For Ivy Tse Wing Man (’11), receiving the Lee Kong Chian Global Merit Scholarship as a National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduate opened up a world of opportunities and gave her the freedom to discover the passion that would shape her future career choice.
The Scholarship – established from gifts from the Lee Foundation and awarded to individuals who demonstrate academic excellence, all-roundness and leadership qualities – gave Ivy the opportunity to throw herself into the many activities on offer at NUS outside the academic programmes.
While pursuing a double degree in Engineering and Business, Ivy got into the NUS Student Exchange Programme and spent a semester at the University of Waterloo in Canada. The experience was one she will never forget and she believes all students should have a chance to spend time overseas and broaden their horizons. She shares, “Beyond immersing myself in the culture and seeing the world out there, travelling is also a process of self-discovery.”
Throughout her time at the University, Ivy played an active role in community service, serving in several stints including the Sheares Hall Voluntary Corp, NUS Rotaract Club, NUS CSR Student Movement and also led a team to Laos under the NUSSU National Volunteer Action Committee.
Ivy’s community engagement work at NUS allowed her to find her passion for helping young people to discover themselves and realise their potential. This led to her career switch from the corporate world to a role in the not-for-profit sector in 2012. Today, Ivy is the CEO of the Halogen Foundation Singapore, a local charity with a focus on transforming young people through leadership and entrepreneurship education.
“My previous job in the corporate had a great culture and challenging work environment. However, when I reflected on what I wanted to devote the next few decades of my life to, it became really clear that purposeful work had to be at its core.” she shares.
Ivy recognises that the financial support from the Scholarship played a big part in supporting this pursuit for passion. She explains, “The Scholarship helped tremendously in relieving me of obligations such as repaying my study loans upon graduation. I do not think I would have made that same leap so freely if I had financial obligations.”
As someone whose life path has been shaped by the generosity of others, Ivy feels strongly in giving back to society. Ivy expresses, “I think giving needs to be a mindset that comes from within; it is a mindset that allows us not to fear that we have less by giving but embrace the notion that sometimes “giving up” might actually enrich our lives and yield abundance. We need to stop seeing giving as sacrifice but consider it as a way of living – who we choose to be, what we stand for and our relationships with one another.”
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