FIREfly

Nurturing the Nation’s Growth

A mechanical engineer by training shares how she thrives on developing mega-projects at JTC Corporation.

By Prasana Ramachandran

If you are someone who thrives on change, JTC Corporation (JTC) offers an invaluable working experience that will give you a sense of fulfillment that comes from shaping Singapore’s industrial landscape.

Established in 1968, JTC has developed some 6,600ha of industrial land and 4.4 million sqm of ready-built facilities. Its industrial developments include four wafer fabrication plants, an advanced display park, two business parks, a specialist chemical park on Jurong Island, biomedical parks in Tuas as well as logistics hubs for various industries.
JTC is also part of the FIREfly alliance, a human resource collaboration among statutory boards under the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). Many have benefited from this collaboration, including JTC scholar Teh Huay Hoon, who joined the corporation four years ago.

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SPRINGing into life on a SPRING-FIREfly Scholarship

Nabbing a scholarship with SPRING Singapore is not something everyone can boast about. Yvette shares more about her journey through the thick and thin of her scholarship adventure.

By Kevin Lim

Job searches are funny events. When we’re studying, most of us seemingly already know which organisation we’ll be working for, two, three or even five years down the road. The same “most of us” usually end up somewhere totally unexpected, our bolted mindsets swayed by the most innocuous of circumstances.

Yvette Chua, a strong-willed and independent 22-year-old FIREfly scholar, is no different.

Yvette admitted to not knowing much about SPRING Singapore when she first considered a FIREfly scholarship. Nonetheless, during a FIREfly scholarship talk, a representative scholar of SPRING shared earnestly about his journey in the organisation. This left her so impressed with SPRING, and intrigued with its work in the SMEs sector, that she set her sights on it as an organisation to work for.

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Daily Doses of Dynamism

A scholarship with IE Singapore brought one scholar to Germany, exposed him to overseas markets, and welcomed him into a dynamic organisation that makes overseas growth of Singapore-based companies its core business.

By Cheryl Lim

In 2001, 19-year-old Jonathan Kam made the bold decision of taking up an overseas scholarship to study Chemical Engineering in a non-English speaking country – Germany. The prospect of an overseas education was less daunting with the support he received from his sponsor organisation, IE Singapore (then known as the Singapore Trade Development Board).

“Going to a non-English speaking country like Germany, France, Japan, or China is still not the first choice for most scholars, who usually prefer the US or UK. I have always wanted to pick up another language, so when IE Singapore asked if I would consider non-English speaking countries, I chose Germany and IE Singapore sponsored my studies all the way through to a master’s degree.” says the Chemical Engineering graduate from the Technical University of Munich.

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A Cultural Experience

The FIREfly scholarship has opened many doors for Yvonne, one of which is the chance to attain her university education in Japan.

By Nabilah Husna A. Rahman

Japan is known for its vibrant tourism landscape, attracting over eight million foreign visitors annually. This is just one of the reasons why the chance to observe firsthand the high hospitality standards in this Asian country is so appealing. For Yvonne Sim, the choice to pursue her tertiary education in this distinctive location has been made possible through the FIREfly scholarship.

Amongst the six different agencies offering scholarships under the FIREfly Scholarship Programme, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) stood out as the best option for the chatty and friendly 21-year-old.

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FIREfly-SPRING: Fuelling Growth

For one FIREfly scholar, a career at SPRING has opened many doors of opportunities – from an enriching overseas education experience to a challenging and fulfilling career.

By Lui Wen Qing

Kenrick Guo’s career at SPRING Singapore has seen him take on three different roles so far, involving two departments within SPRING and a secondment to a financial services company in the private sector.

This opportunity to be rotated among different agencies, departments, and even the private sector was the main reason why Kenrick chose the FIREfly scholarship despite having received other scholarship offers. The Raffles Institution (Junior College) alumnus says, “I valued having such diverse experiences that could give me a deep variety of breadth.”

In particular, he chose SPRING amongst other agencies under the FIREfly scholarship programme because he wanted to do something related to business, and being able to work with SMEs greatly appealed to him.

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FIREfly-JTC: Expanding the Industrial Landscape

JTC scholar Harold Soong gets to play a part in creating landmark industrial projects that shape the country’s landscape.

By Cheak Hong Ian

You might marvel at the futuristic architecture of buildings like Fusionopolis at one-north, because these mega-structures are not just breathtaking – they are symbols of Singapore’s economic growth.

“When I drive past Fusionopolis, it makes me happy because I can tell myself that I helped to make it happen,” JTC scholar Harold Soong says with pride.

For this 26-year old bachelor, one of the perks of his career at JTC Corporation is the opportunity to work on massive projects just after graduation. “I saw projects being completed on a scale that will be hard for any entry-level graduate to see,” he gushes.

What clinched the deal
This handsome lad had always wanted to serve in the public sector because of his interest in nation-building. Determined to address the perennial issues of “limited land” and “constraints on our economy”, Harold signed up for the scholarship under JTC Corporation, the national provider of industrial real estate solutions and services.

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FIREfly-IESG: The World Beckons

Travelling and interacting with foreigners is inherent in the job of an IE Singapore officer. A FIREfly scholar shares how she fell in love with it.

By Tan Yan Shuo

In the Andean mountain valleys of Peru lie the ruins of an ancient civilisation. The Inca Empire, having reached the peak of its power in the fifteenth century, built an extensive network of roads to connect its far-flung provinces centred on a mountain citadel – the Machu Picchu.

While studying in the United States, Gena Goh could not forgo the opportunity to retrace history by trekking the Incan trail during one of her school holidays. Neither could she pass up the chance to go backpacking in Guatemala and Mexico, moving from one country to the other by boating across the Usumacinta River.

And yet, Gena is not just an avid globe-trotter. She is also well-versed in culture and human behaviour, having studied Psychology at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and attained a master’s in Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. All this was made possible by the FIREfly scholarship, which she was awarded by IE Singapore in 2004.

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FIREfly-EDB: A Footprint the World Over

Working at EDB demands motivation, dynamism and intelligence in a global arena. It is a career choice you will not regret.

By Tan Yan Shuo

“There has never been a day that I’ve regretted taking the EDB scholarship,” says Lim Sze Ling. Few would dare to make such a bold claim. But look into her unflinching eyes and you will realise she means every word.

Sze Ling was once a triple-science student at Raffles Institution (Junior College). After graduating in 1996, she wanted to pursue her interests in both business and healthcare technology, and thus found the jobs promised by most scholarships “either too desk-bound or too technical”.

This was until the Economic Development Board (EDB) stepped into the picture.

“Here, you can interact closely with companies that deal with leading-edge technology, but at the same time you are not a scientist,” she explains. “They call us ‘investment architects’. It’s not just a nine-to-five job where you sit at a desk, write a lot of policy papers, and try to impact the lives of Singaporeans through paperwork. Here you go out to meet clients from all around the world, every single day.”

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FIREfly(STB) - Dare to be Different

Most scholars go for a university education in Australia, America or Europe. But Cheng Chek Lim took the less-travelled route and chose to study in Beijing. We find out about his choice scholarship and how it benefited him.

By Edwin Tam

Candidate description
Cheng Chek Lim
FIREfly Scholar (STB)
Designation: Management Trainee, STB
Studied: International Relations, Peking University

“I still jaywalk, but only when there aren’t any cars,” says Cheng Chek Lim, on bringing his jaywalking ways from Beijing back to Singapore.

The 25-year-old FIREfly scholar had spent four years in Peking University pursuing a degree in international relations. He is currently a management trainee with his sponsor agency – the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

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FIREfly(JTC) - Seeing The World, Living The Dream

The FIREfly Scholarship Programme has granted outstanding talents like Hong Yi the ability to pursue her dreams while landing a job that lets her see the world in the process.

By Philip Tnee

Spain and Germany are among the many countries that Hong Yi has travelled to as a Senior Engineer in the Engineering and Infrastructure Department of JTC Corporation, one of Singapore’s leading economic agencies involved in the FIREfly scholarship programme.

Prior to working, Hong Yi graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Purdue University, West Lafayette. She then went on to complete a Master’s of Science in Transportation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

None of this would have been possible without the scholarship from JTC.

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