Pursuing A Future In Tech With Smart Nation Scholarship - Passion to Defend Our Cyberspace

Scholar Ryan Kwok Shares His Scholarship Journey And Aspirations For A Smart Nation.

The Smart Nation Scholarship develops and nurtures technology talents and leaders within public service. Offered by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), Government Technology Agency (GovTech), and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), the scholarship gives recipients the opportunity to carve out their own career pathway in applied technology for the public good. Three Scholars Share Their Scholarship Journey And Aspirations For A Smart Nation.

In 2019, the Smart Nation Scholarship was awarded to 14 recipients. Hear from three of them about their personal experiences, aspirations and their advice for peers who are interested to pursue a career in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for the public good.

An avid sailor, Ryan joined the Singapore national team at 11, where he competed internationally and represented Singapore in many overseas competitions. When he is not out on the water, you can find Ryan indoors, engaged with his other love – coding.

Ryan's passion spurred him to learn new coding languages such as Python and JavaScript through online courses, and was even able to marry his two passions by developing his own mobile application to better manage his sailing race management hobby. Ryan enjoys solving tough challenges through logical thinking, and found an avenue to apply his skills in the field of cybersecurity, where hacking techniques are constantly changing, and attention to detail is needed to identify loopholes in the system. He has attended a Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking course which helped him to learn about white hat hacking and how security plays a role in different up-and-coming technological systems.

"Singapore is already an attractive target for cyber-attacks, and I want to do my part in defending the information we hold in our nation."

What was your first experience in the field of tech? Were there any memorable moments you would like to share?
To be honest, my first exposure to computing / cybersecurity was from watching Mr. Robot. The show had made hacking look really cool, and spurred me to explore more into coding. I had first learnt Ruby through a coding course conducted by Singapore Management University, which made me realise how much I had enjoyed the logic involved in coding.

My most memorable moment was a mobile app making course that I had attended, where I created an app to help me with my hobby, sailing race management.  Being able to identify a practical problem, design a tech solution, and use coding logic to solve it, was the thing that made me realise that tech is the field I wanted to be in.

What attracted you to apply to the Smart Nation Scholarship?
One thing that appealed to me was the hacking scenes from the Smart Nation Scholarship video advertisement. I realised that this scholarship would give me an opportunity to further explore my interest in cybersecurity with the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore. I believe that the scholarship will give me a good platform to find my path in this career while also enabling me to contribute to something that is bigger than any start-ups or companies. Being able to make a difference in the society we live in while Singapore transits into a digital environment will help me further appreciate and enjoy the work that I would do.

In your opinion, what is your key strength that helped you land the scholarship?
Passion. I am driven by a thirst to learn and a passion to keep improving myself. I signed up for more courses to expand my knowledge and understanding of cybersecurity.

What do you hope to achieve in your career in the public service in contributing to Singapore's progress towards a Smart Nation?
I wish to be able to contribute to Singapore’s cyber defence the best I can. With the changing technological landscape in Singapore, the next biggest defence system has to be focused on the digital world. Singapore is already an attractive target for cyber-attacks, and I want to do my part in defending the information we hold in our nation.

Any advice for your peers who are looking to apply for the scholarship?
Don't ever feel like you’re not good enough. You don't have to be the next Einstein. Just possessing the knowledge will also not carry you far in your career. Instead, be proud of your passion and wear it on your sleeves. People will see and admire the fire in your heart and hunger to learn. Just be yourself, and that's really all that matters.similar.


SMART NATION Scholarship
Ryan Kwok
Age: 20
Aattained: A Levels
Now: Bachelor of Computing in Information Security (Enrolling in 2020), National University of Singapore
From: Raffles Junior College

Ryan will be joining Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) upon completion of his studies.

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