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Seeing The World Through Aviation

CAAS OVERSEAS UNDERGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP ALUM MELANIE TEO WENT ABROAD WITH HER PROGRAMME AND ENRICHED HER PROFESSIONAL LIFE

Why did you choose the scholarship?

I chose to take up the CAAS Overseas Undergraduate Scholarship because I was extremely intrigued by the aviation sector and felt that I could learn a lot from working in the field. I believed the industry had much to offer in terms of both technical knowledge and transferable career/life skills. Also, the fast-paced and multi-faceted nature of CAAS’ work was exciting to me and I felt it would be a good environment for me to kick-start my career.

Melanie1


Would you advise others to take up a CAAS scholarship?

The CAAS scholarship allowed me to fulfil my childhood interest in building a career in aviation. It provided me with a platform and strong support to be trained academically coupled with hands-on exposure from attachments and internships. It definitely boosted my confidence when I subsequently assumed my first full-time role at CAAS. I find it especially fulfilling to be given the opportunity to contribute to the betterment of Singapore. If you are looking for a career that is dynamic, challenging and fast-paced, CAAS would be a place to consider joining.

What made you decide to choose your course in your university?

Despite being a science student during my days in Junior College, my diverse curriculum allowed me to gain access to many books and articles on governance and policymaking. Through this, I developed a strong academic interest in these topics and decided to pursue a career that involves policymaking. I therefore pursued my degree in Political Science.

Have your views/expectations changed once you stepped out into the working world?

The aviation industry has exceeded my expectations. The work is even more interesting than I thought. CAAS has allowed me to gain a diverse range of experiences including opportunities to go behind the scenes, observe 'live' airport operations, explore the latest technological capabilities for airside processes, and plan large-scale showcases and networking events for our industry.

How are you enjoying your time at the company?

It has been good! I have learned a lot from my colleagues, supervisors, and industry partners about the aviation industry and how it ticks. Yet, I know this is only the tip of the iceberg and there is so much more that the sector can teach me. I have also met new people throughout the course of my work whom I am glad to call my friends today.

What are the most challenging responsibilities you have and how do you cope with them?

I think the most challenging responsibility is working with different industry partners and maintaining a balance between different stakeholders’ varied interests to ensure that collective benefits are achieved for the whole industry.

How have you been able to use what you learned in school for your job?

My studies have enabled me to think critically and respond rapidly to most situations here. I am also able to articulate my thoughts with greater logic and clarity as we were often given opportunities to be involved actively in healthy debates.

These skills are particularly useful during work discussions as they equipped me with the willingness and confidence to stand up and express CAAS’ position, so as to better achieve our intended objectives. It has also been useful in problem solving, considering the fast-pace and dynamic nature of the aviation sector.

What kinds of career and personal development opportunities does the organization provide its scholars?

CAAS provides its scholars with opportunities to learn about every aspect of the organisation’s operations.

Internal job rotations are available every 2 years for us to gain exposure and understand CAAS’ role in the different areas of work. There are also opportunities to be seconded to other aviation or transport-related organisations to allow us to gain extensive job experiences and a broader perspective. There are always opportunities to participate in or lead events and projects. We can even go beyond the shore of Singapore to learn and exchange experience and best practices with international counterparts.

Did you always intend to have a study abroad experience and what was it like?

Yes. I always intended to study abroad due to the nature of the academic discipline I wanted to pursue for my undergraduate studies, i.e. Political Science . I wanted to be able to learn from the experts in renowned institutions. Studying abroad was a great experience. I found it very eye-opening. It exposed me to different educational systems, cultures, people, and I managed to have many enriching life experiences in the process.

Featured in Scholarship Guide 2020


Name:Melanie Teo

Name of Scholarship:CAAS Overseas Undergraduate Scholarship

Designation:Manager (Aviation Development - Apron and Cargo)

Qualification:Master of Arts (Political Science), Columbia University, USA

Looking for a scholarship that’s all about aviation? Introducing the CAAS Scholarship.

Gain a higher education, maximise your talent and take the lead in driving Singapore’s status as a leading global aviation hub.

As a CAAS scholar, you’ll be groomed for key roles in shaping the future of civil aviation and contribute to one of the world’s fastest-growing air hubs. In the process, you’ll get to pursue overseas studies, and gain international and multicultural exposure!

Here’s what our scholars have to say about their experience in CAAS:

Testimonials

 jillian-(crop) “CAAS, with its wide range of functions, offers many opportunities for exposure and experiences in the international and domestic sphere. My current role deals with strategic issues in aviation which is both enriching and challenging. I'm looking forward to job rotations to other roles to learn and contribute to areas such as operations.” 

– Jillian Chan, Manager (COVID-19 Airport Transformation Office)

Master of Engineering (Industrial Engineering & Operations Research), University of California, Berkeley

 gary-(crop) “My work is multi-dimensional and ever changing. I took up a scholarship with CAAS because we have a world leading aviation sector that offers exciting and vibrant career prospects. While I have worked at CAAS for only 1.5 years, I’ve been entrusted with the responsibility to manage major projects. This is encouraging as it reflects the confidence and trust that CAAS places on me, allowing me to develop my career with greater opportunities. 

I was also appointed as the Liaison Officer for the President of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council during his visit to Singapore for the World Civil Aviation Chief Executives Forum in April 2019. This gave me an opportunity to engage with and learn from a top leader.”


- Gary Chew, Manager (Southeast Asia and Pacific), Market Policy and Development

Master of Arts (International & Development Economics), Yale University

 shi-rui-(crop) “I’ve only been working at CAAS for a few months, but my colleagues and leaders have been extremely motivating and inspiring. They’ve helped me ease into work progressively. More importantly, CAAS has been very supportive of my studies. By developing my keen interest in policy formulation and aviation, I’ve been able to put my passion to good use and contribute to Singapore. The cherry on the cake? Definitely having the opportunity to pursue my studies overseas with strong support from my employer!”  

- Wong Shi Rui, Deputy Manager (Airspace Policy)

Master of Arts (East Asian Studies), Stanford University

 simranpal-(crop) “As part of the team involved in the planning and design of Changi Airport’s new mega passenger terminal, Terminal 5 (T5), I’m involved in the analysis and evaluation of the latest T5 designs. And because the T5 project is so extensive and moving at such a rapid pace, we never know what curveball may be thrown our way next. What makes it all worthwhile is when Changi remains the air hub of choice and continues to emerge as the best airport in the world.”

- Simranpal Kaur, Deputy Manager (Airport Development and Planning)

Master of Science (Management), London Business School, UK  
 marc-(crop)  “I was looking for a scholarship that could offer me plenty of opportunities for learning and development in a wide variety of fields. The CAAS Scholarship not only gave me the opportunity to experience a diverse range of roles, it also enabled me to pursue courses on various topics such as public policy, data analytics and management skills. The lessons and experience I have gained through taking on these varied job functions have been invaluable in my professional development.”
 
– Marc See, Head (Aviation Development - Airline and Terminal Operations)

Master of Engineering (Aeronautical Engineering), Imperial College, London





Last Updated on 26 October 2020