Come fly with me

Want to broaden your world view by trotting around the globe? You’ve come to the right university. Eight in 10 undergraduates at NTU go overseas at least once during their time here. As soon as you enter NTU as a freshman, there’ll be a variety of ways for you to gain valuable overseas exposure, and have a ton of fun while stepping out of your comfort zone.

From internships and exchange programmes to field trips and competitions, there are numerous opportunities to venture out of Singapore and equip yourself with the knowledge and skills that will give you an edge in a globalised work place. Derek Rodriguez and Chrystal Chan compile some useful tips

Be an intern in a foreign land

The world is your oyster so why limit your internship to just Singapore? An overseas internship definitely adds polish to your resume, because if you have the smarts to navigate in a foreign land, it shows you are made of sterner stuff.

I was an intern in the ocean
Neo Wei Yi
Biological Sciences
Year 4
Click to enlarge
Maldives is probably a dream destination for many, as it was for me. So to be offered the rare opportunity to work at Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts was priceless.

I wanted to work in the company’s marine lab, knowing that Maldives is one of the best places to learn about marine biology and to explore the oceanic environment, which you can’t really do in Singapore.

What’s more, travelling has always been a hobby of mine and an internship with a globally expanding Singaporean company would allow me to meet people from all over.

I had searched for companies in Maldives that do marine conservation and research work, and emailed their human resource departments. After several rounds of Skype interviews, I received some offers, eventually picking Banyan Tree.

My daily schedule is very hectic, but fulfilling. I do not have a typical routine and I love how my job changes every day. Most of the work in the marine lab involves snorkelling and diving, so I spend a lot of time in the water.

Together with the marine lab coordinator, we restore coral reefs by relocating or planting corals on man-made frames to build large coral gardens. We also measure and collect specific data, and perform reef clean-ups and starfish removal to ensure the reefs remain pristine and healthy.

I also lead guests on snorkelling trips and conduct presentations on marine life in the Maldives. It is very rewarding to see the delight on their faces after learning about fascinating underwater habitats and environmental conservation. I hope after my talks, they will adopt the simple practices to help conserve the environment for future generations.

I’ve had to juggle internal projects and provide impeccable guest services, which helped me understand basic resort operations and gain some insight into the hospitality industry. I was also very privileged to be trained by a prominent marine biologist, Dr Steven Newman.

This internship has definitely raised my confidence about going to places outside my comfort zone and I am now ready to embark on my career path after graduation.