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PA – One For The People


It is not just a company that Celine Ong works for, but the community at large.

Why did you choose to join the PA? What attracted you to the ­organisation?
I chose to join the People’s ­Association as it involves working with people and volunteers to engage the community. I was a student leader during my school days and I also volunteered with the PA Youth Executive Committee. Because of my involvement in the community, I had a good ­understanding of what PA does and thought it would be a good match to pursue a ­career in PA. As PA is a big organisation, I feel that there are ­ample ­opportunities for me to ­experience ­different scopes of work for greater ­exposure. This attracted me to join PA as I looked forward to the ­opportunity to be exposed to the ­different scopes of work as well as serving the ­community.

Describe your job scope and what you do on a daily basis.
I lead a team of officers to engage youth volunteers  in the Central Singapore District to organise community events and activities. I designed training programmes for our volunteers and organised forums and dialogues with youths. I also work with project teams to organise key events such as the PA Youth Movement Awards and Central Youth ­Committee Installation Ceremony as well as the PA President’s Challenge.

On a daily basis, I coach and guide my team in handling ­upcoming programmes and events, as well as communicating with colleagues and various stakeholders through emails or face-to-face through meetings and discussions.

What were your first impressions when you started working? How do you find the working culture in your department?
The first thing that struck me was that PA is a very vibrant and ­fast-paced organisation. There are many stakeholders involved in our work and we have to build good relationships with them so that we can ­collaborate to ­create meaningful ­programmes for the youths.

My colleagues are all youths and we always work in teams to carry out our projects, creating a ­nurturing and vibrant working environment. We provide very strong support for each other, knowing that we can depend on each other whenever a ­challenge arises.

How have you been able to use what you learned from your degree for your work?
I was awarded the part-time degree scholarship from PA in 2010 and pursued a degree in Human Resource ­Management.  The programme expanded my ­knowledge in all areas of human resource ­management and enabled me to reflect upon issues and develop better solutions to meet the ­organisation’s goals. It also enhanced my leadership capabilities and allowed me to see things from a bigger perspective. I ­believe these skills will be helpful to both my ­personal and career development.

What gives you the most job ­satisfaction?
When a youth volunteer ­acknowledges that the programmes we develop have an impact on him or her, it gives me ­satisfaction and assurance that what we are doing in PA and the Youth Division is meaningful. And it gives me much joy to see our youths contributing to their local community.

What are your interests? How do you balance it with working life?
I enjoy travelling and will often take short breaks in between my busy work schedule to relax and spend time with my family. I had also gone on trips with fellow colleagues and this has helped in bonding and integrating work-life.

What kind of career and personal ­developmental opportunities does PA provide its scholars?
The PA Youth Leaders Scholarship doesn’t just choose and train young ­talents to do a good job for the company. The scholarship is about developing one for the community at large. One must love to help others to be in this programme.

During school vacations, the ­scholar will intern with PA where we will ­engage them meaningfully through various ­programmes and opportunities. There will be further leadership development when they graduate and start working with us.

During their internship, the ­scholars will have the opportunity to attend ­overseas expeditions. They will be ­exposed to community development works. With PA‘s huge network and diversified ­programmes, scholars can choose an area that they are passionate about, such as in youth ­development, active ageing, sports, arts and culture, and community ­leadership. PA will help them build and develop their domain knowledge and ­expertise in ­community work. They will play an ­important role in shaping the ­local community through strategic planning, designing and ­implementing ­community programmes for the people.  The PA ­scholars will ­develop their experience in dealing with all kinds of ­people, from working with people at grassroots level to convincing policy and decision-makers. Senior officers will ­mentor the scholars, guiding them as they participate in or lead strategic projects.

PA Scholarship
Age: 31
Attained: Bachelor in Human Resource
Management from SIM University
Now: Head (Youth Movement)
From: Temasek Polytechnic