Strengthen Industry Connections
I am Akshaya Maddula (Aki), a final year student at SUTD (Singapore University of Technology and Design) majoring in Robotics, Engineering Product Development. I am an international student from India, and this is my third year of living in Singapore.
In the past three years of experience of living in Singapore, I would say that COVID-19 did affect my social life, opportunities to meet new people, and networking despite tremendous efforts put into making online networking events. Networking is a vital part of every student's life as it introduces the student to innovative ideas and fresh perspectives on industry and life. It is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen industry connections, get career advice and find new job opportunities. But it might be hard for a student to gain confidence and be active in networking events. So, students hope for a safe non-judgmental space to get good career insights and make new connections. This is exactly what I was able to find at SMC (Singapore Mentorship Committee).
I went for a 10Km hiking tour held at Macritchie Reservoir, one of Singapore’s oldest Reservoirs situated at the South-Eastern end of the Central catchment nature reserve. We took the Prunus Trail and it made me realize what I am missing by just sitting in my hostel room. Our mentor was Ms. Kathy Chen, Vice President of Channel, Asia Pacific, and Japan (APJ) region, Citrix, and ex-CEO of Twitter, China. She gave me many meaningful insights about team building and leadership, business model development, self-confidence, achieving goals, and life in general. She worked with people from different races, cultures, languages, regions, and religions which made her “Global Ready”. She shared the difficulties that she faced at her workplace and taught us how to overcome hurdles in life from her firsthand experiences.
I also got a chance to meet peers of similar age who share similar interests from other universities in Singapore. We had a good life talk while enjoying the true beauty of nature. I am excited and looking forward to going back for more of these hikes.