Dr Noraslinda Zuber
Senior Assistant Director
[Internships@Gov was formerly known as the Civil Service Internship Programme]
“I thoroughly enjoyed my internship experience. It allowed me to improve my maturity of thought significantly, honed my writing and speaking abilities, and sparked an even more robust interest in the world around me. I also walked away with a better understanding of how the Public Service works, what it means to have a whole-of-government approach, and where futures work sits amongst the different ministries.”
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“I pursued an internship with the Public Sector because an education career has always been a career option ever since I started pursuing my double major in Politics and International Studies and Geography.”
“Do an internship even if it’s not directly related to your course of study. This internship provides you an insight into the workings of the Public Service. It hones your skills, teases out strengths you never knew you had and leaves you with an enriching learning experience.”
“I decided to take up an internship with the Public Service primarily to find out more about the working environment and methodology of the Public Sector. This internship enabled me to witness the efforts and dedication of the public officers behind the scenes and showed me the amount of planning and insight that goes into the implementation of policies.”
“Interning at MSF changed my perspective of people who are in need. It is one thing to hear about people from difficult family backgrounds, but it’s entirely different to actually meet them in person. Interning with MSF has increased my interest to help children and youths from difficult family backgrounds. I would encourage all incoming interns to adopt an open mind and be prepared for an interesting internship experience.
“My internship has been an experience to remember. I entered thinking that the Public Service was filled with office drones. However, by the end of my internship, I believe the Public Service consists of highly innovative, selfless workers. Through this internship, I learnt more about the Public Service, its officers and myself. To students thinking about interning with the Public Service, I would advise them to first consider how they fit into any workplace environment and what they want to achieve from this internship.”
“What I have truly learned is that I have to be open-minded to everything. The small things that I do now will have bigger implications later on.”
“I learned a lot more about the practical applications of psychology and the various research methods which would come in useful over the rest of my university education and in the future. The internship also allowed me to understand what the Public Service has to offer in terms of a career.”
“The internship programme was well-structured, and provided a platform for interns to engage public officers openly. Moreover, it was an opportunity to learn more about the various facets of the Public Service, through the dialogues and learning journeys, all of which make for a fruitful internship experience. An internship is a good chance for students to see for themselves whether the Public Service is how they think it is, and if it might represent a suitable career opportunity in the future.”
“The work was very meaningful as I was able to work on many different projects. I would recommend this internship to others because it is not just an internship at any company or agency but it is an internship with the Public Service – one walks away with a much bigger picture here.”
“I was exposed to a wide variety of tasks during my internship which allowed me to hone many different skill sets such as analytical thinking, research, writing and the processing of data using Excel.”
“The internship taught me to see things from another perspective. As society changes, much more is demanded of the Public Service and there is definitely a reasonable limit in which what the Public Service can provide. I learnt that efficiency and professionalism should never be taken for granted. Overall, the internship gave me a good glimpse into what a career with the Public Service would be like. I am now more determined and well-prepared.
“An internship with the Public Service will show you that a career here is miles better than what some people make it sound. The Public Service is not just efficient and meticulous; it is also very forward thinking, young and dynamic.”
“What is different about this internship is that it not just gave me an insight into how the agency we are attached to works, but also the other agencies in the Public Service as well. The various sharing sessions and learning journeys, gave us an opportunity to meet up with officers and interns working in other agencies. It allowed us to learn about the challenges faced by different agencies and how different agencies come together for the formulation and implementation of policy.”
“Don’t expect to do meaningless, menial work here because you’ll be given a lot of responsibility and tasks that you’ve never done before. But it’s nice to be contributing to something within the Public Service, and also to be looked at as a peer instead of just a stereotypical intern.”
“I came onboard just checking out the programme and exploring future career possibilities. Through my internship, I had the opportunity to interact with many very motivated co-workers. Their willingness to share knowledge and provide guidance on projects really helped me in deciding my direction after graduation.”
“I would definitely encourage those who are interested in this programme to apply, even if you are uncertain about a future career in the Public Service. The programme was really fun and well-structured. It offers numerous opportunities for you to make friends, network and gain a deeper insight into what future prospects are like in the Public Service. My internship has honed my writing, communication and time-management skills, which I find universally applicable to any career.”
“Take the plunge into taking this programme! You will get a very all-encompassing and complete experience. First of all, you will meet policymakers who will tell you their thought processes and how they deal with difficult policy situations. You also get to meet many new people from different disciplines and mentors who want to teach and guide you every step of the way. Finally, you also see how policy is implemented into our society.”
“This internship doesn’t just give you a rosy picture of what working in the government is like, but it exposes you to the realities of working in the Public Service. It allows you to assess for yourself whether you are best fit for a job in the Public Service. After my internship, I gained a newfound respect and appreciate for the people who work in the Public Service because I’ve crossed paths with people who are truly passionate about what they do. It’s assuring to know that there are people out there who are really committed to serving the public and the people.”
“It was a very rewarding experience with its own challenges. You’re just thrown into it and you have to hit the ground running. The reward at the end is when you learn about the industry, about the work, but also most importantly about yourself, your skills, abilities and the kind of work that’s best suited for your personality.”
"Interning at NRF (Research Grant Management Team) really opened my eyes to many things that I would never ever learn from textbooks and schools. It was the most enriching two months.
I had to extract information from huge amounts of data and identify potential emerging technologies that could be used as possible themes for future NRF grant calls. These all seemed to be daunting new tasks to me. However, my supervisor was always at hand to steer me onto the right path and yet provide a degree of freedom for creativity to flow. Furthermore, I had to present my findings and recommendations to senior management. The various presentations provided me with an opportunity to polish my analytical, communication and organisation skills, which would definitely help me in the future.
Apart from the holistic learning environment, I had other exposure, such as the TOP of Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise (CREATE) and visits to research institutes and schools. In addition, the working culture of NRF brings a new meaning to the Public Service. Concern and assistance are genuine and smiles warmed the heart. Guidance, directions and advice are purposeful. It was so easy to talk to anyone about anything (I meant work-related issues of course =p) and get help from people. I was treated as a co-worker, and felt valued, privileged and appreciated.
Being a “papa-mama” scholar, I do not have a career path set forth for me upon graduation. This internship allowed me to undergo the process of self-discovery to realise what I would want to achieve in the future. It is not about the money (money money), but about the passion, purpose and happiness."
"The internship at AGD has been a fruitful and remarkable one. This internship has provided me with numerous opportunities to pick up new skills and knowledge through the numerous projects. In addition to the research paper on Sovereign Wealth Funds, another memorable project which I was involved in required me to carry out research on ‘Inflation in Singapore’ from scratch and present it to the whole department during AGD’s Learning Day.
This project has greatly enabled me to gain insights on the topic and also provided me with an excellent platform to hone my communication skills and confidence. I was also tasked with ad-hoc responsibilities such as preparing the department’s quarterly bulletin and newsflash which has enhanced my knowledge of financial markets.
I really like the culture in AGD. AGD is like a one big family, with really friendly and helpful officers who are always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need. In AGD, feedback given is being valued, including those suggested by interns.
I am really glad to be given the opportunity to intern at AGD and I would strongly encourage my peers to apply for AGD internship positions through the Internships@Gov programme!"
Faculty of Arts and Social Science, NUSAgency: Ministry of Manpower (MOM)
Project Title: An Evaluation Of Public Labour Market Information (LMI) Products
“My internship at MOM was not only memorable, but rewarding in many aspects. Not only did I have full autonomy in the project, my supervisor also gave her utmost support in the research work. In our investigations, we derived thoughtful insights of how a regular graduate would go about searching for jobs. More importantly, we could identify the shortfalls in information to these job seekers, and follow up by making meaningful and feasible recommendations.
One exciting moment was when I had the opportunity to interact with top executives from the financial sector. Even though some of these guests were Presidents or Vice Presidents of their respective companies, they were very amicable and shared many strategies to excel both in work and life.
In retrospect, I feel I have gained greater sensitivity to the difficulties associated with actual policy implementations. In shaping policies to improve our citizens’ welfare, not only are there numerous variables to consider, it is also critical that people are convinced of the benefits each policy brings about. Having reached the end of my internship, I will indubitably miss my office at MOM. J”
"Policy and implementation are intricately connected. My internship at MOM allowed me to see action on both fronts through the on-the-job shadowing of operations teams. Not only did I get a first-hand experience of doing research and writing a policy paper, but I also got to aid in investigations for suspected work permit violations on an attachment with the Employment Inspectorate.
I also got to visit places where foreign workers lived with the Housing Enforcement Board and see how the people who are contributing to our economic success actually live. Policy-makers have a challenging job because they have to take into account a myriad range of perspectives from different stakeholders. There is no perfect policy and there is no way to please everyone. But at the end of the day, decisions for the best interests of the nation still must be made. Thus, the process of policy writing involves much research, deliberation and revision.
I was deeply impressed by the dedication and passion that my colleagues at Workplace Policy and Strategy Division (WPSD) demonstrated through their work ethic and during the conversations we had. They seemed to really enjoy what they do and put a lot of heart into it. This is one job where you have the potential to impact many lives, help steer Singapore’s future and effect change in unjust situations."
"As an intern in the Futures and Strategy division of MTI, I learned about how the Ministry develops organisational best practices, encourages collaborative activities between the divisions and identifies future opportunities and risks for Singapore’s economy. I conducted independent research on the internal work processes of MTI as part of my project and developed a survey framework and interview toolkit to assess internal customer satisfaction.
This project did not merely involve desktop research, it allowed me to work together with my supervisor to carry out the first divisional interview and improve the survey framework. This helped to strengthen my analytical skills and improve my ability to work within a team. Aside from my own project, I also attended many meetings which gave me the opportunity to learn from my fellow colleagues. During these meetings, I improved my understanding of the long term threats and risks to Singapore’s economic health and my knowledge of how the division’s other subunits operated. Furthermore, my supervisor allowed me to help out during the Singapore Quality Class (SQC) assessment exercise and exercise my creative skills to produce a video summary of all the relevant SQC events. Finally, at the end of the internship, I was invited to join my colleagues during their retreat for an afternoon of fun! I am really grateful to my supervisor, my fellow colleagues and my director for this meaningful and enjoyable summer experience.
Through the Internships@Gov events, I had the opportunity to interact with interns from other Ministries and compare my experience with theirs. This allowed me to obtain a better sense of the overall culture of the Civil Service. The learning journey to the prison was memorable and fascinating because we were able to see the prison conditions for ourselves and also obtain interesting insights about the various reformatory programmes from the police officers themselves. Moreover, we also learned about the complex nature of governing Singapore’s borders during a trip to Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA)."
"The internship at Republic Polytechnic was truly memorable. Interning at an education institution is definitely a different experience. There is a whole new organisational culture one has to absorb as it is different from a corporation. What is most significant about interning at the School of Hospitality is that you have staff with many years of industry experience. And we learn a lot of life’s lessons from them.
Opportunities are plentiful over there. We attended lessons and experienced RP’s pedagogy – Problem-Based Learning. In addition, we were invited to sit in on a board meeting to understand the school at a management level. We attended networking sessions with hospitality industry experts and the things they shared opened our perspectives towards life.
The internship experience has been truly valuable as it lets you experience how it feels to work in the Public Service. Furthermore, one gets to understand the roles of different Ministries and Statutory Boards in Singapore. Wonderful friendships were also forged with people from other Ministries and Statutory Boards. It has definitely been a well-spent summer."
"My internship in MTI’s Emerging Markets Division (EMD) allowed me to experience the work of a trade officer in MTI. To sharpen my ideas about the tools available in trade policy, my supervisors ensured that I attend meetings with other economic agencies, foreign officials, business leaders, and conferences. In a meeting near the end of my internship, I was tasked to describe EMD’s ideas on engaging Africa to partners from Civil Service College, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IE Singapore, Economic Development Board, and other agencies. Discussing ideas with an audience that included senior civil servants and two of our Ambassadors reminded me of the importance of the coordinating role MTI played in Singapore’s trade policy and the potential impact of the research I had done.
Whilst most of the research I did was on Africa, I was also given exposure to issues and events related to other key markets in the Middle East and Central Asia. I even staffed for a visiting dignitary from the Middle East, helping to ensure that that his visits to various agencies and companies went as smoothly as possible.
The Internship@Gov experience I’ve had with MTI has been extremely fulfilling. It is certainly not an internship for those who desire an easy internship. There are real responsibilities, real challenges, and real issues to confront. I’m extremely grateful to my supervisors for having given me such wide-ranging exposure and opportunities. It has been a most memorable and enriching internship."
“Having done jobs as a temporary journalist prior to this internship, I had a preconceived impression that this project would be similar to what I had done before. However, I was proven wrong on the first day of work. Other than the “boring” procurement process that I was involved in, I was given full autonomy to design and propose a concept for Singapore Environment Institute’s (SEI) Yearbook – this was something that truly caught me by surprise. I used to think that interns function as “extra hands and legs” in the office, but here in SEI, they encouraged me to voice my opinions and provide new ideas wherever possible.
I was really fortunate to have been offered an internship at NEA at the time when the agency was undergoing transformation. SEI too, was in the midst of welcoming a new mandate. I was thus involved in several presentations and reports that informed senior management of SEI’s new mandate and goals.
Despite being an intern, my supervisors and colleagues treated me as a fully-fledged member of the team, and gave me ample opportunities to venture outside the scope of my given project. Together with my colleagues and supervisors, my involvement in the department’s events ranged from meetings with senior management to a movie session with my colleagues to watch “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”.
As an institute, my colleagues at SEI put utmost emphasis on creating and maintaining a learning environment for interns and staff alike. This internship has given me a good understanding of how the Public Service is like, and it is definitely an excellent way to spend the summer vacation.”
"Spending my university summer break interning at PSD’s Strategic Policy Office (SPO) has been an enriching and enjoyable experience, so much so that I chose to extend my internship till the next university semester started. My project involved conducting research on long term trends and their implications for Singapore, and it has helped me to appreciate the breadth and complexity of the issues that Singapore may face in the next 10-15 years. I also had the privilege of learning skills in scenario planning methodology, facilitation of planning exercises and effective presentation methods by helping out in workshops and courses that SPO conducted.
Most importantly, the internship allowed me to know firsthand what working in the Public Service is like. Learning journeys to the Internal Security Department and Northlight School organised by the Internships@Gov team were also very helpful in exposing the interns to the work of different government agencies. I would certainly encourage anyone who is even the slightest bit interested in public policy to apply for the Internships@Gov programme, and see for yourself what the Public Service is all about."
"I had a very fun and fruitful work experience at the Research and Planning Office of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Not only did I get to interview specialists from the Unlicensed Moneylending Strikeforce, I was also given the opportunity to conduct an interview with an inmate at Changi Prison as part of my research. Besides project-related exposure, I also had the privilege of attending a dialogue session with Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean during his visit to the CID. These valuable and cherished experiences would not have been possible for me if not for this internship.
The most memorable part of this internship was having the chance to work in a conducive environment with a perfect mix of both autonomy and guidance. Having amiable, approachable and accommodating colleagues and supervisors made my time at the CID an amazingly enjoyable one. I will most definitely miss the eight fantastic weeks I spent at the CID.
Internships@Gov is a brilliantly well-structured programme that will surely allow anyone with an interest in the public sector to gain a first-hand experience of, and certainly some insight into, the life of a civil servant
“My internship stint was at the Counselling and Psychologyical Services (CAPS) unit of the Subordinate Courts. During my internship, I had the opportunity to observe both court counselling sessions by the counsellors as well as mediation sessions by the judges. These experiences not only allowed me to gain an insight into real issues that people in Singapore face, they also enabled me to understand these issues from both a legal and a social science perspective.
My experience at the Subordinate Courts was a challenging but rewarding endeavour. I was blessed to have the chance to work with two other interns on a total of three projects with the guidance of our extremely supportive supervisors. Our colleagues were also helpful in sharing their experiences and providing feedback for our projects. These people really created a positive work environment for me.
I was privileged to be part of the team that researched and developed resources for the new rule passed under the Women’s Charter, which requires all parents filing for divorce with children under 21 years of age, to undergo mandatory counselling and mediation. At the end of our internship, we also had the opportunity to present the final product to the judges and management of the Subordinate Courts. Above all, what was most fulfilling for me was to know that the work we did can potentially change lives. Besides gaining a deeper understanding on what it means to work in the public sector, the social issues at the Family Courts that I experienced also reminded me to be appreciative and thankful for my family and friends around me. In a nutshell, the holistic experience as an intern at the Subordinate Courts has provided me with the opportunity to grow both professionally and personally."
“My internship journey at the Centre for Public Economics (CPE) was nothing short of thrilling and rewarding. Initially, I was given the freedom to explore policy issues and write on an area I was interested in. Little did I know that my choice of topic – Behavioural Economics and Charitable Giving, would be given the recognition as a published chapter in a book! Excited, I have been re-scoping my paper to enhance its fit into the book, and am currently in the midst of drafts. I also had the precious opportunity to engage with key decision-making leaders from the social services sector in the “IPS Philanthropy Roundtable” discussion; where I had a fulfilling time of sharing insights from my paper. There was also the great chance to learn about real-time economic considerations in public policy making decisions ranging from fiscal policies, housing, healthcare, land transport, climate change, to social policies, social security and inequality through the Economics for Policy Analysts Programme.
“When you put coals together, they burn brighter.”
Really, the environment in CPE cultivated is of one that is nurturing, fun, and intellectually stimulating. Colleagues are wonderful and easy to get along with, work-life balance is deeply embedded in the culture, and countless interesting insights on many economic issues were always “in the air”. It‘s the place where I gained fresh perspectives on a wide range of issues in policy making. Needless to say, I would definitely miss this place.”
““The 6 most rewarding weeks in Summer”, I would say. This internship has been so enriching on a personal and professional level that I yearn for more of such experiences.
With the kind guidance from my approachable and understanding colleagues in the Public Affairs Branch, I learnt valuable organisational and PR-industry-specific skills relevant to the corporate communications field. Crafting media invites, engaging in media monitoring processes as well as participating in discussions when media queries arose were some of the exciting tasks I was assigned to do. I was also being exposed to various aspects of work relating to internal communications, which reflected a different aspect of work altogether.
On the whole, although deadlines were quite tight for some events-based media relations projects, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenging and intense working pace and acquired a better understanding of the background of Yellow Ribbon Project, CARE Network and the role of SPS in making Singapore a safe and secure place. Ultimately, I believe it was the conducive working environment in addition to my interest in the related job scope that made this internship a memorable one.”
University Of WarwickAgency: Ministry of FinanceProject Title: National Asset-Liability Management Strategy And Practices
“Having done a previous internship in the civil service, I have had people asking me why I chose to do another internship at a Ministry again this year. I've come to realise that each and every Ministry and statutory board boasts of its own unique culture and they all play a very different, yet important role in helping Singapore advance as a nation together. Having the chance to gain exposure in a different Ministry has allowed me to see things from a fresh perspective, acquire new insights and meet new people - my internship has certainly been an interesting experience thus far and I'm definitely clearer about what I hope to pursue in the future. Finally, I personally think the organizing team has done a great job in allowing us interns gain as much as we can from this experience - kudos to them!”
“As an intern in Joint Counter-Terrorism Centre (JCTC), I was not treated like an intern but like any of other staff in the department. I was given the autonomy to decide on the approach of my research and at the same time my supervisor was there to provide the necessary guidance when required. Ample opportunities were given to me to aid in my professional development and I appreciate how people-oriented the civil service is.
With colleagues seconded from different ministries, statutory boards and uniformed services, I was able to gain a better understanding in the workings of the civil service in its entirety and its agencies, and also insight into the whole-of-government approach through my interactions with them.
My internship experience at JCTC had redefined my concept of job satisfaction and that is it is derived not from the completion of tasks but knowing what you are doing contribute to a cause and for my case, the security of Singapore.
Apart from work, the learning journeys to agencies such as PUB, IRAS and Singapore Customs further enhanced my internship experience and not forgetting the friendships I forged with fellow interns. A career in the civil service is definitely something I would consider.”
Faculty Of Arts And Social Sciences, NUSAgency: Subordinate CourtsProject Title: Helping Out With HELP
“The internship@gov was definitely an eye-opener for me. Being attached to the Subordinate courts gave me a chance to better understand how the legal system works in Singapore. Also, it exposed me to what working in the public sector is like. I really enjoyed my time at the sub courts. Not only were the people really nice to us, we got to experience what others may never experienced. During our internship, my friend and I got to sit in the various court and chamber hearings. Also, we were given the chance to meet and talk to the judges. Through our interactions with the judges and court officers, we got to know the daily happenings in the court and the challenges the court faces now and then. It was certainly a memorable experience for me.”
"I did my stint at the Marina Bay Development Agency, where everything exciting was happening. My supervisor assumed that I, as a young media student, would be familiar with all the social media tools like Facebook, Flickr etc. But what MBDA wanted from me was way beyond my normal usage capacity. Hence on a daily basis, I explored various new Facebook applications and by the end of the internship, I learnt FBML (Facebook Markup Language) in order to implement new applications for the Marina Bay Singapore page. It was definitely a great learning experience as I was given free rein to explore and implement new applications and contests to our page. Of course, the process was tough, because I had no IT knowledge but with the help of online manuals and forums, I did it! This is one thing I'll always be proud of."
Faculty Of Science, NUSAgency: National Media Research Council, Ministry of Health (MOH)Project Title: Review Of Clinical Trial Costs
"My internship at NMRC was truly rewarding and memorable. Under the guidance of my supervisor and fellow colleagues, I gained deeper insights to clinical trial related issues and learnt to appreciate the importance of striving for excellence in research grant management. I grew to realize how closely linked it is to Singapore’s goal of becoming Asia’s biomedical hub. Apart from working on the project, I was also given opportunities to attend group discussion with various key stakeholders and site visit to healthcare institutions. On the whole, these sessions have enabled me to see how different department and organizations are actually working hand in hand to achieve the healthcare family shared vision: “Championing a healthy nation with our people - To live well, live long & with peace of mind”.
In addition, as part of the internship program, I have attended learning journeys to different government agencies and dialogue session with Permanent Secretary (PSD). These activities have allowed me to see the significance of the Singapore Public Service in shaping our nation to be a better place for everyone to live. All in all, I am really glad to be part of this internship program organized by PSD. It has been an awesome learning experience. Thank you PSD."
"Being a part of the Internships@Gov experience, and especially being an MCYS intern has been everything that I have hoped to experience and more. For someone who is passionate about people and who is considering a career in the civil service, this internship really offered a valuable ‘behind-the-scenes look’ into the great amount of time and hard work put into crafting policies to serve the community better.
During my internship at MCYS, I got to understand and immerse myself in the dynamics of the VWO landscape, and I had the invaluable opportunity of meeting and talking with key figures in the industry. In terms of work, I learnt that time was flexible; that one moment you were as free as a bird with nothing much to do, and suddenly two hours before the end of the day you were given huge tasks under tight schedules. However, such stressful situations really pushed me into becoming a better person and worker, and more importantly it really gave me a taste of the real working world.
To say that I enjoyed my time at MCYS would be a huge understatement. My supervisor was fun, nurturing and supportive, and I was in a big group of MCYS interns who literally met up for lunch everyday, and had get-togethers over the weekend. To quote a fellow intern, “I think we’ve been spoilt having our first internship at MCYS” and I really credit the Internships@Gov programme for giving us a wonderful first experience in the Civil Service."
Faculty Of Arts And Social Sciences, NUSAgency: Civil Service College
Project Title: Civil Service College International Team Projects
“The amount of exposure I acquired from my internship in Civil Service College International is something that I would never have been able to attain from the classrooms or readings in school. I have been lucky enough to host lunches for our foreign delegations at numerous restaurants, interact with officials at the Deputy Permanent Secretary level, and witness how diplomacy is conducted at a government to government level. In addition, the many Learning Journeys that I have facilitated for the delegates have also given me an insight of what other agencies are like, providing me with a clearer idea of their structure and working environment. I believe this would allow me to make a better decision with regards to my career prospects upon graduation.
All in all, it has been a memorable two months with a hectic schedule, wonderful colleagues, unforgettable experiences at many places and priceless interactions with people from all over the world.”
Faculty Of Arts And Social Sciences, NUSAgency: School Of Hospitality, Republic Polytecnic
Project Title: A Study On Boutique Hotels
“When I tell people I’m with an internship programme with the government, almost everyone immediately asks me “Which ministry are you working for?” And when I reply “Republic Polytechnic” people are immediately puzzled by my answer and choice.
Statutory boards like Republic Polytechnic are unsung heroes and people may avoid the academic research projects because it reminds them of the work they do in university already. Like “RESEARCH! AVOID!” but doing research here with the School of Hospitality has been so awesome and fun. My supervisor is really encouraging and nurturing and I even get to first author the paper for a conference in Chun Cheon, South Korea. For an undergraduate, this is an immense opportunity especially if you’re looking to do a postgraduate course.
And instead of being chucked in one corner of the office or running meaningless errands like some of my friends interning in the private sector, I get to shadow my directors for certain management meetings and learn more about organisational culture and pick up tips on how to manage an organisation. I even have the chance to meet people from the industry so I learn how to network and open more windows of opportunity. I have not regretted doing this internship one bit because I have learned so much in just these few weeks here at the School of Hospitality.”
“The Internships@GOV Programme was a thoroughly wonderful experience, and one that deepened my understanding of the civil service. Noticeable effort was made by the organizing committee to ensure that interns were exposed to operations across ministries. This was accomplished with visits to agencies such as IRAS and Singapore Customs, followed by dialogues sessions with senior civil servants from various ministries.
It was a privilege to have worked with the officers from the Strategic Policy Office, Public Service Division during my internship. On top of the daily operations, I was tasked to produce Futurescape reports, and subsequently given the opportunity to present the findings to MFA and MINDEF. Though challenging, these assignments allowed me to present my perspectives on developing issues that would ultimately affect Singapore’s national interests. A stint with this outfit has developed my knowledge of strategic foresight and long-term scenario planning, while providing a taste of how Whole-of-Government risks are tackled.
For anyone that considers a career in the civil service, the Internship@Gov Programme is an eye-opening experience that should not be passed. It is bound to quash misperceptions, reaffirm beliefs, and provide interns with fresh and novel perspectives.”
“The biggest takeaway was the opportunity to attend so many prestigious events such as the welcome ceremony for the arrival of the Jewel of Muscat, the President’s Young Performers concert at Victoria Concert Hall, various President’s Challenge events and of course walking around the historical hallways of Istana on a daily basis, with the opportunity of meeting important people who have all contributed much to the Singapore we have today. There are not many opportunities out there with this level of prestige and it has indeed been a great honour to be here.
Through my time here, I have also learnt to voice my opinions and ask good questions. Many of the procedures and protocols here have been established for years. Without asking, it would not be possible to comprehend the manner that some things were being done. It was also important to not be too quick to judge, because while it may not be obvious, most things have its reasons for it being done that particular way. That said, there could be other ways of doing things that might be better, and I was encouraged to share my opinions.”
"On the first day of my internship, my supervisor gave me a thick folder of reading material full of unfamiliar terminologies. I immediately knew that I was going to embark on a daunting task. I got to familiarise with the topic well over the next two weeks as my supervisors guided me and clarified my doubts patiently. Slowly, I began to enjoy the process of going in-depth into research and coming out with suggestions. At the end of it, I was even given the opportunity to present my project to our Deputy Secretary at a meeting. In addition, there were many opportunities to sit in departmental meetings and meetings with the CEOs of various hospitals. What I learnt from the internship was the skill to expeditiously assimilate a large amount of information in a short period of time and present them in a prioritised and systematic way. The working environment was warm and friendly and I felt that I was a valued member of the team. As a medical student, my precious summer vacation is only four-week long. However, I am certain that I could not have spent my holidays in a better way."
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, NUSAgency: Central Narcotics BureauProject Title: Student Drug Abusers - Why and How Do They Get Involved?
“I applied for the internship at Central Narcotics Bureau. I was unsure of what to expect, but I am truly happy to say that by now I have gained a better understanding of my agency, other agencies in the Home Team, as well as the civil service as a whole. My learning experiences extend beyond the specific project I was assigned to and the honest and insightful conversations with my seniors and supervisors. Not only did I attend field trips to IRAS and the Civil Defence Academy, I even got the rare opportunity to go on a drug raid. This exciting and eye-opening experience exposed me to a whole new side of CNB beyond research work.
I would personally recommend this internship to those who are unsure about their future career options, or even those who have already written off a career in the civil service. Only by experiencing the public service first hand can you get a true picture of what it entails, and make an informed decision on whether you would like to pursue such a career in the future.”
"Still remember on the first day, we were 'jaw-dropped' to learn that the workplace will be Home Team Academy, an 'ulu' place along the old Choa Chu Kang Road. Fortunately, it has been an enjoyable experience under prison service, making the long distance travel worthwhile. It was an interesting sight to see how the civilian staff and uniform officers work together as "Captains of Lives". The job preview to Tanah Merah prison was an especially eye-opening experience, giving me valuable insights of an officers' job as well as the life of an inmate. It is indeed inspiring to hear the stories of fellow colleagues; a great learning opportunity, to be able to "take a peek behind the closed door"."[back to top]
"I must admit that the thought of working at a Ministry was intimidating for me at first. The CSIP program however made it a real enjoyable experience. My take home message and lesson learnt from participating in CSIP , and as an intern at the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR), is that while anyone can fill in to get a job done at any organisation, very few make conscientious effort and venture to know the organisation very well. This includes getting to know every individual, every department or even the person that sits right at the top of it all. Both CSIP facilitators and my supervisors at MEWR stressed and impressed upon me this key message and I made full use of this rare opportunity accorded to me. I am very thankful to be a part of the CSIP experience and take back fond memories of working with my peers and supervisors through CSIP and at MEWR."[back to top]
"Before embarking on my internship at the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS), I must admit that I had some misconceptions about a career in the Public Service. My interactions with fellow interns and staff during learning journeys and networking sessions have given me a clearer understanding of life in the Public Service. I realise the great diversity in the Public Service, having heard personal stories of day-to-day experiences. i learnt that each agency is characterised by its own unique culture, yet they share a common vision and spirit of dynamism. I was most surprised to discover a high level of interconnectedness and co-operation among government agencies.
I am impressed to learn that agencies are actively reinventing themselves in their quest towards excellence. In the course of my internship, I worked on a communications proposal for CCS, an enforcement and economic agency. I was continuously challenged to come up with workable ideas that serve to address the needs of stakeholders. There were no limits to the suggestions that I could put forth. The internship experience opened my mind to multiple perspectives, especially since I was exposed to the workings of the entire 'ecosystem' of the Public Service."[back to top]
"It is thanks to the CSIP that I got to spend my summer vacation in a most meaningful and enlightening way. In addition to this being my second internship stint in the civil service, the plethora of opportunities to interact with interns allowed me to have a better understanding and deeper appreciation of the different Ministries - their mission, their values, what they do, hoe they work - and how they combine into a larger picture of producing an efficient and effective public service. It was an honour to be surrounded by passionate and dedicated individuals in the Singapore Prison Service and they made me realise that the civil service is more than just about brains, quick-thinking and strong leadership - it is also a lot about heart.
This CSIP has definitely reinforced my positive impression of the civil service and I am more than convinced that I want to pursue a career in the service upon my graduation. It is not just another job but one about passion and duty. Last but definitely not least, I would like to thank the friends I've made and the wonderful people from PSD for making this CSIP a most enjoyable and memorable one."[back to top]
"CSIP is an internship like no other. I've taken part in a few internships before but never have I experienced an internship that is so people-oriented. My supervisor was friendly and approachable and guided me along whenever I has problems with my project, but gave me the independence and freedom to do the project my way. My opinions were also taken very seriously. I felt a great sense of responsibility and accountability as I was shown and subsequently realised how my project was going to benefit CPIB. Even though the nature of CPIB work precluded the interns from being directly involved with the sensitive operations of the organisation, the management did their best by including us in many activities and meetings that were not sensitive in nature so that we can have a taste of what life in the Civil Servie was like. I was also able to work and interact with dynamic motivated colleagues who had passion and drive for their work. I've never regretted joining the CSIP programme and would recommend it to my juniors who are interested in finding out what Civil Service has to offer!" [back to top]
"I must say that the Civil Service probably gets a lot more flak & cynicism than is warranted. No organisation is unflawed, and when one is reminded how huge the entire civil service is as a whole body, it really is pretty impressive how everything runs like a well-oiled machine (or at least seems to!). That in itself is quite an achievement which is often overlooked or drowned out by the grouses on the ground. If there's something I've picked up from this short stint at the civil service, it is a newfound appreciation for the civil servants who really do work hard at keeping Singapore safe, competitive and clean. Afterall, there are a million and one ways to run a country and no matter which route is picked, there are bound to be detractors. I think as citizens, as much as we shouldn't be passively uncritical and apathetic about how things are run, there should be a healthy balance of constructive crticism and appreciation where appreciation is due."[back to top]
"MCYS gives me both the opportunities to do exciting preliminary research and exposure to the workings of the Child Protection Service. My internship is made colourful by the interactions with civil servants, allowing me a glimpse of what they do.CSIP has opened up another perspective for me to better appreciate the workings of the Civil Service, this time from the inside out. Although it is not always perfect, I am now attracted to be part of it." [back to top]
"My summer CSIP internship at the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) was, to quote the Singapore Tourism Board (a statutory board under MTI), a 'Uniquely Singapore' experience. My weeks at MTI allow me to gain a better understanding of Singapore civil service and the hard work of the civil servants who toil day and night to make this sunny island a better place for her denizens. I learned loads during my internship, especially from my mentor, who was really kind and generous with her advice and encouragement. And even though I was an intern, I was allowed to sit in and observe the many meetings which helped me gain a better understanding of the MTI's work.Besides that, CSIP added another dimension to my experience through the learning journeys to other ministries and statutory boards and hosting a dialogue session for us to learn more about a Public Service career. In all, it was a truly enriching and memorable experience, and I am glad to have this opportunity to learn more about the Civil Service work."[back to top]
"My 7-week internship with MICA provided me with a unique perspective of the creative industries in Singapore - one that looked at the economic development strategies to propel our local creative sectors forward. I was fortunate to have received invaluable guidance from my supervisor and colleagues in the Industrial Development department - a very lovely bunch of people indeed! All in all, it was an intellectually stimulating few weeks for me which also exposed me to the nuances of worklife in a civil service environment. Thank You, PSD for this one-of-a-kind experience you've given me through CSIP - definitely a worthwhile way to spend my summer!"[back to top]
"The CSIP Internship was one which I had benefited a lot. As an intern attached to MAS on the CSIP program, it allowed me to have a clearer understanding of the different roles statutory boards and Ministries play within the public service. It was an enjoyable and fulfilling experience, as on top of being able to embark on a relatively ‘hot’ project on financial regulatory reforms in major jurisdictions like the U.S. and U.K., I got to work with fellow MOF interns to prepare for the APEC Senior Finance Officials’ Meeting in July 2009. Such inter agency/ ministry collaboration was indeed a rare chance for interns like me and I considered myself extremely fortunate. Getting to participate in MAS events like the recently concluded National Day Celebrations as well as learning journeys to MFA and LTA served to enhance the whole experience greatly. Most importantly, it was through this internship that I forged good friendships and got to learn about myself regarding my working abilities and how I interacted with others. I had a sense where my key weaknesses and strengths lie and it had truly been a self-discovering experience. As synonymous with the civil service tag line, it was indeed a "one internship, infinite opportunities" for me and I would like to thank the PSD team for their efforts in organizing the program."[back to top]
"To quote a fellow intern: 'There is no work life balance, there is only life'. So far, this internship has showed me the realities in the civil service, the positive and negative sides. Fortunately, I was given the full workload as expected, so as to best gauge the suitability of a career here. I think the main impact is that we can really make a difference in the lives of Singaporeans, to build a safer and better place for all (since my internship deals with policy work). I just hope that this internship, which is a great opportunity, is open to students who may have less than stellar academic performance. For they may have more new and unique contributions."[back to top]
"MCYS rocks!" CSIP provided me with a first-hand experience of the workings of Civil Service, and it was really different from what I had expected (in a positive way). Having a great time here, I will definitely consider coming back."[back to top]
"CSIP provided me with a first-hand experience of the workings of Civil Service, and it was really different from what I had expected (in a positive way). Having a great time here, I will definitely consider coming back ."[back to top]
"At the beginning, public service appeals to me as I thought I will be able to make a positive change to society. However, it takes less than a fortnight into my internship before it dawned upon me that it takes more than a pair of hands and gears to formulate the policy/initiate changes. Today’s learning journey attest to that. Even in the prison service, teamwork is the key to reintegrate worthy inmates to society. One cannot expect to leapfrog to significant positions in public sector but much lessons and experiences must be garnered."
"Experience they say is over-rated.Almost everyone has experience at an internship somewhere but joining an internship through a formal programme (CSIP) has completely redefined the experience. These past few weeks at PSD have felt like an interactive learning centre where every day is exciting.Days are filled with laughter because the people are simply amazing and the work is interesting because you know whatever little you do, does makes a difference to society. An opportunity as such, is truly one of a kind and I couldn't be happier to be part of it."[back to top]
"Undertaking an internship at the National Security Coordination Secretariat (NSCS), a department of the Prime Minister's Office, has certainly allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the factors affecting Singapore's national security.
This internship at NSCS is unique as it has also given me the opportunity to work alongside civil servants from different agencies as my department comprises of many civil servants who are on secondment from other ministries and government agencies.
Interacting and working with them on a daily basis on projects has been an extremely rewarding and enlightening experience. It has certainly strengthened my resolve to work for the Civil Service upon graduation."[back to top]
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"CSIP had given me an opportunity of a lifetime. I gained a lot of insight to the governance of Singapore from fellow interns posted to various ministries, as well as meeting civil servants who share the passion of making Singapore a better place to live in. Furthermore, working on the project I was assigned to was indeed a dream come true. Doing such a project gave me a clear understanding to the correctional education and system of the Singapore Prison Service. This internship had just further developed my interest in research work in the subject I am currently reading at the University.And I believe the internship experience had spurred me to work much harder in life - for the betterment of myself, my family and the society."[back to top]
Annabelle Chiong, Participated in CSIP 2008Imperial College LondonMinistry: NRFProject Title: Dual USe Technologies
""It has been an interesting and enriching journey thus far. I've learnt from my director that the work done here have far reaching effects and the bottom line is the public good. I'm pretty inspired by the passion my colleagues have in their work. Envisioning an idea and seeing it through. It has been a valuable experience! :) "[back to top]
Lau Pui Fen Catherine, Participated in CSIP 2008Imperial College LondonMinistry: MHAProject Title: Testing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for HazMat Operations
"What I really appreciated about my internship experience was the chance to find out what exactly goes on in the Civil Service. It was a great eye-opener and the programme was very well-structured, which made for a truly enjoyable and meaningful time at the department I was attached at. It was definitely an interesting and educational experience, and the department I was attached to was great fun to be at, since I hadn't expected to be exposed and introduced to the operational aspects of the department. The Civil Service Internship Programme is definitely a great opportunity to understand Singapore's Public Service and to try something different from most other internships."
"The CSIP was an excellent introduction to the depth and breadth offered by a career in the public service. Interning at the PMO’s Strategic Policy Office, I saw first hand how public servants are encouraged to think out of the box in order to anticipate and prepare for future challenges the government may face. Surrounded by creative minds and driven personalities, I was stretched as much by the intellectual exchange with my colleagues as by the demands of my project. The various field visits organized for interns were an effectively complement, acquainting me with the wider scope of public service work beyond my ministry and department. It framed my work experience in the context of the larger team effort that individual public servants are a part of.The CSIP showcased how the public service was both inclusive and cohesive - providing opportunities for diverse and often unconventional talents, while developing a strong sense of common purpose to serve fellow citizens. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience."
Aaron Foo, Participated in CSIP 2008
Brown UniversityMinistry: MTI (Industry Division)Project Title: Singapore F1 Grand Prix
Brown UniversityMinistry: MTI (Industry Division)Project Title: Singapore F1 Grand Prix
" I wanted to find out more about the Civil Service, the work and the challenges of the civil servants, whose responsibility, scope and the environment they face have changed much over the space of a few years. The CSIP became the perfect opportunity for me- The activities, dialouge session and the fast-paced internship work provided a deep insight into the Civil service that challenged conventional stereotypes and satisfied my curiosities.In addition, I must add that it is difficult and rare to find an internship opportunity that places much responsibility on the intern, in terms of providing the platform to influence tangible outcomes, all within an intellectually stimulating environment that engages the individual. Through the internship, I developed, by means of constant interaction with my supervisor, a multitude of skills, in analysis and communication, which I strongly believe will be valuable to me in career and life."
Lim Guang Cheng, Roger, Participated in SIP 2007Nanyang Business School (Accountancy), NTUMinistry: MTIProject Title: Be Part of Making Singapore a More Pro-Enterprise
"The Civil Service is indeed a nexus for world class professionals! I take pleasure in coming to work every morning. There is never a typical day at work. The only modus operandi is the visit to the coffee machine in the morning. The SIP allows us to learn a great deal on the job. The workplace has a family-like culture which provides a nurturing ground for budding talent.[back to top]
"My internship at Civil Service College International can be described in two words: rewarding and exhilarating! The learning journeys where I visited many government agencies, as well as my conversations with friendly colleagues and other civil servants I met, thoroughly enriched my internship experience during the last eight weeks. I was also able to interact with foreign delegates and learn about their rich and fascinating cultures without even leaving [back to top]