanted to study overseas and a scholarship was the only way.

Thus began the search for a scholarship suited to her interests.

The right fit

“The scholarship with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) stood out because I could relate to the characteristics of working in the fast-paced tourism industry; challenging, fun and the opportunity to be a team player in marketing Singapore as a tourism destination to the world,” recalls the Raffles Institution alumnus.

Since its inception in 1964, the, STB has been instrumental in shaping Singapore as an ideal place to live, work and play, making it a truly global city.

The organisation is also constantly developing and promoting our vibrant little red dot as a compelling destination of choice to the world.

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The A To Z on Scholarships

Accepting a scholarship is a life-changing milestone, and the ability to make an informed decision is essential. Here, we provide a holistic overview of all you should know, condensed into 26 bite-sized nuggets of information.

By Charlene Tan

Application process
The contents of your application should be honest and accurate. Check your application multiple times to avoid having grammaticalor typographical errors. If necessary, ask someone to help with the proofreading. The scholarship application process is straightforward. You can apply directly through the organisation’s website, BrightSparks, or any other channel specified by the organisation.

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The A to Z on Scholarships

Accepting a scholarship is a life-changing milestone, and the ability to make an informed decision is essential. Here, we provide a holistic overview of all you should know, condensed into 26 bite-sized nuggets of information...

By Charlene Tan

Application process
The contents of your application should be honest and accurate. Check your application multiple times to avoid having grammatical or typographical errors. If necessary, ask someone to help with the proofreading. The scholarship application process is straightforward. You can apply directly through the organisation’s website, BrightSparks, or any other channel specified by the organisation.

Bond
Regardless of its duration, the bond is a significant factor to consider. Be sure that you can commit to the organisation for as long as the bond requires, as breaking it will cost far more than funding your education independently.

Crème de la crème
Although most organisations look beyond academic grades, being one of the top students among your cohort is a basic prerequisite for getting shortlisted for the first round of interviews. Ultimately, scholarships are awarded to outstanding individuals who also possess superb communication skills and leadership qualities, amongst other things.

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Livin’ It Up!

You might be brimming with excitement at the prospect of higher education, and rightly so. A whole new world awaits as you enter the next phase of life as a university undergraduate!

By Charlene Tan

Apart from piling you with readings, assignments and tests, university is also the place where many life-long friendships will be forged. With the receipt of your ‘A’ level results, life as a junior college student is officially over. And whether your grades were up to par or not, it is time to move on and realise your potential in the next vibrant phase of your life. Here’s what’s in store for you...

Freedom
You will enjoy way more freedom as a university undergraduate. You get to pick modules that interest you (apart from compulsory core modules), and if you plan your timetable well enough, you may even get to enjoy a four-day week!

If you decide to study overseas or live on-campus, you will also experience independence away from home. Your campus becomes your home away from home, and your peers will be akin to family. And you can finally express yourself through your dressing as you bid goodbye to school ties and dull uniforms.

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SSC: A Winner is Born

Sport a healthy lifestyle and join SSC in shaping the culture of sports in Singapore.

By Charlene Tan

“The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) scholarship is testament of a new era for sport in Singapore. It is a mark that says sports is turning professional and Singapore wants to groom talent into sporting specialists. To be the first to start the ball rolling for something great which is going to happen is very exciting,” says 23-year-old Ruth Ng.

Ruth is Singapore’s top female fencer and the first recipient of the SSC scholarship. In July 2009, she will officially join SSC as part of the High Performance Group within the Sports Science Department.

“I will focus on promoting sporting development towards excellent results, and help to improve infrastructure and the (sporting) system. Sports science is based heavily on research and concepts. It is the core of where you get sporting success,” she explains.

Raising sports champions
Formed in 1973, SSC is Singapore’s lead agency tasked with developing sports in Singapore. The statutory board has come a long way in transforming the way Singaporeans view and participate in sports.

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Forging Friendships at SMU

Student life at SMU is about building bonds and embracing a different university experience.

By Charlene Tan

As a junior college student, Alicia Yang was certain she wanted to be acquainted with complex financial theories and bookkeeping skills. Under her family’s guidance, she was exposed to basic accounting from a young age, which sparked her interest in the accounting profession. Nevertheless, she did face one dilemma after receiving her ‘A’ level results – which university to go to.

However, one phone call from the Singapore Management University (SMU) took care of that.

A phone call away
While Alicia was holidaying during the university selection process, she suddenly received a call from the university. “SMU called me down for a scholarship interview which I hadn’t even applied for!” she remarks.

The gracious offer of a scholarship was too good a deal to turn down, and Alicia was delighted at the opportunity. “SMU still offered to make arrangements to accommodate me, even though it meant more work for them,” she recalls, touched by the school’s gesture to wait for her to return from overseas.

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NEA-PUB: Living Amidst the Green, Blue and Brown

A career with NEA and PUB will open your eyes to the hard work that goes on behind the scenes towards sustaining this Garden City’s environment and resources.

By Charlene Tan

“One thing I’ve learnt is that Singaporeans take things for granted and have become victims of our own success. We neglect the effort which has been put in by our forerunners,” says Desmond Tan, on what he has discovered through his nine years in the National Environment Agency (NEA).

“Nearly Everything Agency”
Established in 2002, NEA is a statutory board under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR), and looks into improving and sustaining the environment in Singapore. The environmental issues faced are wide-ranging, encompassing pollution control, waste management, radiation protection, public hygiene, meteorological services, and even management of the nation’s hawker centres and columbaria. Not surprisingly, some staff have affectionately dubbed NEA as the “Nearly Everything Agency”.

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MOE: Investing in the Future

A well-respected teacher and MOE scholar tells us how and why he shapes the lives of young minds.

By Charlene Tan

It was a drowsy morning, and Gary Neo, a Biology teacher, was observing his class as they attended a lecture delivered by one of his colleagues.

From his seat at the back of the lecture theatre, Gary noticed that the students seemed particularly fidgety that day. A group of girls were whispering excitedly among themselves while some boys exchanged subdued glances. He noticed there were several empty seats, and wondered where these students had gone.

Suddenly, the door burst open as the “missing” students brought in a cake topped with glowing candles and the entire class jovially burst into a birthday chorus to their overwhelmed teacher.

“I was extremely delighted. I did not expect them to do it because I am usually rather strict with them,” he muses, as he relates the story above.

Inspired to inspire
“I wanted to be a teacher ever since I was in primary school, as I have had very good teachers who inspired me,” says the Nanyang Junior College (NYJC) alumnus and Local Merit Scholar. He cites the example of his Mandarin teacher, Ms Goh Mui Lien, to whom he is especially grateful for having patiently coached him in the language through engaging song lyrics and popular Chinese movies.

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