Serene Aw Run Jia (ICA)


Stargazing with Home Team News: Meet Serene Aw Run Jia​​

By Muhammad Farhansyah Bin Musa

Being a family-oriented individual, Serene Aw Run Jia will always try to find time to spend with her family. Having a friendly disposition, she does not come off as the introvert she claims to be! Home Team News interviewed the recipient of the Home Awards (Poly) and this is what she shared.

… Spend your time working on whatever you are passionate about in life. – Richard Brandon, founder of Virgin Group.
Serene Aw Run Jia PHOTO: Mabel Yap

What was your childhood dream? Is it different from what you are doing now (i.e. a Home Team Officer)?

Since young, I have always aspired to be part of the Home Team! I wanted to play my part and help in contributing to the safety and security of Singapore. Some of the factors that contributed to my aspiration were my friends and their family members who have been serving in the Home Team as well!

Could you share more about yourself and how you got wind of the HOME Awards back while you were still studying?

After the GCE N’ Levels, I enrolled into the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and with sheer determination, I managed to secure myself a placement in a local polytechnic. It was during the enrolment period that I found out through the Internet about the introduction of the HOME Award (Poly) by the Ministry of Home Affairs. I decided to apply for it. Following my graduation from polytechnic, I officially joined Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) in 2012 and am currently serving my second posting at Airport Command.

Why did you specifically choose to apply for the HOME Award?

I have always been an active person since young. I simply did not want to get a desk-bound job after graduation; I aspired to lead an extraordinary life with an extraordinary career.

And one with the Home Team fits it. As such, the HOME Award was a good opportunity for me to be a part of the Home Team. It’s a good career with bright prospects.

In addition, the award also covers the course fees and a monthly allowance. The financial help offered by the award also enabled me to focus on my studies and I was able to achieve outstanding results.

Is there anyone who has inspired you?

Since young, my twin sister has always been an inspiration and source of motivation for me to continue striving forward. She is constantly pushing me to achieve the best that I can!

How do you find work thus far? Were there any poignant moments or encounters that have inspired you?

I am grateful for having the opportunity to be deployed to different zones and getting to perform different duties during my first posting at Tuas Command where I was given the role to assist the Team Leaders in various functions covering the areas of deployment, administrative processes and operations.

As ICA looks out for its officers in their career development, there would be more opportunities for me to widen my scope of job expertise and knowledge, which would put me in good standing as an ICA-Specialist and this will allow me to perform my duties in a professional manner.

Could you tell me how the HOME Award has changed your life?

I used to be an introvert who seldom communicated or socialised with strangers. After joining the ICA, under the Home Awards, it has provided me with the opportunity to improve my communication skills in the course of my daily interactions with travellers from all walks of life. This has no doubt increased my confidence level, improved my communication skills and broadened my view towards the world and different cultures.

Being a Home Team officer has calibrated my mindset and thinking to something more security-centric and it has honed my analytical skills through the daily work challenges which I look forward to overcoming.

Would you like to give one piece of advice to your fellow juniors who are keen on applying for the HOME Awards?

“… Spend your time working on whatever you are passionate about in life.” – Richard Brandon, founder of Virgin Group.

Last Updated on 11 Apr 2015
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