Not many get a chance to be involved in large scale, multimillion dollar projects as an intern, but Miss Kimberly Chang had the opportunity to work on compliance exercises during her internship with the Keppel Group.

The 23-year-old is a recipient of the Singapore-Industry Scholarship (SgIS), a multi-industry scholarship in partnership with the Singapore Government.

The SgIS offers scholarships from various companies across industries like the arts, healthcare, engineering, tourism and infocomm technology.

Her scholarship, offered by the Keppel Group, as the sponsoring organisation, comes with a bond of four years.

Making choices

Miss Chang has just completed her degree in Accounting and Finance at the Singapore Management University.

Taking up a scholarship helped her financially as it covered university tuition fees and living expenses when she went on an overseas exchange programme in Copenhagen, Denmark.

For her, the most important part of the scholarship was that it allowed her to get a head start in her career.

Says Miss Chang: “Keppel’s talent management programme offers scholars a defined career development path. Scholars are given industry exposure prior to entering the workforce and are subsequently groomed for roles across the Keppel Group according to their aspirations and qualifications.”

The scholarship required her to attend an interview with her sponsoring company. She advises other scholarship applicants not to be afraid of showing their personality during the interview sessions with the scholarship selection panel.

Miss Chang says: “One of Keppel’s core values is ‘Can Do’. I applied for a scholarship that I was passionate about, and I believe this passion shone through during the interview sessions.”

She adds: “I chose Keppel as my sponsoring organisation as the Keppel Group has diversified businesses and would, in the long run, give me the opportunity to be exposed to varied industries.”

Honing skills, developing self

During her undergraduate years, Miss Chang interned during the three-month summer school holidays from 2013 to 2015 across the Keppel Group, taking on accounting, finance and compliance roles at Keppel FELS Limited, Keppel Shipyard Limited and Keppel Offshore and Marine Limited.

She gained insights from industry experts about the dynamics of executing complex engineering projects.

Her mentors during her internships have also provided strong guidance.

“This was important as it helped me see the bigger picture and appreciate my potential contribution to the various projects,” she says.

Colleagues have also provided valuable advice, including possible career options with the company such as working at one of Keppel’s overseas yards.

“My mentor advised that I be open-minded to the opportunities that the company offers its scholars, and not to be afraid to step out of my comfort zone to explore the options available to get a better understanding of the diversified business that the Group is involved in,” she says.

The company also encourages bonding between teams and promotes friendly competition, team spirit and healthy lifestyles through sports competitions.

Miss Chang was part of Keppel’s badminton team in the Asean Council on Petroleum Games and represented Keppel FELS in the company-wide Keppel Games.

She has forged strong friendships with her colleagues through these events and feels that she has been able to hone her interpersonal skills and be more versatile to deal with changing situations.

“Being welcomed as a part of the Keppel family at this early stage gave me opportunities to interact with management and individuals who would soon be my colleagues. I appreciate the exposure and experiences of which I would not have been able to enjoy without the scholarship,” she says.

When she begins working full-time, she plans to acquire the professional qualification to become a Chartered Accountant within three years. This will open doors to more career options within the company and propel her up the corporate ladder.