Class of 2021: Getting Hired Before Graduating

IWSP experiences helped pave the way to SITizens’ full-time employment.

The IWSP experiences of two SITizens from the Class of 2021 helped pave the way to full-time employment, even before they graduated.



Huang Junkai, Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Mechanical Design and Manufacturing Engineering (MDME), Class of 2021

Junkai can be described as a top student, an exceptional intern, and now, a full-fledged design engineer. However, this high-flying MDME graduate, who received a full-time job offer even before graduation, once pursued the Real Estate Business course in Ngee Ann Polytechnic – a diploma completely unrelated to engineering! He only discovered his passion for tinkering during National Service.

Naturally, emerging as one of the top students in his programme was a feat for this student, whose only engineering knowledge prior to SIT was in secondary school. “SIT’s approach is to look beyond an applicants GPA and education background. And, that was the reason that I was given the opportunity to enrol in the MDME programme,” said Junkai. “An opportunity I am immensely grateful for.”

Junkai felt the applied learning pedagogy at SIT was key in enabling him to reinforce his love for fixing things. It gave him a solid theoretical and practical know-how and allowed his passion to develop into more than a mere hobby.

“The applied learning approach, culture, and the way classes were structured at SIT were very attractive to me both as a student and a budding engineer,” shared Junkai. “Through the ample hands-on learning opportunities, I was able to expand my knack for tinkering with deeper technical knowledge in subjects such as physics and mechanics.”

In addition, the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge served Junkai well during his six-month Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP) at Dyson, where he contributed by working on new products from the conceptual design stage to the final design – developing working prototypes before mass production and distribution to customers.


During his IWSP at Dyson Singapore, Huang Junkai (right), worked on developing new products from the conceptual design stage to the final design – developing working prototypes before mass production and distribution to customers.

“It was nerve-racking at first, as it was my first formal engineering job. Being around so many like-minded engineers who are extremely knowledgeable and experienced was stressful,” Junkai recalled. “I had the chance to be involved in a new Dyson project. I was able to apply a great amount of technical knowledge that I had learnt from MDME, such as thermofluids, materials science and statistics. There was a major design issue that prevented the product from being launched. In the end, I was able to mitigate the issue with a new design that ultimately brought the project one step closer to completion.”

Junkai impressed his supervisors at Dyson so much that he was offered a full-time position.

“In this challenging climate, I am grateful to have been offered an exciting job even before I graduated. My IWSP experience has certainly paved the way for that,” Junkai said. “The exposure I gained during my IWSP facilitated my smooth transition from school to the workplace. It enabled me to translate what I’d learnt in the classroom to something useful and value-adding for the company and industry. Additionally, I learnt how to work well with people from different backgrounds. I will definitely make good use of these skills and knowledge with me throughout my career. And, I will never stop learning, unlearning, and re-learning.”

Ian Gerard Goh, Bachelor of Hospitality Business with Honours, Class of 2021

Ian is an avid traveller who became inspired by the hospitality he’d received on his trips. It led him to aspire to create similar memorable experiences for others through impeccable hosting and thoughtful service. Embarking on the Hospitality Business programme at SIT in 2018 was exciting. He was about to starting his IWSP on the housekeeping team at a five-star hotel, when the pandemic disrupted his plans.

“It was a big blow to me initially, as I was looking forward to applying what I’d learnt in class on the job,” shared the SIT Scholar candidly. “However, I was blessed with a wonderful alternative – IWSP (Innovation Project) – which placed me in the front seat of understanding the industry landscape from an analytical perspective.”

As part of a collaboration between SIT and Mandarin Orchard, Ian and his team conducted research and developed innovative solutions together. These solutions ranged from improving customer experience to devising branding strategies that would translate into sales – all of which were aimed at helping their food and beverage (F&B) outlets pivot into the new normal.


Ian (fourth from right), with his team, on the day they presented their research findings and recommendations to Mandarin Orchard as part of their IWSP (Innovation Project).

Through this IWSP experience, Ian gained a deeper understanding of consumer behaviour, problem solving, and the ability to look at the hospitality business from a holistic and analytical perspective. This ability to think and manage issues from a holistic point of view has served him well in his current full-time job at The Ascott Limited as a Lyf Guard.

“As a Lyf Guard, I specialise in guest services at Lyf Funan, a co-living accommodation and my tasks are very varied,” Ian said. “They include checking guests in and out, managing basic engineering, and housekeeping tasks. At the same time, I have to prioritise our guests’ engagement to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Having that bird’s eye view of all the daily processes and being a jack of all trades are the essential skills I need to do this job well. I’m glad I was able to hone these skills at SIT.”

Driven by a passion to make a positive difference to Singapore’s hospitality scene, Ian aspires to become a general manager at a boutique hotel. “One day, I hope to show how smaller hotels can rival big conglomerates in terms of impeccable hosting and thoughtful service. To realise this dream, I will need to continue learning the ins and outs of the hospitality industry. Also, I hope to remain grounded in the community, and give back in whatever ways I can.”