When I first joined MFA in the Protocol Directorate, I dealt with matters involving privileges and immunities of foreign diplomats and diplomatic missions in Singapore. When I was rotated to the Technical Cooperation Directorate, I worked with International Organisations like the International Atomic Energy Agency, United Nations Development Programme and Cities Development Initiative for Asia to put together capacity building programmes and shared Singapore's developmental experiences with other developing countries. I have since completed my overseas posting as the Admin Secretary in Seoul, Republic of Korea, where I supported the administrative functions at the Embassy, and service consular needs of Singaporeans. I am currently in the Human Resource Directorate, dealing with staff welfare matters.
MFA has a three-stage selection process. The first of which consists of psychometric and writing tests. The second stage was an Assessment Centre in which candidates were put through various tasks. The final stage was a panel interview.
To set yourself apart, you must be daring to make a stand for things which you believe in and know why you want a career in the Foreign Service. Do not be afraid to speak up during the discussions or interviews.
This job requires you to be meticulous in your work and consider various perspectives. One should be ready for the long working hours, sometimes even spending your weekends or public holidays at work. But what keeps me motivated is the satisfaction from completing each milestone and project that I am tasked with, knowing that everything I have done would contribute in one way or another to building good relations with another country, assisted a Singaporean in need, or to uphold the reputation of our country.
2015 was a memorable year for me, being involved in the planning and execution of the SG50 National Day celebrations and the State Funeral for late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. During my time in Seoul, I was also involved in several high-level visits including the visit by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in 2019.
The job as a Foreign Service Officer is demanding. It requires dedication to your work and your country. It is challenging but at the same time, the experiences and lessons you gain from this career is something money cannot buy!