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).