“When it was time for me to choose a career, I didn’t want to pursue a profit-driven job, and to chase after the bottom line,” explained Yuslina Abdul Aziz, who’d studied Sociology at Nanyang Technological University
. “Instead, I wanted to do something that would have a positive impact on the lives of Singaporeans.”
Coupled with a keen interest in social issues, this desire to make a difference drove Yuslina to pursue a career in the Public Service. As a Civilian Generalist appointed to the Home Affairs Senior Executive scheme, she has had the opportunity to take on a range of portfolios, and continues to find joy and meaning in the dynamic nature of her work. During a recent chat, she reflected on her growth as a Home Team officer.
An Affirmation to Serve
Yuslina kickstarted her Home Team career by joining the Central Narcotics Bureau
(CNB) in 2014 as a communications officer. Her portfolio involved supporting anti-drug abuse campaigns and educating the public on the harms of drugs. Through her work, Yuslina learnt more about how CNB officers kept Singapore drug-free, and this affirmed her decision to pursue a career with the Home Team.
“I developed a great respect for our officers who help stave off drugs, knowing how devastating these can be on our social fabric,” she explained.
Grounded with Fresh Perspectives
For her second posting as a Civilian Generalist, in 2017, Yuslina moved to the Ministry of Home Affairs
(MHA). “I was curious about what it was like working at MHA, which oversees all the Home Team Departments and has a ‘bird’s eye view’ of issues related to safety and security,” she recalled.
As a member of MHA’s Community Partnership and Communications Group (CPCG), Yuslina was exposed to multiple roles. These included coordinating internal communications to showcase the work and capabilities of Home Team officers; supporting marketing communications efforts for the Home Team brand; and preparing crisis communications plans “There was much to do besides my main duties,” she said. “I wore multiple hats, including working on content to support Parliamentary Bills and topical issues as well as preparing social media posts for the Ministry.”
Yuslina relished her time at CPCG and credits the experience for giving her a wider understanding of the important work that the Home Team does. Another highlight was helping to oversee the publicity efforts for the Home Team Festival in 2019.
“This helped me to sharpen my project management skills as we had to coordinate with the various Home Team Departments, to ensure that everyone was on the same page and that the content we produced was integrated,” she explained.
In 2020, Yuslina found herself at a crossroads when she considered her third posting as a Civilian Generalist: to remain in the communications domain or to take a leap into a new portfolio.
Intrigued by the policy issues that she’d been introduced to at CPCG, she decided to join MHA’s Joint Operations Group (JOG), which drives and coordinates operational efforts and capability for the Home Team through policymaking.
How was this transition for her?
“MHA is an organisation that’s committed to upskilling its officers, and I had good support from my colleagues when I came to JOG,” explained Yuslina. “Besides learning from my team members, I also attended various courses and programmes to further develop my knowledge in policymaking and law.”
At JOG, Yuslina and her team supported the passage of the Private Security Industry Act
in October 2021, which introduced enhanced protections for security officers and other measures to support the industry. “There was much to do when it came to crafting this Bill,” she recalled. “We took a multi-pronged approach by engaging our industry stakeholders to understand their concerns and sharing our vision of how the industry could be uplifted.”
The dynamic nature of Civilian Generalist postings is something that Yuslina thrives on. “I’ve always felt that if I stay at one job for too long, I may stagnate and not be able to add value to the team,” she shared. “Being able to take on portfolios in different domains allows me to develop new competencies, and continue contributing to the Home Team meaningfully as a HASE!”
Guardians of Our Home
- Psychology Career Track: A Day in the Life of a Home Team Psychologist
- Intelligence Career Track: Using Data Analytics to Fight Crime
, Leading with a Cause
- Internal Security Career Track: Six Qualities of an ISD Officer
- Commercial Affairs Career Track: On an Enforcement Operation with a Commercial Affairs Officer
- Science and Technology Career Track: Exploring Leading-edge Vehicle Platforms
MHA Civilian Scholarship
The MHA Civilian Scholarship
is awarded to outstanding individuals who are passionate about strengthening Singapore’s security and public safety. Recipients of the MHA Civilian Scholarship may choose from a variety of exciting and rewarding Home Team careers according to their interests and aspirations. This civilian scholarship offers six career tracks: a Generalist
track and five Specialist tracks: Intelligence; Psychology; Commercial Affairs; Science and Technology;
and Internal Security
. Applications are now open! Learn more about the MHA Civilian Scholarships