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From Intern to Home Team Officer (Part 1)

Curious about an internship with the Home Team? Find out why two former interns are now serving with pride in the Home Team.
GRAPHIC: Home Team News

For many students, an internship is a rite of passage into the working world, one that allows them to broaden their horizons and learn vital professional skills. Two former interns – one with the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the other with the Home Team Academy (HTA) – tell us why they decided to join the Home Team.

A Vocation with Meaning and Pride
Having wanted to be a part of the SPF since she was a child, in 2014, Inspector (INSP) Eleanor Wong finally got her chance when she embarked on a three-month internship with its Future Operations Division.

“As part of our team’s job scope, we study emerging crime trends and look at how we can enhance the work of our ground officers through the use of technology,” said the Engineering graduate from the National University of Singapore (NUS).

INSP Eleanor always wanted to serve as a Police officer. PHOTO: Natasha Razak
INSP Eleanor’s internship assignment involved the electronic monitoring of Police equipment. “At the start of every shift, ground officers are required to collect the different items they’ll need,” she explained. “The recording process was manual until the electronic monitoring system that our team worked on was implemented. The new system makes it easier and faster for equipment to be accounted for.”

INSP Eleanor joined the Force in 2017. After completing her training, she served as a Ground Response Officer at Clementi Neighbourhood Police Centre for six months. “I got to see the electronic monitoring system being used when I was collecting my own equipment,” she recalled, “and I felt proud knowing I was part of the team that conceptualised and designed it!” 

From Future Operations to the investigative beat: INSP Eleanor at Clementi Police Division. PHOTO: Natasha Razak

Now an Investigation Officer at Clementi Police Division, INSP Eleanor credits her internship with teaching her two vital life lesson that have helped her overcome the challenges of Policing: keep the passion alive and embrace resilience.

“If I feel my passion start to shake, I only have to think about why I joined the Force in the first place – because I wanted to have a meaningful job, one that had a direct impact on the lives of others, and which keeps Singapore safe and secure,” she shared. 

Psyched about Psychology
Charmaine Lee has always had an interest in understanding social dynamics and human behaviour. This led her to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at NUS.

Charmaine is currently a Psychologist at the HTBSC. PHOTO: Natasha Razak

When she was in her third year of studies, Charmaine received an email about the internship opportunities available with the Home Team. Intrigued, she decided to attend a tea session with the internship administrators to find out more. “That’s how I learnt about the exciting research that was being done at the Home Team Behavioural Sciences Centre [HTBSC], based at HTA,” she recalled.

Accepting an internship with the HTBSC, Charmaine found the programmes to have a strong focus on learning and development. “As interns, we had a realistic glimpse into the work that Home Team Psychologists do,” she said. The internship programme offered her exposure to various ways, for instance through speaking to Home Team officers” or “sitting in during various leadership training sessions.”

Charmaine found her assignments fast-paced and challenging, but this only served to ignite her passion. “Juggling my main internship project with secondary assignments allowed me to pick up many soft skills,” she said. “For me, it was both a challenge and an opportunity. I learnt how to work with others as a team, in a real-world setting.”

What excites Charmaine about her work is the opportunity to conduct research into a range of subjects related to the work of the Home Team. PHOTO: Natasha Razak

In 2017, Charmaine joined the HTBSC as a Psychologist. Asked why she felt this was the right choice for her, she explained that it was the positive culture she experienced during her internship with HTBSC. “Everyone lends a helping hand to one another, regardless of the work,” she said. “It always amazes me how different Home Team Departments come together to work as one Home Team.”

As a Psychologist, not only is Charmaine able to conduct research on a range of subjects that have a bearing on the Home Team, she also assists in the design and development of training and assessment programmes for Home Team officers and leaders. In one regard, her work has come full circle – she now manages the interns who join the HTBSC.

"I always wanted my first job to be exciting, and what I do now has far exceeded my expectations, especially in terms of the scope i have to learn," said Charmaine. "There's no typical day of work here because what we do is very dynamic."

Home Team Internships
SPF: For more information about SPF internships, email spf_career@spf.gov.sg. 

HTBSC: Internships for local Polytechnic and University students, and international undergraduate and post-graduate students – email MHA_HTBSC_COMMS@mha.gov.sg.

Don't forget to check out Part 2 of this series!

Keen to learn more about internship opportunities with the Home Team? Check out go.gov.sg/mhainternships

Written by

Natasha Razak


16 June 2019

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