The Men Behind the Win

The Singapore Sports Council grooms future movers and shakers in the national sporting arena.

By Ashley Choo

The enthusiastic camera flashes, the appreciative crowd roars and on the podium, the winning sportsman pumps his fist in the air. The glory, the pride was his and his alone. But is it?

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget a win in the sporting arena is more than just a one-man show. Although determination and passion still count for sporting individuals, increasingly, winning has become a combination of factors and people equipped with much sophisticated knowledge and capabilities.

Joel Pang and Eesha Shah understand just that. Having been exposed to competitive sports in their early teens - Joel in Sailing and Eesha in Tennis - both realise the important roles such influences like sports psychology and sports industry development play on a team’s performance. So when the opportunity arose, it was easy for them to decide on the scholarship offered by the Singapore Sports Council (SSC).

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A Blooming Career in the Garden City

A scholar from NParks shares his journey from studying in Australia to working as a Parks Manager today.

Contributed by Ryan Lee, NParks Scholar

Upon finding out that I was majoring in leisure studies at university, my friends all produced the same startled reaction. “Leisure studies? Why do you need to learn about having fun?”

I soon got used to such expressions of surprise and disbelief. After all, to the uninitiated, leisure studies may come across as an unusual field of study. In reality, the management of recreation is a diverse field that requires an extensive depth of specialised knowledge. The NParks scholarship offered me the unique chance to explore this intriguing academic domain, where leisure and recreation is researched, analysed and debated in a structured and systematic manner.

During my childhood, I was fortunate to spend six years living in one of the last surviving kampongs in Singapore. My family home was surrounded by greenery and my father planted fruit trees providing a steady supply of tropical fruits. Naturally, I developed a love for nature and the outdoors, as well as a keen interest in exploring the rich flora and fauna in Singapore. I was thus eager to apply for a scholarship with NParks, with the aim of pursuing a career in this area.

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A Passion for Communications

Championing the government’s mission to enhance public communications and engage Singaporeans are two ladies who thrive on the pulse of information.

By Tang Pin-Ji

From the tender age of 12, Lim Weilin has aspired to work in the dynamic world of media. Although her aspirations shifted from journalism to media relations, her determination and thirst for uncovering the truth never wavered.

Curious to find out firsthand how the government handles the media, Weilin wrote to the Deputy Director of Media Relations from the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts (MICA) to secure a student internship with the organisation.

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More than Just an Education

Beyond just a privileged education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) scholarship is also committed to your holistic development. The belief in providing scholars with a supportive environment and a wealth of opportunities are cornerstones of MFA’s scholarship programmes.

By Cheryl Tay

A scholarship with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) leads to a career as Foreign Service Officers. This may seem prestigious and glamorous to most, with opportunities to travel and meet important people, representing Singapore at the global arena. While the work of safeguarding and advancing Singapore’s interest is challenging, the learning curve is steep and the work demanding. However, our scholars will never find themselves on their own; MFA grooms its scholars with a comprehensive slew of development programmes that will help them be ready for future challenges. Support and encouragement are also never far away.

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Housing The Future

In land-scarce Singapore, accommodating the ever-increasing population within the boundaries of our geographical constraints is a daunting task. But HDB scholar Gwee Cai Lin is up to the challenge.

By Eugene Lim

From the 32nd storey of HDB Hub in Toa Payoh, one has a stunning view of Singapore's landscape, adorned with harmonious clusters of HDB flats reaching toward the skies. Within a brief span of two generations, the Republic, from her humble background of squatters and slums, has developed into a vibrant metropolis with a large majority of her citizens owning their homes. The Housing & Development Board (HDB) is a key organisation behind this exceptional transformation.

A new addition to the HDB team which tackles the challenge of meeting the housing needs and aspirations of Singapore's steadily expanding population, is Gwee Cai Lin. Fuelled by a passion for environmental issues, Cai Lin opted to study Environmental Engineering in NUS, a relatively new course at that time.

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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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Powered Up For The Future

Ambitious, earnest and raring to contribute to Singapore’s development? Look no further than the Energy Market Authority – the organisation that makes power its business.

By Casandra Wong

If you ask Tan Teck Hao to complete a difficult task, you can expect to see excellent results. As this motivated and dedicated high-achiever puts it, “When given the responsibility to do something, I’ll do it well.”

With a ‘never-say-die’ attitude inculcated in him, Teck Hao beat seven other shortlisted candidates during the final interview, to clinch the Firefly Undergraduate Scholarship with the Energy Market Authority (EMA), a Statutory Board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Teck Hao is currently in his first year of scholarship course, studying Bachelor of Science (Economics and Statistics) with the University College London (University of London), United Kingdom. He will graduate in the year 2012.

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Making a Difference

Who says you can’t make a difference while doing something you like? Here are two who found ways to turn their passion for helping others into a fulfilling career through MCYS and NCSS.

By Roland Tan

It may not seem like much, but it was a book called “One Child” by Torey Hayden that sparked off 21-year-old Annie Cheong’s interest in social work. That book tells the story of a teacher who gave hope to emotionally traumatised children through her perseverance and dedication.

Having read that book in her secondary school days, Annie has been active in social services, starting off as a volunteer before deciding to be part of the professionals in the social service sector. She took her commitment to help the less fortunate one step further after her GCE ‘A’ levels at National Junior College by applying for the VWOs - Charities Capability Fund (VCF) Social Service Scholarship offered by National Council of Social Service (NCSS). “I’ve always wanted to do social work. It was easy to decide as there are very few scholarships that offered such an opportunity,” quips the VCF Scholar, who is currently in her third year of studies at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

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British Council: A Bridge to a UK Education

For one polytechnic student, the British Council helped make her dream of studying in the UK come true.

By Nabilah Husna A. Rahman

Growing up, Tee Ting Hui harboured a fascination with the UK, especially after seeing photographs of her cousins taken while they were there. Thus began her dream of studying in the UK, home to one of the world’s richest historical backgrounds and a plethora of cultures.

Known as an international cultural relations body for Britain, one of the British Council’s aims is to help bring students all over the globe together in an effort to strengthen cultural ties. For Ting Hui, the British Council assisted in making her dream a reality.

“British Council gave me the most useful advice, especially on module exemptions and culture in different parts of the UK. British Council has information on a wide range of universities, from which it is easier to choose the university that meets my criteria, academically and financially,” she recalls.

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A Rewarding Road

One LTA scholar shares his zeal for contributing to the improvement of Singapore's transport system.

By Lim Yan Wen

As a child, Ho Chin Ning had always been fascinated with the notion of transport. “I always wondered who determines the duration for the green man to appear and change, and now I know it's my colleagues at the Land Transport Authority (LTA),” says the 26-year-old.

Chin Ning's deep curiosity for all things related to transport turned out to be a major driving force behind his career choice. After being selected for the LTA scholarship, the Raffles Junior College alumnus proceeded to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Cornell University, followed by a Master of Science in Transportation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the space of four years.

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