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prospects of a scholar

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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2011, 04:09 PM
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I will be studying Mechanical Engineering at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor under DSTA scholarship. bond is 6 years. does that help?

In addition, can i know how much value an overseas education adds when looking for a job. Assuming that i leave after the bond, does it really matter if, e.g. i get a masters from stanford or mit? will they look at work experience more or education?

thanks for the reply!

DSTA scholars are very well taken care of.
Go for it!!

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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2011, 07:54 PM
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Hi, i currently have a place in an overseas uni, and will most likely be going on a scholarship. Would like to know what kind of prospects i would have after i finish serving my bond (6 years), by which time i'll be 31. I've heard that when you've worked in a company for more than a few years, subsequent interviews and job applications will look more at where you worked previously than where you've studied previously. How true is this? would i be "restricted" and "categorised" based on where i worked? also, it would be good if i can have feedback about studying overseas on a scholarship. Would greatly appreciate responses. thanks

ps. i hope i posted in the right section. If not, please advice where to post this thread. thanks
What scholarship did you get? Some scholarships are worthless.

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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2011, 07:55 PM
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If your family can afford it, try not to take up this scholarship. As you alluded to, after 6 years, your CV will not be impressive at all.

The best scholarships in my opinion are: SAF overseas scholarship and PSC overseas. But you have to make sure you are among the best candidates, so you get to have high CEP and put on fast track to reach your potential early, eg BG in SAF and Perm Sec in PSD. I'm not sure how you can find that out, though.
You forgot President's Scholar. SAF is 2nd to President's.

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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2011, 10:12 PM
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You forgot President's Scholar. SAF is 2nd to President's.
The prestigious President's Scholarship is not open for application. Winners are picked from SAF and PSC award holders. Other lesser scholars are not eligible. For example, you will never see a DSTA scholar win the President's scholarship.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2011, 10:39 PM
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actually i wonder why pple keep thinking of the President's-cum-SAFOS or -cum other PSC scholarship as the ultimate combination... i personally think there is one obscure scholarship that actually trumps that.. the GIC scholarship... that will really give you the chance to study at top oseas business school and work in a financial institution. excellent academic credentials plus relevant financial industry experience.. not forgetting well paid.. and excellent market value after your bond..
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2011, 11:49 PM
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actually i wonder why pple keep thinking of the President's-cum-SAFOS or -cum other PSC scholarship as the ultimate combination... i personally think there is one obscure scholarship that actually trumps that.. the GIC scholarship... that will really give you the chance to study at top oseas business school and work in a financial institution. excellent academic credentials plus relevant financial industry experience.. not forgetting well paid.. and excellent market value after your bond..
you are absolutely right (and getting a GIC scholarship is not any easier than PSC), on the assumption that finance (specifically investment management) is what one enjoys as a long-term career. for some, making a difference in our country as a policy-maker is more meaningful than just making money. if "market value" is the only yardstick of how "desirable" a scholarship is, the military scholars probably had it the worst...
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2011, 01:55 AM
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actually i wonder why pple keep thinking of the President's-cum-SAFOS or -cum other PSC scholarship as the ultimate combination... i personally think there is one obscure scholarship that actually trumps that.. the GIC scholarship... that will really give you the chance to study at top oseas business school and work in a financial institution. excellent academic credentials plus relevant financial industry experience.. not forgetting well paid.. and excellent market value after your bond..
yes GIC scholarship is good. quite impossible to get though. haha. 2nd choice will be MAS scholarship.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2011, 06:17 AM
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I would estimate that the Chief Executive of DSTA to be Superscale B in the old grade (approximately $800k to $900k p.a.) and you can work downwards from there.

You are so wrong...


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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2011, 10:08 AM
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Well I am a JC student and my views (hopefully not naive) are:

I always thought DSTA is a good place to start off one's career... as there are chances to utilize your engineering skills in defense systems (be it in DSO or DSTA, coming up with our unique defense technology etc...).

There are also chances for project management, using your technical skills plus managing people. Being a scholar, one will be given high profile projects, sent to courses and opportunity to rise faster than others. Though 6 years is long, at the end of it one should be in mid-management? Staying there long term maybe can rise to the position of director?

Even if one decides to leave, wouldn't the skill sets that he acquired there in terms of managing projects be sought after in the private sector? (though technical skills might not be relevant as defense systems are very niche and specialized in nature). What about being a technical consultant? CIO/CTO/COO of some organizations? or starting your own business engineering some products and selling it back to the SAF/DSTA? Aren't all these feasible career paths given's one good profile?

Well those are my thoughts, though i am not too sure whether those are right given my very young age. Is there any comments and advices on my views? is dsta scholarship really not worth taking up? it is a scholarship i am considering for too.
You are right in that at the end of 6 years, you'd be in middle management.. typically DSTA staff start at grade 6. If as a scholar you do well, in 4-5 years you would make grade 8 (senior engineer) and would have held the title of "project manager". Note that this title is not taken lightly in dsta context because it sounds trivial but you bear full responsibility for your project. You would then likely be seconded out (perhaps DrTech or MINDEF) or rotated within DSTA (unless of cse you express a strong desire to continue what you are currently doing) for more exposure to upper management (more "tests" for you). The main thing they are looking out for is your ability to make things happen out of your own initiative. Because that's the kind of leadership that they want. (actually what all organisations want)

Ok i have not heard of DSTA people becoming technical consultants on their own and providing services back to MINDEF (maybe i havent seen widely enough) though i have heard DSO people forming their own technical consultancies.. examples are LOOP (RF electronics), Dr Chew Siou Teck (icredo) and Dr Anthony Ng (d-crypt) and provided services back to the defence industry. But note that these people are very very established in their chosen fields, very well-known in the defence circle before striking out on their own. It may sound glamorous having your own consultancy but i've heard its very very tough to survive outside. nobody owes you a living.

again like i mentioned in my previous posts, you take up a scholarship BECAUSE you've already decided to make it your life-long career. Example, a teaching scholarship from PSC because you've already known early on you really really want to be a teacher or DSTA scholarship because you want to be an engineer in our defence industry. The scholarship thus makes your original choice sweeter because it gives you a headstart over your peers who want the same thing.

Its NOT the other way around where you become an engineer in the defence industry because because you took up the DSTA scholarship for watever reasons like: to study overseas, to make your parents proud, to go one up over your non-scholar sibling or whatever.
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2011, 10:24 AM
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er.. sorry forgot to also add that the DSTA scholarship doesn't necessary mean you have to do engineering. there are usually a few spots for the sciences such as physics (but only 1 or 2 spots) maybe even (chem or bio related courses?) because they need to address DSO's needs for researchers in fundamental sciences as well. Dr Phua Poh Boon was a former local DSTA scholar in Physics. Went to DSO right from the start. World-class physicist. (not i anyhow say one. Keyword: Spirally-Varying Retarder)
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