Even as exams were disrupted and a summer research project was cancelled, the pandemic showed 21-year-old Megan Chin that life’s detours can sometimes set one on a new track that turns out better than what one might have imagined.
For the Changi Airport Group (CAG) scholar, this gave rise to an “eye-opening, hands-on start-up experience” as she was given the opportunity to help chart a business strategy for Changi Eats – a mix-and-match food delivery service launched by CAG in August 2020 to support the airport’s F&B outlets amid the pandemic.
Meeting with the management committee and compiling data about food delivery players in Southeast Asia, the University of Oxford undergraduate helped to develop innovative ideas on how the business could pivot in the unique airport ecosystem.
MORE THAN AVIATION
In addition to her Changi Eats internship, Ms Chin spent her holidays with the Market Development department, where she studied how East Asian markets were adjusting travel policies to cope with the challenges of the pandemic.
She also sat in on dialogues with airlines on potential recovery plans, such as Singapore Airlines’ Flight to Nowhere initiative, and compiled research on travel market and consumer sentiments that was later published in Changi Insight, a newsletter shared with the airport’s partners and stakeholders.
It was these diverse opportunities that first attracted Ms Chin to the CAG scholarship.
“Just as my chosen degree integrates a wide range of disciplines, CAG also offers many opportunities across a wide range of fields – from airport operations to retail and leasing,” she says.
PUSHING FOR SUSTAINABILITY
Ms Chin’s human sciences degree, which straddles biology and social science, involves studying about genetics and quantitative methods to anthropology, language and geographical migration.
“Rather than being pigeonholed into a single discipline, I believe that the ability to make connections across different fields is essential in tackling the challenges of today’s rapidly changing world,” she says.
“This adaptability and flexibility will help me contribute meaningfully to CAG, given that it is a huge organisation that spans so many sectors.”
Ms Chin witnessed the importance of these traits first-hand while working alongside colleagues to help the company pivot quickly and seize new opportunities amid Covid-19.
“I have grown to accept that things can change at a moment’s notice. It’s not just about being resilient but being flexible enough to release expectations and rise up to new challenges,” she adds.
Beyond Covid-19, Ms Chin, who has a passion for sustainability, aspires to help CAG achieve their sustainability targets in the industry.
After graduating next June, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in climate and society at Columbia University – among other options – which will provide a deeper understanding of the connections between sustainability, businesses, society and the environment.
“CAG is a big organisation with even bigger ambitions, and a career with CAG promises exciting new challenges,” she says.
“With its forward-looking and adaptable mindset, I am eager to see how CAG will become even more creative in designing a sustainable air hub for all.”
Visit scholarship.changiairport.com for more information.