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PA – Choosing A Career That Will Help Others

pa_valenciaValencia Wong is a people person who is passionate about serving the community.

Why did you choose the scholarship?
As one who is interested in ­serving the community and caring for ­others, I found myself naturally drawn to ­scholarship providers whose work and mission resonate strongly with mine. Thus as I ­narrowed down my options, it was the People’s ­Association Youth Leaders Scholarship that caught my attention. Not only is it attractive in terms of the opportunities and benefits, it also promises a meaningful career in the areas I am most passionate about.

What do you think makes the ­scholarship different from the other scholarships?
The first thing that struck me about PA is that it is from the community, by the ­community and for the community. I was enticed by the opportunity to learn and to be effective in dealing with people from all walks of life. I believe the ­exposure to group dynamics, especially at the ­grassroots ­level, would be valuable to me in the long term. Only when we can understand the ­people, then we can be effective in ­serving them well. The personal development ­programmes that PA offer for its ­scholars are very promising. There are leadership programmes, overseas study trips, job ­rotations and the mentorship by senior executives. I appreciate the comprehensive exposure and guidance for my career development. With the ­scholarship, I can ­concentrate ­fully on my studies and not ­having to worry about my school fees.

Why do you think you were selected for this scholarship?

I’m certain I have a genuine love for people and the community. I believe this honest passion has shone through at the interview. The questions asked by the panellists were issues that I thought of often and enjoyed talking about. Hence I could handle the interview with courage and confidence.

How will your university ­experience contribute to your future work?
I am living in a residential ­college (College of Alice and Peter Tan) which is centred on community and social development. After staying here for six months, I came to understand what it means to be living in a ­community where people from different backgrounds come together and learn alongside one another. I witnessed how people rallied together to pursue what they loved, took initiatives for the community such as decorating the lifts with inspirational quotes and jokes, and sacrificed their time, ­effort and money just to find better ways to bond the ­community. The ­bonding we had was ­really an ­eye-opening ­experience. The relationships that were forged and the learning points along the way had impacted me. I have learnt through one of my Business modules about what it means to be a ­leader. Initially I see a leader as one who manages the team, now I understand what it means to serve as a ­leader. The school also provided many ­valuable experiences for me to serve the people around me and to help them grow and maximise their potential. I believe these social skills will prepare me for my career at the PA. This semester I have also learned to prioritise and to be more careful and ­meticulous in my planning.

What do you hope to achieve working with PA?
I see my work as really meaningful as we could make a difference in the lives of others. A quote from Confucius is always on my mind: ‘If you find a work that you love, then you never have to work a day in your life.’ I strongly believe that working in this field would enable me to fulfil the passion of lifting the lives of others. PA helps me achieve this by providing platforms for me to better understand the community around me, and thus being able to empathise with the needs and situations of the people. One such platform includes the Clementi Youth Executive Committee that I am now involved in.

What qualities are essential to have to attain a scholarship?
Whilst having leadership abilities and good ­academic results would help to secure the scholarship, I feel that what would really differentiate you from other applicants is how passionate you are about the work and mission of the organisation.

PA Youth Leaders Scholarship
Age: 20
Now: First Year doing BBA ­(Accountancy), NUS
From: Anglo-Chinese JC