Early Careers

Disrupting Disruptive Technology – Genesis Toh and Jeffrey Ong

Published 25 Apr 2019 by Brightsparks

Two Singtel scholars connect us to their world of opportunities and aspirations with Asia’s leading communications technology group.

What sparked your interest in applying for a scholarship with Singtel?

Jeffrey: I got really interested in computing during the first year of my double degree in Business and Computing at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). I wanted to explore roles where I could bring these business and technology skills together and Singtel was a natural choice for me. I had read all about how it had been innovating and investing in new digital businesses in the last few years.

Another thing that appealed to me was that as a Singtel scholar, I could gain direct access to its two-year Specialist Management Associate Programme (SMAP) which develops young talents to become technology leaders across a wide variety of technical fields.

Genesis: I have always been intrigued by how communications technology and innovation have transformed lives and industries. Singtel’s Mid-term Scholarship caught my eye because the prospect of working with one of the largest innovative global telecommunications company in the region was really attractive. I also liked the fact that Singtel is strongly committed to social causes and sustainability practices and is one of the world’s top 100 sustainable corporations.

Share with us the opportunities you have received with this scholarship.

Jeffrey: I am grateful for Singtel in supporting me for NTU’s Global Immersion Programme, where I spent two months at Columbia University in New York City and learnt valuable life skills both inside and outside of the classroom. The scholarship also gave me an opportunity to work with Singtel’s regional associates when I was offered a position at its Consumer Singapore business under the SHINE Internship. The best experience I had during my internship was improving the outcome of an advertising campaign by three-fold.

Genesis: I agree with Jeffrey. Singtel’s SHINE Internship Programme is one of the best opportunities that I’ve been given. Through my internship with Singtel Innov8, I’ve learned a lot about how buy-side investments and CVCs (Corporate Venture Capital) work. I interacted with many industry experts and budding entrepreneurs which has broadened my perspective and understanding of technological trends, such as loT and drones. I look forward to joining Singtel’s Management Associate Programme (MAP) after my graduation. I believe it will give me a good head start in my career through job rotations in different business areas, international assignments and special projects.

What makes you excited to join the communications technology sector, and why?

Jeffrey: Communications technology serves as the backbone for connecting information and people. This dynamic environment appeals to me. The learning curve may be steep but I believe that the skills I learn will benefit me tremendously.

Genesis: I’m excited by how communications technology can empower people. With Singtel at the forefront of innovation, it is certainly well positioned to capitalise on emerging trends and gain a competitive advantage over other market players.

How do you aspire to contribute to Singtel after graduation?

Jeffrey: I developed a keen interest in data analytics and cyber security during my studies at NTU. I’m excited to join the cyber security team. I am confident that I can cope with the rigours of the job and contribute to raising the team’s level of productivity.

Genesis: I aspire to learn the essential skills and knowledge to champion innovation and help Singtel reinforce its position as a communications technology innovation thought leader in the region with a strong financial and strategic foundation. I also aspire to help grow Singtel’s sustainability practices and drive social innovation by volunteering my time and skills in programmes such as the Singtel Future Makers.

What advice would you like to share with those exploring their scholarship options?

Jeffrey: I think it’s very important that they have interest in what they do, because if they have passion, they will probably be motivated to put in more time and effort. Therefore, my advice would be to apply for scholarships with organisations that offer them careers that are aligned with their interest.

Genesis: I would urge them to understand themselves – their own skills, strengths, weaknesses, passions and values. It is also important to understand the company through research and consider if they would be a good fit, and how they can contribute to the company. Last but not least, be humble and always keep an open mind throughout the application process, as there is much to learn and experience.

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