Positions available at fast-growing firms


The graduating cohort can look forward to 250 positions at fast-growing companies


Mr Jason Lim knows first-hand the anxiety and fear related to securing a job amidst a global crisis. Then a Life Sciences undergraduate, Jason was almost graduating when the 2008 global financial crisis struck. “My cohort-mates and I were extremely worried about opportunities in the marketplace because everything looked so bleak,” he said.

Fortunately for Mr Lim and his peers, NUS introduced a support scheme for graduates to take on one-year internships with local companies, with the potential to convert them into full-time positions.

In the same vein, the University has now announced the NUS Resilience and Growth (R&G) Initiative to give graduating students a leg-up during and post pandemic. As part of this initiative, NUS Enterprise reached out to a selected batch of NUS and NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) alumni companies to ask if they could offer full-time employment or traineeship opportunities to the graduating cohort.

Mr Lim, an NOC alumnus who has since gone on to start and lead his own regulatory consultancy and technology company named Stendard, responded immediately to the call. “I understand how challenging it was as a fresh graduate then. Today, I’m glad we can participate in this programme as an employer and pass it forward!” he quipped.

Mr Lim is not the only one. About 20 alumni companies have rallied to support the NUS community, offering about 250 opportunities for the graduating cohort, as part of the overall R&G Initiative.

One notable firm was online cashback platform, ShopBack, which has committed to a substantial number of positions.

“As a home-grown NOC alumni company, ShopBack has worked with talented young minds from NUS since our founding in 2014. We see this as a way to give back to NUS and support the graduating cohort during these difficult times, while continuing to train and bolster our talent pool,” shared Mr Joel Leong, co-founder of ShopBack, which recently received an investment from Temasek Holdings in an extended US$75 million funding round.

5 Stendard.jpg

Mr Lim (bottom left) enjoying a light-hearted moment with his team at Stendard

Participating companies hail from a wide range of industries, such as e-commerce, real estate, telecommunications, media, and analytics.

MoneySmart, a personal finance portal for helping consumers compare loans, insurance, and credit cards, is another firm that is chipping in. “I was very fortunate to be part of the NOC programme as it plunged me into the world of entrepreneurship. MoneySmart was incubated and nurtured in NUS, with excellent mentorship and financial support in our early years. I am extremely grateful and would like to pay it forward and support where possible,” said CEO and founder Mr Vinod Nair.

Sharing on the plans for those joining his firm, chairman and founder of mobile consultancy firm 2359 Media, Mr Wong Hong Ting, said, “Our plan for the new trainees is to bring them under the wing of an experienced mentor, find a best-fit role for them based on their inclinations and knowledge - which could be something that they didn't expect, such as when our designer ended up with a career in project management - and build their skills and confidence to a point where they can drive initiatives independently.”

As an NUS alumnus himself, Mr Hew Joon Yeng, Chief Business Officer and co-founder of audience interaction tool Pigeonhole Live, is confident that “the quality education and intensive training programmes in NUS will continue to create high quality, future-ready NUS graduates who are ready to seize opportunities, especially during challenging times”.

Tapping on the Workforce Singapore (WSG) SGUnited Traineeships Programme, those under the traineeship scheme will receive a stipend of between $1,800 and $2,500, of which 80 per cent will be co-funded by the government.

“Crises are difficult times, but it can bring out the best in people. I'm immensely heartened by and grateful for the outpouring of support of our NOC and NUS alumni. Our graduands are in good hands, for these are the people who once walked in their shoes,” shared NUS Associate Vice President (Innovation & Enterprise) Professor Chee Yeow Meng. Prof Chee is leading the effort of getting the alumni companies onboard.

“Through these roles, they will be able to work closely with company founders and seasoned veterans to gain invaluable insights and experience useful for their careers, or even start their own companies in the future. Perhaps one day, they might be the ones to step up and pay it forward again.”

With the pilot call for positions a success, the team is looking to expand this to more companies within the NUS community. Interested companies can contact NUS Centre for Future-ready Graduates at hire@nus.edu.sg, while interested donors can contact the NUS Development Office at askdvo@nus.edu.sg to learn more about how their gift can transform the lives of NUS students during this period.

By NUS Enterprise

Like this story? Join the NUS News Telegram channel or sign up for the email newsletter for regular updates.