Upskill, Upgrade And Level Up Your Career Future

Here’s your chance to upskill yourself, hear what our SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme awardees have to say about this sponsorship.

By Sean Tan      25 February 2021

They say learning is a life-long journey, and one can never be too old or too late to upskill oneself especially in the current challenging climate. Diversifying and expanding your skillsets not only allows you to remain relevant as industries shift focus into the new digital realm, but it can also help you stay competitively viable and ready to face the challenges in our economy ahead.

While there are various avenues to upgrade your skills and many courses you can consider signing up for, do take some time to explore the various bond-free sponsorship offered by our private education partners to offset your course fees. In the journey to upskill yourself, this could perhaps be one of the best decisions you can make.

Group Picture of Attendees to 15 Dec event pub

Introduced in 1994, SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme aims to encourage its members to upgrade themselves through lifelong learning. Over the years, SAFRA has partnered with various private educational institutions (PEIs) to offer Diploma, Degree to Masters program sponsorships. This scheme is available to all SAFRA members who have completed their National Service. All you need to do is fill up an application form together with an enrolment form from your institution of choice and attach the required supporting documents for submission during the application commencement period. This would be updated on our website. Shortlisted applicants would be interviewed by our Education Committee before being put forth to the respective PEIs for their selection.

For more information on the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme, visit https://www.safra.sg/promotions/bond-free-education-scheme

Here’s what some of our awardees have to say to you and hopefully, inspire you to take the leap of faith and try out for this bond free education sponsorship:

Jake

Jake Loh, 42, Technology Manager at Advanced Remanufacturing & Technology Centre, A Star
Course: Master of Business Administration
School: Aventis School of Management

Prior to applying, how did you learn about the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme?

I chanced upon it while browsing the SAFRA magazine.

Share with us your journey and experience when applying for the sponsorship.

The selection process was rigorous but also structured and seamless. I would like to mention that Elaine from SAFRA was very kind and accommodating and she was patient to address many of my queries during the application.

What did you think clinched the sponsorship for you?

The SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme sponsorship committee recognises the aspirations of NS men like me who wish to pursue academic endeavours after being in the workforce for a while. I believe accomplishing a MBA can complement my existing academic qualifications of Bachelor and Master degrees, both in Engineering. Combined with my more than 18 years of technical expertise in the aerospace industry, this sponsorship will help to enhance my business knowledge and attain comprehensive understanding of the functional areas of business management, so I can contribute significantly to my organisation and to the development of advanced technologies here in Singapore.

What are you currently doing or working as?

I am employed in a government R&D organisation and am currently seconded to an aerospace engine MRO company as a Technology Manager who is responsible for the introduction of future technologies and innovation for the organisation’s research and development efforts.

How has being an Award recipient of the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme sponsorship made a difference to you and your career prospects?

It has been a great privilege as this is my first academic sponsorship award. This award will give me the opportunity to develop myself further to possess business and organisation-oriented perspectives as a manager.

How has this sponsorship provided you the opportunity to return to school to re-learn and skill-up?

Yes, the sponsorship has motivated me to excel further in my business studies by going back to the books after more than 10 years.

How have you been able to strike a work-life balance and career switch?

This was my third part-time academic endeavour so discipline is key but it was still tough nonetheless!

What advice do you have for SAFRA members who are thinking of furthering their studies?

Look no further to reap the benefits of the sponsorship as a SAFRA member.

Has your experience with the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme encourage you to check out other benefits SAFRA has for its members? If so, share with us how!

Definitely… I am keeping myself abreast of the happenings in SAFRA now.

What are some of the other benefits that you have enjoyed as a SAFRA member?

I have had the occasional visits to the swimming pools and karaoke bars at SAFRA.


Fadoli
Fadoli Raman, 43, Financial Consultant at Prudential
Course: BSc Business
School: SUSS

Prior to applying, how did you learn about the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme?

I found out about the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme sponsorship through social media, from my Facebook account.

Share with us your journey and experience when applying for the sponsorship.

I felt hesitant at first when I applied for the sponsorship as I was not a bright child and I do not have an impressive academic and career track record. I was however encouraged by my recent diploma results, and I told myself to just give it a try, so I submitted the application. When I was selected for the first interview, I was still not confident that I will get the chance to be one of the awardees. Everything changed when I received the email from SAFRA – the first word I saw was ‘Congratulations’ which made me jump for joy. I cried with happiness when I broke the news to my wife. The whole journey has been unbelievable, especially for someone like me who has failed many times in the past and is now being awarded with such an honorable award.

What did you think clinched the sponsorship for you?

I strongly believe that it was my past working experiences and my recent academic results from Temasek Polytechnic, that clinched the sponsorship for me.

What are you currently doing or working as?

Since 2005, I have been working in the Capital Market and Financial Advisory Services industry, and currently representing Prudential Assurance Singapore as a Financial Consultant.

How has being an Award recipient of the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme sponsorship made a difference to you and your career prospects?

First and foremost, this award has boosted my self-motivation. I became someone who is able to envision a better me in the next 5 to 10 years. I have more confidence now in what I wanted to be, that is to be a lecturer and give back to the community and society. On top of that, I believe that this award not only gave me the opportunity to pursue my studies but has accorded me with an honorable testimony, and that to me is the most important aspect.

How has this sponsorship provided you the opportunity to return to school to re-learn and skill-up?

Definitely it has helped me to have a better focus on the learning journey effectively and efficiently with worrying about the expenses.

How have you been able to strike a work-life balance and career switch?

As a self-employed person with flexible hours, I was able to manage my time well – by ensuring that I planned my calendar so that work, study and family time do not clash.

What advice do you have for SAFRA members who are thinking of furthering their studies?

Life is all about a journey of learning. We can learn new things every day, regardless of age or gender, so be bold and dare to seek out higher achievements by furthering your studies. Be a role model to your children and the next generation. Remember the tagline by Adidas and Nike: “Nothing Is Impossible” and “Just Do It”.

Has your experience with the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme encourage you to check out other benefits SAFRA has for its members? If so, share with us how!

To be honest, I did not know much about SAFRA before this… pardon me please (laugh out loud). But since I have had my SAFRA membership renewed and downloaded the app, I am absolutely amazed by what SAFRA has to offer. In fact, I terminated my membership with my current gym and joined EnergyOne Gym at SAFRA Yishun!

What are some of the other benefits that you have enjoyed as a SAFRA member?

The random offers that appear in the wallet of the app. As of now I have enjoyed the $1 Treat twice and redeemed the SAFRA points for meal vouchers… I love to eat (hahaha)!


Terence
Terence Seng, 27, Specialist at Ministry of Defence
Course: BSc Finance
School: SUSS

Prior to applying, how did you learn about the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme?

I first heard about the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme from my friend while serving in the Army as a regular. To our amazement, we are both now Award Recipients!

Share with us your journey and experience when applying for the sponsorship.

The process was relatively easy and smooth; I submitted my application close to the application deadline and was scheduled for an interview within the next three days. During the interview, all the interviewers were extremely friendly and approachable as it was two-way communication. I also had a great time conversing with them. Approximately two months after the interview, SAFRA sent me a congratulatory email informing me that I was awarded the SAFRA Sponsorship Award.

What did you think clinched the sponsorship for you?

If you ask me, I believe that my passion and desire for self-improvement, along with clear career goals, boosted my chance to clinch the award.

What are you currently doing or working as?

I am currently undertaking external courses to prepare and improve myself for my career switch.

How has being an Award recipient of the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme sponsorship made a difference to you and your career prospects?

The award reduces my financial strain and allows me to focus and build my confidence by taking up additional external courses; instead of stepping into a new industry full of uncertainty.

How has this sponsorship provided you the opportunity to return to school to re-learn and skill-up?

The SAFRA’s Bond-Free Education Scheme has provided me with an opportunity to re-skill and skill-up myself to learn all relevant skillsets before entering a new industry.

How have you been able to strike a work-life balance and career switch?

Given my flexible working hours, the award provided me more room to focus on improving and enhancing relevant skillsets.

What advice do you have for SAFRA members who are thinking of furthering their studies?

I would definitely advise SAFRA members to seize every available opportunity! It is never too late to learn or enhance yourself; if you have the grit and determination, nothing can stop you.

Has your experience with the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme encourage you to check out other benefits SAFRA has for its members? If so, share with us how!

SAFRA has made me more conscious about their benefits since there are plenty of member perks and promotions around.

What are some of the other benefits that you have enjoyed as a SAFRA member?

As an avid amateur bowler staying near a SAFRA club, their membership price is an absolute steal for me.


Visit www.safra.sg/promotions/bond-free-education-scheme for more information on the SAFRA Bond-Free Education Scheme.


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