To develop Singapore as an international maritime centre, our schools are hard at work grooming the next generation of industry professionals.

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To develop Singapore as an international maritime centre, our schools are hard at work grooming the next generation of industry professionals.

The Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA) at Singapore Polytechnic (SP) offers maritime diplomas and internship opportunities, while the MaritimeONE Scholarship programme administered by the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) gives students a leg up with funding, and networking opportunities with industry professionals.


Professor Annie Koh, Vice-President, Office of Business Development and Professor of Finance (Practice), Singapore Management University (SMU)

Prof  Koh is a highly respected figure in the field of  international finance who has also served on the advisory committee of  SMA. At SMU, she and her colleagues steer the Maritime Economics Track, a cluster of  courses within the economics major. Modules include maritime economics and ship finance, port economics and management, and shipping business. Students also get funding from MPA and have the opportunity to participate in an exchange programme with the Copenhagen Business School.

The industry is evolving and digitalising quickly, says Prof  Koh, and education will need to cover the softer business aspects of  the job to “futureproof ” our talents. Prof  Koh’s finance background comes in handy when explaining the big picture to her students. “Knowledge in international finance helps maritime students unde0rstand the supply chain and the inherent financing and business risks,” she explains.

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Cathy Cong, Lecturer, SMA

It certainly wasn’t by accident that Cathy entered the shipbuilding industry. Both her parents worked in the line – her dad had his own marine consultancy, while her mum was in port operations – and she believed from the get-go that she was going to be at least equal to, if  not better than, her male counterparts.

Armed with a first-class honours degree, Cathy became a naval architect with a renowned firm. After six years, she took a dip into teaching in SMA. What was supposed to be a part-time gig became a full-time passion.

“I felt a satisfaction I had never experienced before, sharing my knowledge and experience with the students and seeing them progress,” she says.

Her students now span a wide range of  ages, from 17 to over 50. On top of  teaching, she works closely with the industry to keep ahead of  the curve when designing the school’s curriculum.

To inspire her students to stay the path, Cathy shares the variety of  jobs available in the industry and success cases of  SMA alumni. She also encourages them to do a visualising exercise, to picture themselves in 10 years’ time in their ideal role within the industry.

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