What drew me to the DSTA Scholarship was the chance to be a defence engineer working at the forefront of technological change. I got my introduction to the scholarship when I attended the DSTA Scholarship Open House as a junior college student. It was really an eye-opening experience to learn about the impressive work and achievements of DSTA and its partners in the Defence Technology Community* – from the delivery of high-tech weapons to the development of high-fidelity simulation systems and tools.
While I knew about some of these systems beforehand, what struck me was the ingenious engineering and meticulous work behind them. This sparked my interest in defence engineering and led me to consider joining the defence community. Being able to serve and protect my country through a job in DSTA was an attractive prospect, especially since I did not serve National Service.
I chose the DSTA Scholarship for its strong focus on engineering too, where I know that I will get to apply the engineering skills and knowledge from my university studies. What stood out for me was that the career opportunities under the DSTA Scholarship are all engineering related, unlike many other scholarships that usually offer job scopes which are not directly related to one’s course of study. These options ranged from the management of complex engineering projects to research and development in defence areas. The availability of choice allows DSTA scholars to explore various types of work they are interested in and this would be useful as one’s interests may potentially change over time, or even in the midst of one’s studies.
Another key factor that drew me to the scholarship was DSTA’s reputation of being a technology leader, where there is a strong emphasis on innovation, knowledge sharing and professional development. It assures me there are ample opportunities to gain exposure and learn from the best in the business.
After my second year of university studies at Imperial College London, I returned to Singapore for an internship at DSTA’s Command and Control, Communications, Computer and Intelligence (C4I) Development Programme Centre. Over the course of 10 weeks, I learned about cutting-edge modelling and simulation technologies and their military applications. The experience also provided me insights into the innovative projects undertaken in DSTA. I saw how technical knowledge was used to manage complex engineering projects. My mentor and teammates gave me plenty of guidance during this period. Not only were they knowledgeable and experienced, they were also very patient and warm, which helped me adapt quickly at the start of the internship. My mentor also recommended me to attend relevant talks and conferences which have enriched my learning journey immensely.
Besides equipping me with a strong foundation in engineering, the DSTA Scholarship has also given me the opportunity to experience a variety of cultures and gain a wider perspective on world issues. I have made new friends and interacted with people of many regions, interests and backgrounds. During my studies in England, I witnessed many exciting events and shared in the nation’s enthusiasm – for instance during the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games and the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. I have also travelled to several countries for exchange programmes and during university breaks, immersing in different cultures, getting a taste of different cuisines, and learning about life beyond the classroom. All these experiences are priceless and memorable to me.
In my scholarship journey, I have also got to know many fellow DSTA scholars and colleagues. In my interactions with them, what left a deep impression was their shared passion for science and technology. If you are an aspiring scholar, I encourage you to delve deep and understand your interests and talents. If you have a deep and genuine interest in engineering, you will find enjoyment and fulfilment as a DSTA scholar.NG YUN YI
Now: Pursuing BSc (Electrical and Electronic Engineering), Imperial College London, UK
From: Raffles Institution