Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, Dr Janil Puthucheary, enjoying a chat with award recipients.
By Francis Kan
Meet Tok Yee Ching.
Codename: “Threat Hunter”.
His cool job title comes with an equally exciting job description — to track down and mitigate potential digital risks to clients.
Already armed with a Masters of Science in Information Security, the 28-year-old employee at MWR InfoSecurity is set to pursue his doctorate in cybersecurity at the Singapore University of Technology and Design next year, after receiving the National Cybersecurity Postgraduate Scholarship.
"By pursuing my PhD, I want to help academia and industry to work closer together. There are good research projects that can be used to solve industry problems," explained Yee Ching, who is also an executive committee member of the Association of Information Security Professionals.
Yee Ching is one of the 850 technology and media students who received awards that would help further support their studies — from diploma to doctorate levels — in their respective fields.
Nurturing the next-generation
The annual IMDA Awards, which was held on 29 September 2017, recognises the efforts of talented students by providing them with a wide range of opportunities through the funding of courses and certifications, as well as offering industry mentorships and internships.
The event's guest of honour, Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Dr Janil Puthucheary, noted: "The scope of the sector is only going to grow. The amount of activity and opportunities is only going to grow, and the number of jobs will grow.".
Beyond the awards ceremony, former IMDA scholars were also at the event to share their experiences.
An inaugural showcase of student-led projects — from the beneficiaries of the Industry Preparation for Pre-Graduate (iPREP) programme — in areas such as fintech, retail and urban redevelopment was also held.
The initiative is part of a national effort to develop the next generation of infocomm media (ICM) leaders like Yee Ching and the other award recipients, some of whom are currently pursuing their passion in robotics, computer science and cinematography.
Inspired by robotics
Melissa Ng's interest in technology was sparked by a robot when she was just in primary school.
That encountered transformed her into a fan of robots.
The 17-year-old recipient of the Infocomm Polytechnic Scholarship went on to become the chairperson of her secondary school's Robotics Club, and participated in various robotics competitions.
A first-year Ngee Ann Polytechnic student, she hopes to beef up her expertise in software to complement her knowledge of hardware.
"Through robotics I learnt a lot about hardware, so I want to learn more about the software side," she said.
Receiving the scholarship would help her stay motivated to do well in her course, she added.
Looking ahead, Melissa hopes to pursue a degree in Computer Science at a local university after she graduates from the polytechnic.
Animated passion for animation
When it came to picking which course to pursue at university, Anu Kriti Wadhwa was torn between her two interests: computer science and film.
The 18-year-old eventually settled on computer science, as it could still pave the way to a career in show business.
In particular, it would help her fulfil her dream of working for animation giant Pixar, the creator of popular animated movies like Inside Out and Finding Dory.
Anu was awarded a National Infocomm Scholarship and started her studies in computer science at the National University of Singapore (NUS) this year.
"The scholarship is extra motivation and it gives me the confidence to do well," she said.
She is also using her tech skills to give back to society.
For instance, she has previously taught underprivileged kids coding and programming on a voluntary basis.
An aye for cinema
As a budding filmmaker, Rachel Liew isn't afraid to admit that she was never keen to write her own scripts.
Instead, the 26-year-old fell in love with creating beauty onscreen through the art of cinematography.
A film graduate from Nanyang Technological University, she received a Media Education Scholarship (MES) and gained admission into the prestigious National Film and TV School in the UK, where she will begin her studies in January 2018.
Film fact: The NFTS typically accepts two to three international students annually.
Her NTU film thesis Han, which she created with fellow MES recipient Jonathan Choo, won the Laszlo Kovacs Student Award Golden Tadpole in Cinematography in Poland last year.
"Despite being a small community, filmmakers in Singapore make up for it with passion and sheer determination. Singapore has a voice in the industry, we just need an opportunity to show them," she said.
If you would like more information about student programmes and opportunities in the ICT and media industries, do visit the Infocomm Media Talent Portal now!