Could you share more about yourself and how you got to know of the HOME Awards back when you were still studying?
I have been an Investigation Officer (IO) with the CNB for about 1 year and 8 months now. I investigate drug cases and I handle the arrest and investigation until the accused is convicted in court. I heard of the HOME Awards through online searches and recruitment talks whilst I was at Republic Polytechnic (RP). This was during my second year in RP.
What is your childhood dream? Is it different from what you are doing now (i.e. a Home Team Officer)?
I am an introvert. As a child, I wanted to become a scientist. I actually thought that I would have more success at interacting with bacterial cell cultures than with people. So, clearly, what I am doing now is vastly different from what I wanted to do. I am glad that it has been a positive experience thus far. Science was just a topic of interest. Being an Investigation Officer challenges me to come out of my shell and not be shy to talk to people, so I think that is a good thing. I think being a Home Team officer is a challenging career. It helps me to build my confidence.
Why did you choose to apply for the HOME Award? Was there any reason for it, such as the passion to be a Home Team Officer?
My mum was paying for my poly studies using her CPF, and I thought having a scholarship would ease her burden. I felt bad for using her life savings. More than anything, I was curious to find out what the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) does. In the media, I see police from Crimewatch, and police shows like Triple Line, or CLIFF; the CNB is very mysterious to me. I applied for the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) as I had an interest in it as well.
How did you feel when you received the news that you were one of the HOME Awardees? Was it a very proud moment for both you and your family?
I did not inform anyone that I signed up for the HOME Award. Only after the award was confirmed did I inform my family about it. Needless to say, they were surprised that I chose to work in the HOME Team. But they understood what I wanted to do and they were supportive of me.
Is your course of study relevant to your line of work?
I chose to pursue a diploma in biomedical sciences out of interest. However, it has also helped in my line of work. For example, I can understand the contents of drug analysis reports better due to my course of study.
Are there any people who have inspired you and to whom you are grateful ? i.e. parents, teachers, mentor at work etc?
Yes. There are many in my workplace. It is not fair for me to name a few and disregard the rest. They have been really helpful and showed me the ropes. They are also selfless in sharing knowledge so I can easily ask anyone for guidance. I am truly thankful for that and it has really inspired me to be better at what I’m doing. My teachers at Republic Poly (they are called facilitators) have taught me a lot, and I am not talking about the modules, but more of the life lessons that one can only obtain with experience. And of course to my Mum, thank you for your support.
How do you find work thus far? Were there any poignant moments or encounters that have inspired you?
It has been a fulfilling experience for me. I feel that there is much more for me to learn being an Investigation Officer with CNB. There are many poignant moments, especially those involving tough cases. However, there are rewarding moments as well. It is a diverse work experience.
What do your peers or family members think about you working as a Home Team Officer?
My Mum was surprised that I chose to work for the Home Team, especially as a Narcotics Officer since it is not related to my diploma. But she understands that this is what I want to do and she is supportive of it.
Could you tell me how the HOME Award has made a change in your life?
Having my tuition fees paid for allowed me to be able to focus fully on my studies. When I was still studying, I looked forward to working in the Home Team, especially the CNB. Now that I am here, I feel appreciated for the work that we do. There are added pressures and high expectations as a HOME Award recipient, but my seniors and colleagues at work are helpful and have been generous in imparting knowledge and guiding me along the way.
Would you continue staying with the Home Team after your bond ends ?
I would really love to pursue my studies first. On the other hand, the experiences that I have had with the CNB have been positive. Ideally, I hope to continue to stay with Home Team and take on part time studies upon completion of my bond.
What is one advice you would give to your fellow juniors who want to apply for the HOME Award?
Be absolutely clear that you want this. My advice is to talk to people who are working in different agencies of the Home Team. Visit roadshows, recruitment drives, and career websites to know more about the work of the Home Team. If this is your cup of tea, commit to it and don’t look back.