Published on: 27-Jul-2015
- Honorary degree conferred on Professor Haresh Shah for his outstanding contributions to NTU and higher education
The employment outlook looks bright for NTU’s Class of 2015 amid a positive hiring climate this year.
This year, more than 8,600 Nanyang Technological University (NTU) graduating students will receive their bachelor’s and higher degrees. The graduands will receive their degrees at 18 NTU Convocation ceremonies from today until August 3, with about 20,000 guests expected to attend.
In a preliminary survey of more than 5,000 graduands, 7 in 10 said they had already found jobs.
Presiding over the first Convocation ceremony this morning was His Excellency, President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who is also Chancellor of NTU. Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education, also attended the ceremony.
NTU President Prof Bertil Andersson said to the Class of 2015: “You are graduating in a very special year, this year being Singapore’s Golden Jubilee. When SG100 comes around, we know that all of you will be very proud to have contributed to this nation’s continued progress as Singapore hits the one century mark.”
Bright employment prospects for Class of 2015
This year’s graduating class head into a positive job market with many receiving job offers from internship organisations or taking on overseas postings. A number have also chosen the path less trodden to become entrepreneurs. A survey conducted by NTU earlier this month found that almost 7 in 10 graduates from the Class of 2015 have secured jobs before graduation, slightly higher compared to 2014.
Ramanan Kalechelvam, 25, was spoilt for choice with three job offers. The Business graduate decided to pursue a coveted Management Associate position at Singtel in February this year, five months before graduation.
An IT enthusiast, he honed his skills in school as the President of NTU’s Business IT Club and interned at BT Global Services Singapore, a leading global communications company. Ramanan said, “The education and exposure I received at NTU prepared me well for a career in a top firm like Singtel, whose comprehensive career development programme appealed to me. The telecom sector also continues to be a growing and vibrant sector with many new and emerging opportunities, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) leading the way.”
In a competitive job market, internships are proving to be a good way to attract job offers from top-choice employers.
Materials Science and Engineering graduate, Zann Lee, 23, performed well in her internship to get hired by ExxonMobil more than half a year before graduation. During her internship, Zann impressed her bosses when she was part of the team working on the company’s annual financial and manpower planning exercise. She said, “I was in charge of preparing the entire presentation package that would be reviewed during the exercise. I felt truly honoured to be entrusted to the task, as it concerned the entire company’s expenses and manpower allocation for the next year.”
Other graduates, such as Deborah Loh, 23, are setting their sights abroad. The Communication Studies graduate landed a job at Muji after winning a business proposal competition. She clinched the top prize and was sent to Tokyo for an interview with the firm’s management. The 23-year-old, who is well versed in Japanese, was elated to be offered a lifelong contract with the Japanese retail company. She said, “I thank NTU for opening so many doors for me to develop and grow. I look forward to a global career with Muji as working in different countries will enable me to widen my horizons and gain deeper understanding of the global retail landscape.”
Rise of the graduate entrepreneur
In the technology-related sector, the future is looking bright for young and tech-savvy entrepreneurs looking to start their own business.
Among them is serial entrepreneur Frank Quek, 25, who started his first business venture as early as his second year of undergraduate studies, running TY Innovations, an e-commerce platform for electronic equipment. The double degree Business and Computer Science graduate said, “It’s obviously difficult to juggle studies with running a business, but it is my passion. My interest in e-commerce peaked during my internship at Adidas Singapore, where I was tasked to be part of the marketing campaign team for its new online store.”
Frank’s latest venture is Think Rice, a website that sells imported Japanese rice to consumers. The intrepid entrepreneur handles the entire business operation, from website development to marketing and delivery.
Education advocate receives honorary degree
This year, NTU conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters on Emeritus Professor Haresh Shah of Stanford University in recognition of his significant contributions to NTU and to higher education and research.
A pioneer in the fields of risk analysis, earthquake engineering, and probabilistic methods for over 35 years, Prof Shah has distinguished himself in academia with his world-class research.
Most significantly, Prof Shah served with distinction as a member of NTU’s Board of Trustees where he was the initiator and driver of many initiatives. He helped NTU move forward on multiple fronts – from earthquake engineering and catastrophe risk management, to the revamp of NTU's undergraduate curriculum and the strengthening of the university's governance.
In 2007, Prof Shah chaired the high profile Blue Ribbon Commission that advocated a bottom-up review of NTU’s undergraduate education. This laid the foundation for NTU Education, the university’s blueprint for undergraduate education that prepares students with skills needed in the 21st century workplace while catering to the new ways of learning that today’s young need.
Prof Shah also chaired the Board of Trustees’ Academic Affairs Committee and significantly contributed to the reform of NTU’s faculty appointment, promotion and tenure system, enabling NTU to attract and retain high quality academic staff and achieve rapid progress in recent years.
In addition, Prof Shah advocated the introduction of a system of Colleges and Deans, as well as the new position of Provost to lead the University through its academic transformation. Prof Shah personally led the rigorous global search for NTU’s first Provost in 2007 that led to the appointment of Prof Bertil Andersson as NTU’s first Provost that year.
In the citation on Prof Haresh Shah delivered at this morning’s ceremony, Prof Bertil Andersson said, “The remarkable and rapid progress of NTU since 2006 to what it is today – the fastest rising young university and the highest ranked young university under 50 years of age in the world – can be attributed to a large extent to Professor Shah’s remarkable contributions. He has helped to lay the foundations for NTU to grow into a great research-intensive university, serving the nation as one of the major institutions that educate leaders, create knowledge and develop economic value.
“Professor Shah truly deserves this honorary degree for his exceptional and meritorious service to NTU and Singapore.”
NTU Convocation 2015 by numbers:
• 5,820 Bachelor’s Degree graduates and 2,819 Higher Degree graduates
• 575 graduates receiving Doctorate degrees
• 2,244 graduates receiving Master's degrees
• 30 graduates awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal for being the top graduate in their respective course.
• 16 graduates received the Koh Boon Hwee Scholars Award which recognises outstanding graduates as well as their inspiring teachers.
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Feisal Abdul Rahman
Senior Assistant Director (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: (65) 6790 6687
About Nanyang Technological University
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).
A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.
NTU’s main campus at Yunnan Garden has been named one of Top 15 Most Beautiful in the World. It also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.
For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg
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