Dear SSAG members,
At the end of May, SSAG members from all over Germany met in Berlin for the annual SSAG Annual General Meeting cum Career Event. After the easing of COVID-19 restrictions worldwide, we finally held our first physical event in more than two years! We were glad to see everyone – new as well as familiar faces, gathered at the Singapore Embassy in Berlin once again.
On 27 May 2022 (Friday), we kick-started the Career Event with an opening address by Ambassador Laurence Bay, followed by keynote presentations by Mr. Loke Ping Bu from Rohde & Schwarz, NEURA Robotics, Mr. Alan Ang from Wikimedia Deutschland, Ms. Zhao Jin (PhD) and Mr. Jan Müller from Bain & Company, Dr. Wang Zi from the French Research Institute on East Asia, and Ms. Jessie Lim from Singapore Global Network. The audience was introduced to the various companies as well as fields represented by our speakers, with a wide range of useful tips and tricks surrounding the theme of job hunting and applications generously shared during the session.
Shortly after, the audience was treated to a Panel Discussion “Next Steps” featuring Ms. Judy Lux from Quadratek Data Solutions as the Moderator, Ms. Ryanne Leong from Rohde & Schwarz, Ms. Laura Ng from ConnecAsia and StayFriends, Dr. Kong Junjie from ConnecAsia, and Mr. Loke Ping Bu from Rohde & Schwarz as an impromptu addition to the panellist line-up. The panellists shared their insights on the often daunting process of job applications, giving our members valuable advice regarding CV writing, interview preparation and probation. We were glad to see our participants actively engaging with the panel, posing questions and also giving their valuable input candidly.
The long-awaited lunch break saw an excited chatter break out in the event hall as the boxes of Nasi Kuning, kindly catered by the Embassy, were quickly shared amongst our participants and guests. The power of food is surely not to be underestimated, seeing how the atmosphere soon transformed into a much more informal and light-hearted one. Our participants and guests mingled with one another and quickly bonded over the delicious meal that reminded everyone of home. Participants were then also invited to join the filming of the Embassy’s National Day video.
After lunch, the Annual General Meeting commenced, and members were briefed on the SSAG events in the past year and the fiscal updates. The new SSAG Executive Committee 2022/23 was also elected, featuring
- Lorraine Ong: President
- Sun Yudong: Vice-President
- Indrakshee Mukherjee: Treasurer
- Choon Pui Leng: Secretary
Dinner at Deli-House was kindly sponsored by Rohde & Schwarz, where participants were treated to delicious authentic asian food. The food certainly packed a punch, with many revelling in the dearly missed spiciness of the dishes prepared. The group then headed to Clincase GmbH, which generously hosted the Karaoke session for the evening. It was heartening to watch everyone sing their hearts out together to familiar tunes and bond over shared experiences as the night slowly drew to a close.
After a good night’s rest, participants set off on their free & easy exploration of Berlin on the morning of 28 May 2022 (Saturday). Some split into groups to follow the Treasure Hunt guide and task sheet prepared, while others took a more relaxed approach to the day. Regardless, we were glad to see that everyone had fun visiting landmarks and looking for good food together, while bonding with their fellow SSAG members.
With that, we would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to the following individuals and organisations, without whom this event would not have been possible:
- Ambassador Laurence Bay, Singapore’s Ambassador to Germany, for addressing our participants at the event and speaking to our members and guest speakers, giving them valuable insight into the opportunities in Germany.
- Mr. Loke Ping Bu, Executive Vice-President at Rohde & Schwarz, for sharing about his company and introducing the experience of working at a large transnational corporation as R&S. Participants also benefited from his input as a panellist where he provided tips on standing out during job applications and tackling interviews!
- NEURA Robotics, for the insightful sharing into their work and introduction to the field of robotics. It was fascinating to hear about the applications of such technology and the endless possibilities within the industry.
- Mr. Alan Ang, Partner Relationship Manager at Wikimedia Deutschland, for his engaging presentation which provided participants with useful advice regarding the flow of hiring processes and job interviews, amongst many other topics covered;
- Ms. Zhao Jin (PhD), Consultant at Bain & Company, and Mr. Jan Müller, Senior Associate Consultant at Bain & Company, for representing the relatively unfamiliar field of consulting and giving our participants a clearer idea about the responsibilities involved in the profession as well as the possibilities open for exploration;
- Dr. Wang Zi, Marie Curie Fellow at the French Research Institute on East Asia, for his valuable insight into the world of academia. He shared useful information regarding the various grants and funding options one can consider for a postdoctoral position, as well as personal advice on preparing for a career in academia;
- Ms. Jessie Lim, Regional Lead (Continental Europe) of Singapore Global Network, for sharing a heartwarming video about home which evoked a strong sense of nostalgia amongst our participants, and for representing SGN which works to allow Singaporeans overseas to remain connected to home;
- Ms. Judy Lux, Co-Founder of Quadratek Data Solutions, for serving as the Moderator of our Panel Discussion “Next Steps”, and adeptly directing the various questions to our panellists which provided our participants with a holistic understanding of the process of starting a career. We are also most grateful to Ms. Lux for hosting our Karaoke Session at her Clincase office, and for providing drinks and snacks for the participants;
- Ms. Ryanne Leong, Controller at Rohde & Schwarz, for serving as a panellist and sharing her experience when she started out as a Werkstudentin, thereby providing a most interesting perspective to the discussion;
- Ms. Laura Ng, Founder of ConnecAsia and Online Marketing Manager of StayFriends, for serving as a panellist and sharing her helpful insights into the job application process, including how to excel at interviews and handle salary negotiations;
- Dr. Kong Junjie, Co-Founder of ConnecAsia, for serving as a panellist and giving his invaluable insight into the process of CV writing. Participants also benefited from his advice on the resilient attitude one should adopt when applying for jobs, amongst many other important pointers he shared during the discussion;
- Singapore Embassy in Berlin, for generously hosting us and catering lunch for our participants. We are also most grateful to the embassy for its consistent support of the SSAG and its events in the past years;
- Rohde & Schwarz, for sponsoring our sumptuous dinner at Deli-House as well as other event costs for this year’s AGM, as well as for their continued support of the SSAG throughout the years;
- ConnecAsia, for sponsoring a large assortment of teas and providing tea pairing recommendations at the Career Event;
- Mr. Jason Chan, SSAG Alumnus and Donor, for his long-standing support and donations which have allowed us to fund our events and plan exciting activities for our members;
- Elan Stratagem Enterprises Limited, SSAG Donor and SSAG Alumnus-owned company, for its steady support which has aided us in budgeting for more expansive event line-ups to benefit our SSAG members;
- Our other valued donors and sponsors who have contributed to making this event possible;
- And of course all of our event participants!
We would also like to remind everyone to fill out this feedback form, which will greatly aid us in the planning of future SSAG events: go.ssag.eu/AGM2022-Feedback
You can also sign up for our new initiative through the form: the SSAG Mailing List (go.ssag.eu/mailing-list-signup). Those interested can also subscribe to our already active SSAG Telegram Channel at: go.ssag.eu/telegram
To celebrate our return to in-person events, the SSAG is also pleased to release our limited edition SSAG Tote Bag! Skillfully designed by Singaporean student Yu Ke Dong (@goatmakesart on Instagram), the humble kaya toast breakfast set fondly reminds us of home. All funds raised will go towards supporting the SSAG’s future events for the Singaporean student community in Germany. Each bag costs 7,50€ and will be sold on a first come, first served basis. An additional delivery charge of 3€ will apply unless you are able to collect the bags in Munich. Place your order at: go.ssag.eu/breakfast-tote and get yours today!
With that, we would like to thank you all for your continued support of the SSAG. It has been a joy to meet everyone in Berlin and we look forward to seeing everyone at our future events! Till then, take care 🙂
SSAG ExCo 2021/22
Here are some reflections from our event participants:
“As an exchange student from SMU, this was my very first event with SSAG. To be honest, I was a little hesitant to come initially as I did not know anyone at all and I had no idea what to expect from this event. However, I’m glad that I came for it. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly. Many people took the effort to speak to me (Many thanks)! It was truly inspiring to see so many Singaporeans flying our Singapore’s flag proudly in Germany in their respective fields.
My biggest takeaway during the career event was learning about the differences between working in Germany and Singapore. It was a huge honour to meet Ambassador Laurence Bay. Also, thank you to all the speakers during the career event for sharing their valuable insights.
A big shoutout to exco for organising this well executed event. Take care and hope to keep in contact with everyone!”
~ Joel Ang, SMU exchange student at TUM
“For me, AGM 2022 was a very memorable experience because we were finally able to see one another personally after more than two years! Indeed, it was a fruitful time of rest, rejuvenation and recharge as we had the valuable opportunity to meet up with other fellow Singaporeans and to get to know newer members on a more profound level. It was also heartening to hear that we have been well.
I especially enjoyed exploring Berlin on foot. Being based in a smaller city, Berlin felt like a much-welcomed breath of fresh air to bask in the atmosphere of a big city. Besides this, the familiarity of communicating in English with other Singaporeans, the authentic and scrumptious delicacies and cuisines in Berlin, as well as the heart-to-heart life updates were pertinent elements contributing to the roaring success of AGM 2022 in rekindling the Singaporean spirit.
Hats off especially to the ExCo for their efforts and dedication in organising the event! I am also immensely grateful for the support from the Singapore Embassy in Berlin, donors and speakers, without whom this event would not have been possible. Till next time!”
~ Elizabeth Tong
“My studies in Germany started slightly before the pandemic struck. Due to the restrictions, I havent have the luck of meeting any Singaporeans until this event organised by SSAG. I am thankful for this event as it has got me connected to many students around Germany. Apart from gaining friendship, the career talk from this event has provided me with insight and useful information for job applications.”
~ Carisa Goh