Two scholars from ST Engineering share with us their intrepid journey into the technical world of engineering and technology with one of the biggest giants in the industry.
By Grace Swee
Engineering has been widely recognised as one of the most popular courses for students to enrol into and for future professional careers to be carved out.
With a plethora of academic areas within the body of engineering and a chance to shape the landscape of the world, it is no wonder students are keen to undertake its study.
A dream comes true
Selene Soh was no different. She always knew she wanted to take the technical route and the ST Engineering scholarship was the answer to her prayers.
The motivation for accepting the scholarship was due to it being a “technical scholarship”.
Selene enthuses, “That’s basically why I took it, because it allows you to get down and dirty with the work!”
The scholarship also gave her the freedom to pursue her love for Mathematics and Science. Hence, she decided to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan.
After obtaining her degree, the 24-year-old chose to enter the hallowed hallways of Stanford University for her Masters in Mechanical Engineering.
The Engineer with ST Aerospace was able to attain both qualifications due to the scholarship’s flexibility, which allows scholars to choose their education routes.
Selene was also grateful to the company’s extensive support framework which helped her get better adjusted to an overseas scholar’s life.
Besides covering the full tuition fees and providing a monthly stipend for living expenses in the country’s currency, ST Engineering understands that an overseas scholar also needs emotional support.
To fulfil that, the organisation attaches every scholar to a senior engineer in the firm who guides the scholars during their initiation into the hustle and bustle of the engineering world.
On top of that, ST Engineering also provides its scholars ample opportunities to excel in the area that they specialise in when they enter working life.
Despite being one of the few females in a male-dominated environment, Selene never allowed that to hinder her progress, tackling her responsibilities with gusto.
“When we surpass expectations as a female engineer, this gives proof beyond doubt that we are equally, if not more capable of excelling in this field. Breaking the common stereotype that engineering is a job for males gives me a sense of satisfaction as well,” Selene says with a smile.
Selene also mentions that ST engineering allows its scholars to tackle hands-on projects with a lot of trust placed in them to perform and even surpass expectations.
Flexible career path
This invaluable trust placed in its scholars was also what enticed Chong Liang Ming to choose ST Engineering.
“The scholarship gives a good development package and the internship with the company helped me to understand what an engineering career entails,” the 30-year-old shares.
Another important factor that convinced Liang Ming he was making the right choice was the wide spectrum of units that ST Engineering has under its umbrella: Aerospace, Marine, Electronics and Land Systems.
“This allows me to have various opportunities for rotation within the company, enabling me to have a richer learning experience and greater career flexibility,” Liang Ming says.
Career flexibility is something the National University of Singapore alumnus really cherishes.
The 30-year-old even turned down an overseas scholarship in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering for a local scholarship majoring in Mechanical Engineering.
The Marine Systems Manager in ST Marine made the decision to stay in Singapore and study because the “broad-base” nature of the course allows him to “keep his options open”.
Of course, every scholarship is not without its conditions. Overseas scholars are required to join the company for a six-year period. For local scholars like Liang Ming, the years of service depends on the scholarship duration.
However, the career prospects at ST Engineering are extremely promising for the ambitious duo.
Scholars are able to choose two routes as they progress further up the rungs of the career ladder; the technical path for those who prefer getting into the meat of things or the managerial path for those who enjoy leading and making decisions.
For the technical path, engineers are able to work their way up to principal engineers and eventually specialists.
The managerial path allows engineers to move on to become project engineers and subsequently project managers and directors.
Working as a team
Despite being such a big company with multiple ranks in place, the employees have a lot of mutual respect among each other and communicate openly in the workplace.
“Because we are all in the same boat together, and overcoming the challenges faced in the project together, co-workers build a strong sense of trust and support within the team. In a sense, the people around us at work keep us going,” Selene explains.
For Liang Ming, although he currently holds a managerial position in the company, he understands the importance of humility at work.
He posits that by working hand-in-hand with his workers, he is able to learn from them. Also, because they are technically involved with the project, their opinions are very important.
Both scholars also agree that their internships helped in managing their expectations of life as an engineer, with its “long hours” and out-of-office comforts while on the ground.
According to Selene and Liang Ming, someone who has a keen technical interest in engineering should definitely consider taking up the ST Engineering scholarship.
Most scholars are required to work in technical fields before moving on to areas such as business development or strategic planning .
Looking beyond an education, candidates who desire to excel in this industry should also possess certain types of qualities.
Humility is important for continued learning. The willingness to work hard, the pursuit of robust technical knowledge as well as the perseverance to carry on after failures are also important qualities to possess.
With all this in mind, the ST Engineering scholarships would provide excellent opportunities for an individual, whether as an avid young learner or a career-minded adult.
Scholars can be assured of a wide variety of experiences and career opportunities made available during their journey with ST Engineering.