SINGAPORE – Caring for her terminally ill mother pushed Ms Nadiah Mohamad Azman to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry.
To her, working on creating medicines is a way to give hope to patients and their loved ones.
And it was this that led Ms Nadiah, 20, to take up a Singapore-Industry Scholarship (SgIS) with drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, to study chemistry and biological chemistry at Nanyang Technological University this year.
She was one of a record 162 students to receive the scholarship on Wednesday (July 28) at an online ceremony. The scholarships are given in a partnership between the Government and corporations in Singapore’s key industries.
The ceremony featured a video by some of the scholarship’s previous recipients in celebration of the programme’s 10th anniversary.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who started the scholarship in 2012 when he was Education Minister, was the guest of honour.
Giving an update on the programme’s growth over the years, he said more than 1,100 scholarships have been given out and there are now 73 sponsoring organisations taking part, up from 28 when it kicked off in 2012.
Mr Heng, who is also Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, said: “SgIS is an important partnership between the Government and industries – to collectively develop a stronger Singaporean core of industry leaders, by offering undergraduate scholarships.”
Mr Shieh Ping Lung, senior director at semiconductor firm Realtek, said: “Realtek is committed to building and growing the integrated circuit design talent pool in Singapore, and offering scholarships through SgIS is part of our strategy to attract local talent to join the industry.” Realtek joined the programme as a sponsor this year.
For Ms Nadiah, the scholarship means confidence in her career progression as well as more opportunities to learn from the best.
She said: “It (the programme) allows me to get to know scholars from different sponsoring organisations from other key strategic sectors who can help in broadening my understanding of other sectors and how they contribute towards the country’s growth.
“It will also allow me to learn from industry leaders about their experiences in their respective industries and provide learning opportunities on how to be better team players as well as leaders.”
Still, it is her experience of caring for her mother for some 12 years now, and her volunteer work through secondary school and polytechnic which she says will guide her as she grows in the industry.
She added: “It reminds me that at the end of the supply chain, there is a patient who is relying on the medicines produced by my company to treat the illnesses that they are facing.”