By Jessica Cheam
IN THE male-dominated world of engineering and construction, it would be easy for a 19-year-old Joanne Chan to feel out of place.
But the former Raffles Junior College student had set her heart on entering the industry and her dream came true yesterday when she won a Building and Construction Authority (BCA) scholarship.
'It combines my love for physics and maths and I would love to be involved in the policymaking of this industry,' said Ms Chan, who will be pursuing engineering and business administration at the National University of Singapore.
She was one of the 33 undergraduate scholars out of 1,774 applicants who were welcomed into what Minister of National Development Mah Bow Tan called the 'MND family' at a ceremony at the BCA Academy in Braddell.
Mr Mah told the scholars: 'Meet new people, discover new places, and find new inspirations. But return soon, and we'll look forward to your contributions to this country, this city, which you and I both call home.'
The minister also paid tribute to past urban planners, builders and park rangers for helping transform Singapore from Third to First World.
The MND last month marked 50 years since its formation in 1959, when Singapore attained self-governance. 'Over the years, we have not only forged a successful modern city - one which has welcomed many new investors - (but) have also fashioned an eminently liveable home for all of us... where we raise our children, and pursue our dreams,' said Mr Mah.
All this did not happen by chance, he said, but through 'long-term and proactive planning, spearheaded by MND and other key agencies'.
'We want...the MND of tomorrow to improve upon the accomplishments we have attained yesterday and today,' he added.
The MND also gave out eight post-graduate scholarships to existing officers yesterday.
This article was first published in The Straits Times.