JobsCentral Survey: University scholarships preferred over government and private scholarships

By Juliet Soh

Scholarships issued by local universities, National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), are voted as most popular among recent ‘A’ Level and International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma graduates, according to an annual survey by BrightSparks, Singapore’s largest scholarship and higher education media.

From March to April this year, a total of 2,738 respondents took the 2012 BrightSparks Scholarship & Career Survey, which targets potential scholarship recipients. 1,533 of them are ‘A’ Level and IB diploma graduates, 650 are final year polytechnic students, and the remaining 555 are undergraduates in their first and second year of study at NUS, NTU and Singapore Management University (SMU).

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A Noble Undertaking

Stanley Fong in blue surrounded by his young charges

The Public Service isn’t merely a job but an undertaking that promises you an enriching and fulfilling career. We speak to one PSC scholarship recipient who shared how a career in the Public Service has shaped and moulded him into the dynamic and grounded individual he is today.

By Farhan Shah

His desk is cluttered with stacks of folders, his computer screen is filled with scribbled post-it notes, and his calendar is filled with endless appointments. Despite his obviously busy schedule, 33-year-old Stanley Fong warmly welcomes me into his office and invites me to take a seat. “I just came back from a meeting,” the General Manager of the Southeast Community Development Council says apologetically.

However, beneath his unassuming and humble nature lies a heart that wants to contribute to Singapore and her citizens.

The Overseas Merit Scholarship (OMS) recipient is quick to admit that he’s quite the accidental public servant. “I sort of stumbled into it when I was 18,” he says, laughing heartily before continuing, “I was just looking to enter university and initially wanted to be an engineer.”

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In Service of the People

After studying and working in the US, Japan and China to broaden his horizons, PSC scholar Eugene Lim returns with a vast spectrum of knowledge and experience to serve the public.

By Nabilah Husna A. Rahman

The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) has been a cause for celebration for many Singaporeans, seeing how this inaugural event is set to be held locally in August this year. Together with the champions, the men and women in the Singapore YOG Organising Committee (SYOGOC) are the people who work hard to make this first-of-its-kind Olympic event a success.

At the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS), heavy involvement in the YOG is inevitable. Since the organisation plays the role of building a cohesive society in Singapore, the YOG serves as an ideal opportunity to encourage and promote this through sports.

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PSC: An Opportunity to Serve

Two PSC scholars share how a career in the public sector is all about serving Singapore and fellow Singaporeans.

By Tan Yan Shuo

A Public Service Commission scholarship is not for the faint-hearted. It comes with high expectations and many challenges. Scholars Mark Tan and Thomas Wong can attest to the many times they’ve felt like a rookie in the ring with a seasoned opponent, learning how to roll with the punches. They are, however, acutely aware that the fight is not for their own glory, but for the well-being and progress of the nation.

To them, nothing is more important than contributing to the country and seeing tangible results.

Their journey began when the scholarship took them away from the comforts of home to two renowned overseas universities. Mark studied Economics at Cambridge University, while Thomas read Electrical Engineering at France’s Grenoble Institute of Technology.

“When I first set foot in the country, I did not know a word of French,” Thomas recounts. “I was alone in an alien country surrounded by people with whom I could not communicate. It was a daunting experience.” Nonetheless, he laboured to master the language, and eventually got over his culture shock.

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