Ruth Wong

Set Sail For A Career Of A Lifetime

Most people can only dream of being in a job they love. But for two Navy personnel, they are enjoying the dynamism and immense possibilities of their chosen careers. Besides imbuing them with a strong sense of mission and pride, the camaraderie forged between colleagues is second to none.

By Ruth Wong

Military Expert (ME1) Samantha Phoon Wui Ling knew she did not want any ordinary career. This desire for the extraordinary led her to do her own research on a career with the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).

Her visit to the Navy Recruitment Centre turned out to be the pivotal point in her life. Then a first-year student at Temasek Polytechnic, she found herself being won over by the recruitment officers and eventually made up her mind to join the Navy.

Explaining her decision, Samantha says, “I’ve always had a patriotic streak in me. I love my country and family and I wanted to be part of the protection force.”

“But most of all, a career with the Navy allows me to see the world,” highlights the 29-year-old Naval Electronics Warfare Expert who has been with the Navy for six years.

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At The Forefront of Water Technologies

The environment and water industry has been identified as one of Singapore’s key growth areas. To strengthen the country’s research capability, a PhD scholarship offered by EWI of PUB, the national water agency, was set up to groom experts for this burgeoning sector. Meet two recipients who share how the scholarship has allowed them to pursue their research interests.

By Ruth Wong

Regarded as the most intelligent man in Egypt, the current director of the Library of Alexandria Ismail Serageldin had warned in 1995 that “if the wars of this century were fought over oil, the wars of the next century will be fought over water."

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A Vital Career Move

After working more than a year in the private sector, Yasmin felt that it was time to move on. Today, that decision proved to be one of the best moves she has made for her career. She shares why and what made her thrive in her current role.

By Ruth Wong

Yasmin D/O Abdul Latif is a Section Manager in the Finance Services with Vital.org, a department under the Ministry of Finance (MOF) that supports over 100 government agencies in key areas like HR, Learning & Development, Travel, Finance, Payroll & Claims and Vendor Management. Vital.org brings together common services within the public sector to leverage economies of scale, improve operational efficiency, and achieve cost effectiveness.

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MAP Your Career as a Leader

The MAP offers bright and capable young people a challenging career and the opportunity to contribute to national policies and shape Singapore’s future.

By Ruth Wong

As a fresh graduate, Charlene Han wanted a job that would enable her to influence policies that affect Singaporeans. She found what she was looking for by joining the Management Associates Programme (MAP).

The 26-year-old, who graduated from the Nanyang Technological University with a Bachelor of Communication, is currently an Assistant Director with the Ministry of National Development (MND). Charlene entered the MAP through an open recruitment drive, where top university graduates are assessed based on their academic results, leadership potential and passion for public service.

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Grooming Leaders for National Defence

Drawn by a dynamic environment and unlimited career opportunities within MINDEF, two scholars share how receiving the Defence Merit Scholarship helps fulfil their aspirations and fuel their passion for national defence.

By Ruth Wong

“I have always wanted to get out of my comfort zone and widen my horizon in the bigger, unknown world outside of Singapore! I believe that life’s experiences lie beyond the textbooks, and an overseas education would greatly enrich my personal development in ways that are non-replicable in a local tertiary education,” says Woo Kai Wei.

That dream has come true when Kai Wei was awarded the Defence Merit Scholarship (DMS). The 24-year-old scholar is currently pursuing his Master of Science in Modern Chinese Studies with the University of Oxford in United Kingdom.

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Soar to Greater Heights with RSAF

Two RSAF pilots share how their military careers have stretched their potential and brought out the leaders in them.

By Ruth Wong

It is not every day that one gets a “full-sized marching band, ministers and diplomats from across the country, and an RAAF F/A-18 flypast” for his graduation ceremony. Little wonder then that for Major Mark Lim, 33, graduating from the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) was one of the most memorable milestones in his life.

Unique learning experiences
In fact, it was the “opportunity to experience learning in a different environment” that motivated the former Hwa Chong Junior College student to take up the SAF Academic Scholarship (Military). That learning experience was certainly a unique one, as ADFA – run jointly by the Australian Navy, Army and Air Force in conjunction with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) – offers military and leadership training, as well as degree programmes from UNSW. Through the Academy, Mark graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering with First-Class Honours from UNSW.

Presently a fighter pilot with the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), Mark is also a Flight Commander, or Officer-in-Command (OC), of an operational unit. One of his key responsibilities is to ensure that the squadron is ready for operations at all times.

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HDB: In the Business of Building Our Heartlands

One young man’s decision to accept the HDB scholarship turned out to be the start of a progressive career that is now into its fourteenth year.

By Ruth Wong

“I applied for several scholarships during the second year of my National Service; some with the civil service, some with the private sector,” recalls Thomas Seow. The Housing & Development Board (HDB) was the first to offer him their scholarship, an offer which he readily accepted.

Scholarship gives head start
In 1995, Thomas graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Second Class (Upper) Honours degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. He joined HDB as an Engineer with the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Department. Although he was fairly new to the company, Thomas was already familiar with some of the staff as he had been posted to the same department for his industrial attachment during his undergraduate days.

“With the scholarship, you would get attachments or internships at the company. So when I started work, I already knew some of the people here and this gave me a head start – I was able to settle in faster and make better connections with the people,” he shares.

Thomas was also involved in activities beyond his normal job scope as part of his career development. These included working on projects and studies with people whom he wouldn’t have met through his daily work. This has helped widen his social circles within HDB and beyond, as some projects involved other organisations such as the Ministry of National Development (MND).

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DSTA: Growing a Glowing Career in Defence Technology

The DSTA Scholarship allows talents like Lin Hui and Wei Wei to carve out shining careers in defence technology by creating opportunities for them to grow their passion and expertise through continuous learning.

By Ruth Wong

“When you are nineteen, you might not have figured out the area of work which suits you. The DSTA Scholarship offers scholars like me the flexibility of making a choice from a wide range of job opportunities just before graduation. This flexibility has given me time to discover my area of passion and that, to me, was one of the key reasons why I chose the DSTA Scholarship,” says Koh Lin Hui, 25, a DSTA scholar, who graduated last year from the Imperial College London with a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.

The DSTA Scholarship
Reputed to be one of Singapore’s most prestigious scholarships in science and technology, the DSTA Scholarship grooms its budding engineers and scientists by putting them through a top-notch education in a wide array of disciplines at world-renowned universities.

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MHA: Mission MHA- Keeping Singapore Safe and Secure

The Ministry of Home Affairs offers diverse career opportunities and unique experiences to those with a heart for keeping Singapore safe and secure. Four members of the Home Team share about their professional journeys and their triumphs.

By Ruth Wong

Central Narcotics Bureau

Leading with fresh perspectives
Deputy Superintendent of Police Sebastian Tan, 33, is Assistant Director of the Organisation Development and Training (ODT) unit in the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), a new appointment which he took up in July this year. As a recipient of a postgraduate scholarship from the Bureau, he fully understands the importance of continual training and development.

“I was awarded a scholarship to do my postgraduate studies for a full-time MBA by the Bureau. The opportunity to improve on my management and leadership skills was the key reason for accepting the scholarship. I also view the one-year programme as an opportunity for me to recharge myself and return to the organisation with a fresh perspective,” shares Sebastian. The programme also gave him the chance to network with business and government leaders from Asia, highlights the Accountancy graduate from the Nanyang Technological University.

Sebastian joined CNB seven years ago. During the first five years of his career, he was involved in enforcement work in the Investigation Division and Supervision Division. “In these initial postings, I was exposed to the various aspects of CNB's enforcement functions. I also developed my management and leadership skills during those days,” he says. “I’m also now more street-smart and operationally-attuned, but at the same time more knowledgeable in drug policy matters.”

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APMI Kaplan - Taking the Next Step

With a centrally-located campus, an array of quality programmes and providing dedicated administrative support for its students, the Asia Pacific Management Institute (APMI) Kaplan has found the winning formula to becoming a choice education provider.

By Ruth Wong

With his clean-shaven, boyish looks, 27-year-old Travis Tay is a befitting candidate as the poster boy for lifelong learning. Having just completed his 10-month Diploma in Financial Management with APMI Kaplan in April this year, Travis is back at the Institute pursuing an accounting degree.

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