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SG:D scholar is adding a personal touch to technology

Photo Caption: Ms Nur Syakirah Mohd Said says the IMDA SG:D Scholarship (Undergraduate) provided her with a wealth of overseas internships and exchange programmes which helped her develop valuable life skills.

By Marianne Tan

Working in healthcare organisation Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Ms Nur Syakirah Mohd Said often feels an immense sense of satisfaction when she sees the impact of her work on the community. 

This was especially so during Singapore’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“Being in a healthcare organisation helps you realise that the work that you do serves a greater good and purpose for the community,” she says. 

The 25-year-old works as an enterprise monitoring analyst under J&J’s Technology Services team, which monitors and keeps IT services running behind the scenes of many important programmes, including the work and research on vaccine development.

Before that, Ms Syakirah was an IT business analyst in the Supply Chain Technology division, responsible for managing the Asia-Pacific Enterprise Resource Planning platform for J&J, as part of the company’s Technology Leadership and Development rotational graduate programme. 

She joined the company in May 2019, after graduating with a Bachelor of Science (Information Systems) at Singapore Management University, sponsored under the Singapore Digital (SG:D) Scholarship (Undergraduate), offered by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). 

Despite having to work within very tight timelines, Ms Syakirah remains energised by her work. 

“The community is also hoping that you succeed, so that makes the job much more important because the sooner people receive the vaccine, the faster they can move forward with their lives.”


Hardware versus heartware

The field of technology is often seen as data-driven and clinical, devoid of a softer, more personable side – something that Ms Syakirah hopes to debunk. Instead, she believes that soft skills are just as critical as technical know-how in order to thrive in the long run. 

The IMDA SG:D Scholarship (Undergraduate) provided her with a wealth of overseas internships and exchange programmes which were vital for developing valuable life skills. These skills are especially critical, given today’s global uncertainties.

She says: “I did an overseas internship in Japan, a study mission in New Zealand, and an exchange programme in South Korea. These provided me with a global worldview and taught me how to interact and work cross-culturally, as well as to be open-minded when working with different cultures.

“I also became more confident, independent and resilient – which I feel are key to thriving in the current world situation. Learning more about myself has also helped me better manage how I respond to uncertainties.”

This year, Ms Syakirah hopes to translate her soft skills into giving back to the community. 

“I have been volunteering in J&J’s Women in Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) group. It gives me great joy to see the younger female generation show passion and enthusiasm in wanting to pursue careers in Stem. It gives me hope that we can attract talent and build diversity in this field.”

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