Water – The Essence Of Life

Amritha wishes to bring better technology to improve the ­water supply infrastructure.

Why did you choose the scholarship? What influenced you most to take up this scholarship?
I still vividly remember my five-week stint as an intern at Kranji NEWater Factory after my A levels. That was my first job and the experience was indeed an ­enriching one. I was inspired not only by the ­complexities of the water industry and an extensive amount of time, effort and planning invested in closing the water loop, but also the important roles that PUB engineers play in ensuring safe and reliable water supply. It was my internship that influenced me to take up the NEW Scholarship as I wanted to contribute to society as an engineer.

What do you think are your strengths that landed you the scholarship?
Looking back, I would say that the interview and selection process was fun. If you ask what makes me stand out from the rest, it would be my commitment and passion in whatever I do. I selected Engineering as my discipline as I am keen on applying new technical knowledge to improve existing systems. Similarly, I applied for this scholarship as I am passionate about the water industry and its indispensable role in our society.

How did PUB help you during your studies?
PUB offers a rewarding experience to us, scholars. I am thankful to have an efficient HR team that took care of my financial needs and has helped to smoothen my university journey. They managed my allowance for campus accommodation and overseas exchange programmes, ­ensuring I enjoyed a truly holistic university ­education. Besides having opportunities to interact with the PUB’s senior management, I attended the prominent industry event – Singapore International Water Week. ­Summing up, all these help me build a solid foundation and network within the organisation and water industry.

What was it like, moving from university life to working life?
When I first started work in May 2016, I was unsure if my four years of university education could prepare me sufficiently for my duties at work. However, when I began my role as an electrical engineer at Woodleigh Waterworks, I realised that my ­academic training was only meant to provide me with the essential tools and skills to rise to a ­professional platform where I can learn on the job and grow with my job.

At the plant, I came across many types of new equipment and mechanism. In such situations, curiosity becomes an important driver for a fresh graduate like me to learn new things. When in doubt, I do not hesitate to consult my senior colleagues and supervisors. Working in a plant ­allows me to have a chance to get involved in troubleshooting or the installation of ­equipment on site. These experiences provide me a greater understanding of how different types of equipment work.

Learning new technical knowledge is not the toughest for me. My challenge is learning to mediate with different stakeholders such as contractors, ­consultants, colleagues, ­supervisors and other departments based on ­respective needs. Interacting with these many parties can be tricky at times and ­effective ­communication skills become vital in ­helping me put my suggestions, ideas and opinions across in a concise and easy-to-understand manner.

What are your other interests? How do you balance it with working life?
Outside of work, I do Bharathanatyam (a form of traditional Indian Dance) and play the veena (a string instrument). Even though my job scope requires me to be on ­standby 24/7, I do get the necessary time-off and rest should I need to report to work after office hours. I do not find it hard to balance work, hobbies and other family activities as it is all about time management. We are also provided with sufficient days of leave, even a birthday leave.

Amritha Rajakumar
National Environment & Water Scholarship (NEW Scholarship)
www.pub.gov.sg
Age: 24
Now: Engineer, Water Supply (Plants) Department
Attained: Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical Engineering), NUS
From: Raffles Institution

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