The Centre for Future-ready Graduates at NUS has launched a Global Mentorship Programme designed to help students develop a global executive mindset. This was announced by NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye at the opening ceremony of the NUS Career Fest on 29 January.
Featuring over 30 mentors from a diverse range of sectors such as finance, technology, engineering and education, this new initiative aims to connect students who are interested in a global career to industry leaders who are either based overseas, have experience working abroad or hold a regional role. The pilot will involve 50 students who will each will be paired with an appropriate mentor, who will offer advice, share their experiences and provide guidance on career development. NUS undergraduates across all faculties are eligible to apply for the programme by 31 March.
“Companies increasing their global footprint value employees who can understand cultural sensitivities, build relationships across different markets and work effectively in a diverse international team. Many are also looking to expand into Southeast Asia, a culturally diverse region that collectively makes up the world’s fifth largest economy. It is therefore vital for our students to think global, be nimble, and seize the opportunities before them,” said Prof Tan.
Mr Michele Lai Chin’s career as a key account manager with Qvest Media, a global systems architect firm, has taken him to many countries across Asia and Europe. On why he chose to be a Global Mentor, he said, “Working professionals have the responsibility to nurture the next generation to ensure society will continue to prosper, and the NUS Global Mentorship Programme gives us the opportunity to share our experience and takeaways with talented students who will soon enter the workforce.”
Year 1 NUS Arts and Social Sciences student Felix Tan is part of a two-man team developing Skillo, an app that serves as a personal development network to facilitate the growth of essential soft skills. He is considering joining the Global Mentorship Programme to find someone with the knowledge and experience to help him through the process of getting the Skillo app into the market.
“I’m looking out for mentors who are able to give me the insights to help me build my business faster, to maybe scale across different regions. If you’re trying to run a start-up, there are a lot of problems, a lot of uncertainties and I think having a mentor would really help to fast-track the learning and make sure that we do not step into the traps that a lot of entrepreneurs step into” he said.
The Global Mentorship Programme is part of the University’s broader plan to have every student gain overseas exposure by the time they graduate, and fits into one of the major themes for Career Fest 2019: ‘Go Global’. More than two-thirds of undergraduates go abroad at least once in their four years at NUS.
Year 4 NUS Law student G Kethlyn Gayathri interned at the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town, a South African non-governmental organisation, in 2018 as part of the NUS Global Internship Programme.
“If you’re someone who wants to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, you want to discover who you are as a person, discover what you’re passionate about, things you’re good at or what you’re weak in, definitely an overseas internship is something that you should try,” she said.
This year’s event is the largest NUS career fair to date, with more than 300 employers offering over 4,000 job opportunities in 20 industries, such as biomedical sciences, chemicals and energy, financial services, media and entertainment, precision engineering, as well as high-growth areas such as fintech and artificial intelligence.
Career Fest 2019 featured innovative segments including a “Hack Your Video Interview” zone for students to practise their digital video interview skills, a Human Library featuring industry leaders, career talks by experts and alumni, and even photobooths where students could get professional headshots taken for their resume.
The second and final day of Career Fest 2019 will take place on 1 February at Multi-Purpose Sports Hall 1-6.