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How I Spent My (Home Team) Summer (Part 2)
The learning never stops! :O Undergrads share why they spent their vacays doing research in the Home Team.

This year, a team of undergrads spent 12 fulfilling weeks doing research projects on a range of subjects under the auspices of the Home Team Behavioural Sciences Centre (HTBSC). Here’s what they learnt!

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GRAPHIC: Cheryl Soh
 
LESSONS IN WORKING HARD AND ROBOTIC LAW ENFORCEMENT
A fourth-year Psychology student at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Joel Lee did his research project on the public perception about robotics in law enforcement.

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PHOTO: Cheryl Soh

Why did you choose to intern with HTBSC? 
I felt the scope of HTBSC’s research was interesting and that I’d get to see how Home Team officers worked. 

Take us through a typical day for you as an intern. 
On our first day, we were briefed about what we needed to submit by week 12 – our report, infographics and presentation. So we worked with our supervisors to meet deadlines. Our time was focused on conducting literature reviews; doing research; meeting supervisors and stakeholders; and assisting with team meetings.

How has this internship helped you? 
I learnt how the Home Team operates from a macro perspective. It’s been a good experience; now I know that I can research and write a complete report, as well as conduct a 30-minute presentation. I understand better what it takes to meet timelines and how important it is to always remain professional. 

What advice would you give to someone looking to intern at HTBSC?
Be prepared to work hard. Your research is only as good as the effort you put in. We only had 12 weeks to complete our project, so had to work very hard and make good use of our time. Also, if you need help, you can count on your supervisors and peers – they’re all very nice! 

RESILIENCE IN THE AFTERMATH OF A TERROR ATTACK
An undergrad at NUS, Kelly Adelia is pursuing a Major in Psychology. She conducted her research on the 2006 terror attacks in Jakarta, Indonesia, and how various crisis recovery methods helped the community to come out stronger than before. 

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PHOTO: Soo Jun Xiang

Why did you decide to pursue an internship with HTBSC?
At school, we learnt about the theories and concepts underpinning Psychology, but this internship is unique because it’s conducted with real world applications in mind. It provided me with good exposure to how Psychology is applied practically, especially in the areas of crime and Forensics.

Your research project was on the 2006 Jakarta terror attacks. Why did you decide to work on this topic?
I understand Bahasa Indonesia and so was able to look at resources from Indonesia, and apply various learning points to Singapore’s context. I also had the chance to interview survivors of the bombings, one of whom was a gentleman named Max Boon. Speaking to him helped me realise that actual accounts often reveal aspects of an incident that are different from the information from online sources and journals.

What are your takeaways from your internship?
HTBSC has put a lot of thought into its internship programme, from the way our supervisors conduct seminars to how they guide our research projects. If you’re considering a similar internship, my advice is to be open to learning new things. Talk to your supervisors because they’re really supportive when it comes to helping you learn!

THE WORLD OF LIVESTREAMED CRIMES 
Joshua Arthur T Boquiren is a fourth-year Psychology student at NUS. For his research project, he delved into a technology-driven topic – criminal acts that are livestreamed. 

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PHOTO: Cheryl Soh

Why did you choose to intern at HTBSC? 
I’ve had an interest in Forensic Psychology since my days at Republic Polytechnic. HTBSC provided me with the opportunity to explore this field further.

Take us through a typical day for you as an intern. 
Most of my time was spent on literature review, with regular meetings with my supervisor. I had to read many research papers because my topic was fairly unique. I looked at three vastly different case studies: mass shooting incidents, online sextortion cases and the “SWAT-ting” phenomenon. 

What did you learn from your research project? 
I feel that I’ve only scratched the surface of my research project and that there’s so much more to explore. From mass shooting incidents, we can draw important lessons about how communities can come together after a terror attack. We can also learn to become more vigilant, and teach those who are vulnerable, like children, how to recognise inappropriate conduct online. 

What advice do you have for others looking to intern at HTBSC?
Don’t forget to have fun! Our colleagues at HTBSC are very nice, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you have issues, the supervisors are amazing and will definitely try their best to make your internship a meaningful one. 


Home Team Internships
HTBSC internships are open to local Polytechnic and University students. For more information, email MHA_HTBSC_COMMS@mha.gov.sg.

Read Part 1 of How I Spent My (Home Team) Summer.
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.


  1. by Jade Tan and Cheryl Soh
  2. 17 October 2019
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