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prospects of a scholar

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Old 31-03-2011, 10:10 AM
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Default prospects of a scholar

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

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Old 31-03-2011, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bongewj View Post
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
You'll need to post more info such as,

1)Where are you going to study
2)What are you studying
3)Who will you be bonded with and to work as what
4)What sort of scholarship it is

Answers will vary greatly depending on your reply. I'll wait till you have replied before my inputs. Thanks!

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Old 31-03-2011, 11:13 AM
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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!

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Old 31-03-2011, 11:50 AM
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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!
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.
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Old 31-03-2011, 12:01 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!
University of Michigan is quite a reputable uni and beats NTU and NUS hands down with regards to obtaining work overseas (if you're passionate in the mechanical engineering field). The bond is quite long though and especially with DSTA. 6 years is a really long time and you'll find that you'll be behind your peers (doing finance) in career development and pay.

Like the above poster, if your family can afford it, try not to take up the bond, do your engineering at uni michigan, work in the states a little, do your masters from mit or stanford and you should lead a comfortable life. Bottom line is, if you plan to go the engineering route, it's wasteful to do so in Singapore. They are not regarded highly. Working in the states though is another thing if you remain in this line.
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Old 31-03-2011, 12:35 PM
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If i can't afford to go overseas on my own, and can only do so on the scholarship, would it be better to stay local or go overseas, and come back to serve the bond?
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Old 31-03-2011, 12:58 PM
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Whatever u do will involve TradeOffs.

Let me give u an example. NUS/NTU give scholarships to folks from India to do undergrad in exchange for a bond. Our perception in
India is that it looks like a good deal. However, I did an undergrad in India (top school like IIT) in engineering. Got scholarship
in Sg easily for grad studies with no bond. I was free to do whatever I wanted after studying while those who got bonded will be stuck
for few years. I personally think that a top school in India gives a better chance than Scholarship with Bond in Singapore.

Similarly, a good and useful degree from NUS mite be better than Michigan + Bond. If you do well in studies, u can always do MS from
abroad in future.

Now, if u get a good job with a great future, Bond is not that bad. But if the job is bad, u will feel stuck and frustrated and feel
that many who did not take scholarships are better off.

Again, bond for 2-3 years is ok. But 6 years will define your future. It will be hard to change after that.

Your option are UMich + DSTA with 6 years. It does not seem to a case on the positive side to me.

So, even though u mite be in US at 21, at 26 u mite find urself behind locals grads from SMU/NUS, especially MoneyWise. I left Singapore
since Engineering is not the thing to be in in Singapore.

Looking at the combo (DSTA + 6 yrs), I would not take it. But I am not sure if I could say the same when I was 18yrs old. I am 30 or so
now. So, based on my experience, I value my freedom way more than Singapore+BOND.


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Old 31-03-2011, 01:23 PM
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6 years is a long time and by the time you're done with the bond, DSTA experience may limit your options if you intend to change employment, particularly if you want to move into the private sector

how much can your family afford? are there (bond-free) scholarships/bursaries you can explore at the university to help with the fees and living expenses? would you consider a bank loan? (note that you will have to work REALLY hard at paying off the bank loan after graduation. it's an option, but you definitely need to weigh the risks. i know someone who has done this and it's really tough)

if your only option to study at u mich is the scholarship, then you will need to go into the deal with both eyes opened and be aware of the tradeoffs
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Old 31-03-2011, 02:35 PM
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thanks for all the feedback! but can anyone elaborate more about how the 6 years will define my future? i'm quite keen on getting an overseas education cos it'll be a change from the local system, which i don't quite like. but, as mentioned, the 6 year bond is quite daunting. i've considered loans, but it will certainly be tough, especially since everything hinges on getting a good enough paying job to pay off the loan + interests. and unfortunately there isn't financial aid for international students at umich. oh, does being a scholar help at all in the future?
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Old 31-03-2011, 02:48 PM
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I disagree. If you can't afford, I suggest it's better to do your studies here in sg than take a non-elite scholarship. Grad top in class and then work in the private sector. I can almost guarantee you'll have a brighter future than being a "farmer" scholar, and maybe much happier.

If possible, ask your sponsoring organization for a chance to speak with existing scholars and discretely probe for information from them. See how "high flying" they are.

-ex farmer scholar
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