Mentors, internships and career fair boost NTU students’ job prospects
Record number of 280 employers at NTU Career Fair 2018
Students at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) will now be able to boost their career prospects through a new mentorship programme, besides the annual NTU Career Fair – one of the largest by a Singapore university – and internships in their dream organisation.
At the NTU Career Fair opening today, the University launched a mentorship programme that will match current undergraduates with NTU alumni and other industry professionals.
Under the NTU Connecting Minds programme, students who sign up will be able to search for or be matched with a volunteer mentor from their preferred industry through a one-stop digital platform. Using artificial intelligence and big data, the platform will provide students with a personalised skills profile report that will identify possible career options based on their key skills, and recommend mentors in the relevant industry.
This year’s NTU Career Fair has attracted a record number of 280 employers offering some 4,000 jobs and internship opportunities. About 9,000 students are expected to visit the fair each day on 1, 6 and 9 February.
A number of NTU’s graduating students have also successfully clinched job offers before they graduate, some as early as 6 months to a year before graduation, at organisations they interned at, or because the internship had prepared them well for the first job.
Students in the programme will identify their career goals and options, and work closely with their mentors for up to 3 months on an action plan to attain those goals. Each mentor may have up to 3 students as their mentees. NTU aims to have up to 1,000 students and mentors signing up within the first year of the programme.
Professor Ling San, NTU Provost and Vice President (Academic), said, "The ultimate goal is to mentor, nurture and inspire a new generation of talents, one student at a time. With their wealth of career and life experiences, these mentors can meaningfully guide students towards their career aspirations, help them to see beyond their degrees and consider fresh opportunities in the global workplace.
“By tapping on NTU’s global network of more than 200,000 alumni, NTU Connecting Minds aims to provide our students with an important head start and an extra edge to succeed in their careers. In line with Singapore’s SkillsFuture initiative, a unique feature of this Mentorship Programme is the special focus on skills development. Leveraging an intelligent online platform developed by two NTU alumni, the system uses big data to better understand the different skills that are required for different career options,” Professor Ling added.
The job of the mentors is to assist their mentees in setting development goals, build the confidence to reach those goals and expand their networks.
Mr Tay Ling, Managing Director of TILT, an NTU-trained mechanical engineer who has been in the creative industry for the past 15 years, said, "Throughout my career, many people have helped me to grow, so I felt it's time for me to give back. I hope to engage and empower young people by sharing my experience in terms of work ethics, hard and soft skills, help them to widen their network within the industry, and empower young social enterprise start-ups.”
The programme also aims to connect students with mentors regardless of distance.
Mr Loh Pui Wah, Director of NTU’s Career & Attachment Office said, “We have many alumni who want to mentor. To tap on their expertise, we will use digital means, such as video communication so mentors can connect with the students, even if either one of them is not based in Singapore.”
The mentorship programme complements NTU’s existing school-based career coaches and industry-based career consultants.
Record number of 280 employers, 20% more than last year
This year’s NTU Career Fair has attracted a record number of 280 employers offering some 4,000 jobs and internship opportunities. About 9,000 students are expected to visit the fair each day.
Almost 90 per cent of the employers are from the private sector. Among those participating for the first time are leading multinationals such as Delta Electronics, Goldman Sachs, Jardine Engineering and Panasonic that will offer regional and global roles and responsibilities.
NTU also has new collaborations with five key industry partners for NTU PEAK, a leadership programme for students who aspire to progress to top management and executive roles.
Introduced last year, the one-month intensive programme was jointly developed and designed with leading industry players, including Mediacorp, Rolls Royce and Tetra Pak, to transform high-calibre NTU students into industry-relevant business leaders by enabling them to be mentored by senior leaders in these partner companies, as the students work on solutions to real-life business challenges. To date, 64 students have completed NTU PEAK and 30 per cent of them received internships offers resulting from the programme.
The new partners are Lendlease Corporation, PSA Corporation, Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore), and United Overseas Bank, with Systems on Silicon Manufacturing Company renewing its partnership for the second consecutive year.
Students secure jobs more than 6 months before graduation
A number of NTU’s graduating students have received multiple job offers even before they graduate, some as early as 6 months to a year before graduation.
Goh Duo Geng, 25, from the Double Degree in Accountancy and Finance programme at NTU’s Nanyang Business School, will be joining management consulting firm Bain & Company. He received the job offer one week after completing his internship at the firm last August – one year before his graduation.
Passionate in pursuing a career in management consulting, Duo Geng has completed eight internships at renowned firms such as Accenture, Bain & Company, and Boston Consulting Group. He said, "Each internship prepared me well for the next internship, and I was given both formal and informal return offers at some of these firms."
Danny Soo, 25, from NTU's Renaissance Engineering Programme, had applied for Vodafone's Discover Graduate Programme in October and received an offer a month later, after going through several interviews and assessment. He has received four job offers so far, linking up with the HR personnel of the technology companies he was interested in through NTU’s career consultant. "As she was familiar with the hiring processes of the companies, that helped me with my interview preparations," he said.
As part of his degree course, Danny worked as a design engineer intern in Dallas, Texas, where he did rapid prototyping and proof-of-concept for products that support the sales of NCH Corporation's main line of chemicals.
"It was an eye-opening experience to intern there as I got to experience the different working culture in the USA. Engineers and interns are well-regarded in the USA, and the companies actively engage interns on the live projects in the company. My colleagues were very understanding and helpful in guiding us along the way," he said.
"Besides improving our technical skills, internship was also an opportunity for us to hone our soft skills, such as navigating organisational structure and communicating with bosses. The combination of engineering, business and soft skills was key to helping me clinch a job," he added.
Feisal Abdul Rahman
Senior Assistant Director (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: (65) 6790 6687
About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It also has a 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 for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).
Ranked 11th in the world, NTU is top in Asia and has been placed the world’s top young university for the past four years. The University’s main campus is frequently listed among the Top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world and has 57 Green Mark-certified (equivalent to LEED-certified) buildings, of which 54 are certified Green Mark Platinum. NTU also has a campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.