Hi, I am Corrine Chong, one of the SNCF’s scholarship recipients in 2016. A first-year student, currently pursuing a double degree in Accountancy and Business at Nanyang Technological University.

At the age of 18, unlike many of my peers, I dare not say that I am very certain about what profession I would like to pursue in the future. However, I knew that I have always wanted to help the society – to do good to others. The SNCF Scholarship caught my eye with the tagline “Scholars with a Heart”, and that’s when my journey began a year ago.

As a scholar, I have been given the multitude of learning experiences that I would otherwise not have experienced. I was given the chance to join CO-OP@NTU (campus co-operative) as a committee member, where I got exposed to the various operations and management of CO-OP@NTU’s Shop, and also promotional plans for our cafe. Prior to joining the team, I did not have an inkling of how to run a business. I had to learn everything from scratch, together with the help of my members and the various advice that SNCF gave. It requires a lot of hard work and effort, especially because CO-OP@NTU was only established around 2 years ago. I had a tinge of how it is like to be an entrepreneur.

coopntu

To complement my learning experience, I was also given the chance to participate in the Youth Entrepreneurship Symposium (YES) 2017 organised by NEbO, together with Donovan (SNCF Scholar) and Suqi (SNCF Intern). We went through a 4-day symposium, where we gained entrepreneurial insights through various talks by local and overseas entrepreneurs. We were even fortunate enough to be mentored by some of them, who gave suggestions to improve our business pitch. With the help from our mentors, and also with my teammates’ contribution, our business pitch was shortlisted for the final round of pitching. While clinching top 6 was a sweet reward, I believe the experience and knowledge that I have gained are things that I truly benefited out of this symposium.

yes-2017

Suqi (SNCF Intern), me and Donovan (SNCF Scholar 2016) representing SNCF in YES 2017.

However, that’s not all. As a scholar, we are also given internship opportunities during our course of study. For my year 1 summer break, I am working as an intern in SNCF. Through my internship, I was exposed to the credit sector which is one out of the four sectors that co-operative in Singapore has. One of the highlights of my internship was to attend meetings that were held for the Credit Research Study, where I got to hear about issues that credit co-operatives are facing, and various solutions that were suggested by the consultants from the US. While some industry or banking related terms may not be as familiar to me now, the meetings have been eye-opening and I had gained a lot of insights – things that I would not have known just from studying in University.

Also, I helped out in various SNCF Campus outreach events, such as scholarship fairs where I had the opportunity to give talks and presentations to potential young talents. One of the more memorable ones was a presentation given to students from Eunoia Junior College. I had the freedom to do up my own slides and share with them my entire journey.

ejc-scholarship-talk-2017

Esther (SNCF Staff), me and EJC’s representative after the Scholarship Talk

Now that I have mentioned various learning experiences I have gotten out thus far, fret not, there are also fun experiences that I had! For instance, we have scholars gathering held every one or two months, where we get to interact with scholars from other universities and from various courses. Below is a scholar gathering at NTUC Income where Altas and Eugene (first two guys from the left) shared about their working experience at NTUC Income after their graduation and Dolly (third from the left) SNCF CEO joined us in the gathering.

ntuc-income-sharing

I also had the opportunity to get to know more about Singapore Government Staff Credit Co-operative. Fun fact for you that our first co-operative to be registered in Singapore is actually Singapore Government Staff Credit Co-operative. Founded on 7th October 1925 under the Co-Operative Societies Act, the Society is open for membership to all staff who are employed in the Civil Service, Statutory Boards and Government Linked Companies.

sgs-staffboard

In June 2017, I even had the opportunity to host the scholars gathering in CO-OP@NTU, whereby I introduced CO-OP@NTU to some of the scholars and brought them to our shop and café too.

Introducing Coop@NTU to Charmaine, Janice and Yu Xuan (First three from the left) who are SNCF Scholar 2017.

Introducing Coop@NTU to Charmaine, Janice and Yu Xuan (First three from the left) who are SNCF Scholar 2017.

We even went to explore NTUC FoodFare’s factory at Senoko, where we got to see how food was being packaged. What was tough was the need to resist the temptations of the bun’s aroma — to NOT take a bun off the shelve!

Check out our mask we-fie!

Check out our mask we-fie!

All in all, my scholarship journey has been fruitful and exciting thus far. I truly treasure the learning experiences that I managed to get, and I am looking forward to more of these in the near future!

This sum up on how to be a SNCF Scholar:

  1. You know you have the heart to serve the community,
  2. You know you can lighten the financial burden of your family
  3. You know you have internship opportunity without sourcing for yourself
  4. You know you can network with your potential employers

What are you waiting for? Apply for SNCF Scholarship now!