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IDA – Infocomm Industry: A Playground Of Innovation And Creativity

IDA-denise

National Infocomm Scholarship (NIS) recipient Denise Teo likens the infocomm industry to a wide open space, one that demands ideas to fill that space and creative problem-solving skills to make ideas work.

Denise belongs to a minority – females in the infocomm industry. But she never thought that gender was an issue. ‘Whether you’re a man or a woman, success boils down to two main drivers – passion and attitude,’ she said.

Early Exposure
Denise’s decision to major in ­Information Systems – a hybrid course of business and information technology (IT) – was due to her strong interest in both areas since her JC days.  She dabbled in interface web design as a hobby when blogs were ­getting popular. Denise’s involvement with her family’s business also played a part in her decision to pursue her education in the field of infocomm.

‘I was helping to create a ­database system for the business to keep track of the stocks coming in and out of the warehouse when I ­realised the importance of IT. ­Infocomm surrounds us. We live, work and interact with it every day.’ She added, ‘There is so much growth potential in IT, it just ­never stops. Understanding technology is ­definitely a good skillset to have.’

Opportunities Here And Abroad
When Denise took up the Flagship Infocomm Masters Scholarship, she spent her first two years in SMU and two more years in Carnegie Mellon University, one of the best infocomm schools in the USA. She feels privileged to have such an experience, explaining that while the Singaporean and American approach to education are very different, her experience in both universities were equally rewarding.

‘The education system in Singapore is more theoretical but it provides a solid foundation. In the US, there’s a lot more class participation focusing on analysis and problem-solving. Studying abroad has ­really broadened my horizons,’ said Denise.

IS applicants have a choice of three types of scholarships: Flagship Infocomm Masters Scholarship which leads to both bachelor’s and master’s degrees , Full ­Overseas Scholarship, and Local S­cholarship.

Denise commented,  ‘NIS has ­provided me with many opportunities and much guidance at every step. During my ­university days, I was assigned a mentor from Barclays who continually gave me valuable advice and shared with me his work experiences. There were also many seminars that focused on soft skills which NIS supported enthusiastically.’

Opportunities At Prestigious Organisations
The NIS was also attractive to Denise as she could choose to serve her bond in close to 30 different organisations from both the public and private sectors. She eventually selected Barclays Singapore where she interned at and is currently working there as a graduate analyst. Denise is part of a dynamic team that is involved with the development of one of the core systems integral to the organisation.  Her most memorable experience was undergoing training in Barclays London for five weeks. The session with other ­graduates from around the world was a great ­networking opportunity for her.

However, her exposure was not just limited to Barclays. Denise was an ­intern programmer at Tyler Projects, a local ­gaming design company that created the popular game, Battle Stations. She said, ‘I was involved in the development of the first version of Farm Fantasy, and was ­working on both the user interface development as well as backend game ­mechanics. It was really fun working in such a dynamic company.’

A World Of Possibilities
Denise is excited about the future of infocomm and the vast prospects that it offers. Her technical know-how and soft skills gleaned from NIS have equipped her well. She said, ‘I believe the field of infocomm is empowering because it keeps evolving. It is a big creative space that can be anyone’s game as long as you have an open mind. By combining good ideas with technology, the possibilities of what you can do with infocomm are limitless.’

DENISE TEO
Flagship Infocomm Masters Scholarship
Age: 23
Attained: BSc (Information Systems Management) from SMU
MSc (Information Technology) from Carnegie Mellon
University, USA
Now: Graduate Analyst, Barclays Singapore
From: Victoria Junior College