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13 girls get to see what it’s like

Netherlands Singapore Ambassador

What’s it wish to be a robust lady who represents her nation overseas? 13 women who gained our Ambassador for a Day contest obtained a once-in-a-lifetime probability to seek out out.

In our March concern, as a salute to Worldwide Ladies’s Day, we launched a contest for women ages 10 to 18 to spend a day with one in every of Singapore’s feminine ambassadors. A lot to our delight, we have been buried with purposes from women of all ages and nationalities. Narrowing it right down to 13 was extremely exhausting as they have been all wonderful candidates.

And what days that they had! Every winner’s expertise was distinctive, with all of the ambassadors and their employees actually rolling out the pink carpet for his or her “minis”. The women discovered about diplomacy, attended occasions and met fascinating individuals – one even met the President of Singapore, Halimah Yacob! The Canadian Excessive Commissioner additionally deliberate a luncheon for all who might attend. Some women described their day as a life-changing expertise.

We’re extremely proud to have been part of this initiative, and we’re comfortable to current the women’ accounts of their experiences under!

Hui Yue Xi (Joyce) (18), Singaporean

Faculty: St. Andrew’s Junior SchoolNetherlands Singapore Ambassador

Netherlands Singapore Ambassador
Ambassador: Margriet Vonno, Netherlands

Why did you need to be Ambassador for a Day?

To seek out out extra concerning the profession monitor of turning into a diplomat and the ambassador of my nation as I’m contemplating taking Political Science at college.

How did you and the ambassador spend your time collectively?

Firstly, I met Ms Vonno on the Dutch Embassy; she’s a really nice and amiable lady. Her driver then took us to our first occasion of the day, Tulip Mania at Gardens by the Bay. Once we arrived, we have been handled as VIPs, and cameras began flashing in entrance of us – it was an eye-opening expertise for me. We got a tour of the Flower Dome and welcomed by the director of Gardens by the Bay; I even acquired a particular present from Royal Dutch Airways.

After lunch with the opposite ambassadors and women from the Ambassador for a Day programme, we went to an occasion the place technological startup corporations shared particulars about their improvements and new applied sciences; I used to be tremendously awed by the shows.

After a cease at Ms Vonno’s residence, the place she gave me a radical tour of her residence and confirmed me many essential artefacts, we headed to a remaining occasion on the Botanic Gardens, for a presentation by the Argentinian ambassador relating to flowers and fauna from Argentina which are displayed within the Gardens.

What did you anticipate from the day? What was the most important shock?

I assumed I might in all probability attend one or two essential occasions, however I ended up at occasions all through the day, so it was rather more significant than anticipated. I used to be stunned to get a customized lanyard with my identify on it at one of many occasions; I by no means anticipated the organisers to be so considerate amidst their busy schedules.

Do you assume this expertise may have an effect on what you select to do for a profession?

The perception I’ve gained into the profession of an envoy and dealing within the overseas service has enhanced my curiosity in Political Science, and I’d wish to proceed pursuing this monitor sooner or later.

Sofia Genato (13), FilipinoPolish ambassador for singaporePolish ambassador for singapore

Faculty: SOTA
Ambassador: Magdalena Bogdziewicz, Poland

Why did you need this chance?

As a result of a career as a diplomat has all the time me. Even at a really younger age, I needed to work for the UN; this once-in-a-lifetime alternative was a style of what it might be like.

How did you spend your time collectively?

We spent our time speaking about present world points, in addition to Poland’s connections with Singapore. I used to be additionally very lucky to hitch in a luncheon with the opposite feminine ambassadors and I acquired to speak to them, too.

What did you anticipate from the day? What was the most important shock of the day?

I anticipated it to be a really enjoyable, enriching and particular studying expertise and it actually was. The most important shock was the luncheon. The expertise was superb – a once-in-a-lifetime alternative. Who will get to say, “I’ve eaten a meal with individuals I want to develop as much as be like”? And, to prime it off, the meals was very scrumptious.

Do you assume this expertise may have an effect on what you select to do for a profession?

Earlier than this expertise, all I knew was that I needed to work for the UN. Spending a day on the Polish Embassy confirmed me the totally different obligations of a diplomat and the workforce she depends on.  As such, I now have a greater image of my position or entry level to this world, working within the communications division. She additionally inspired me that, with exhausting work, I might have the ability to obtain no matter I need to, and that I ought to take all these experiences and studying alternatives to make a constructive influence on our world.

Elliana Patel (11), Indian-AmericanEliana USAEliana USA

Faculty attending: UWCSEA (East Campus)
Ambassador: Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath, United States

Why did you need this chance?

I needed to expertise what a diplomat does on a day-to-day foundation, and study the internal workings of an embassy. I’m all the time trying to meet inspirational ladies in management positions.

How did you spend your time collectively?

We began our morning on the US Embassy the place I not solely met 12 inspiring colleagues of Ms Stephanie, but in addition acquired a behind-the-scenes tour of the US Embassy. I used to be fascinated to study concerning the protocol for destroying categorised info in case of emergency or assault. We then went to the Mastercard Innovation Middle the place I discovered about beautiful new know-how that makes use of synthetic intelligence to confirm your knowledge when buying by means of Mastercard. It gave me an perception into how the Ambassador works with American corporations and connects them with the Division of Commerce. Afterwards, we headed to the AmCham 46th Annual Convention the place I used to be fortunate sufficient to satisfy the President of Singapore. We concluded our day by assembly Anthea Ong, a Nominated Member of Parliament. She is an activist for the unheard individuals in Singapore – the homeless, in another way abled and poor – and I discovered her influential and galvanizing. We mentioned international points just like the Rohingya Muslim disaster and the consequences of local weather change on Antarctica.

What did you anticipate from the day? What was the most important shock?

I anticipated to satisfy fascinating individuals and study concerning the US Embassy, however my expectations have been blown out of the water. I really feel very lucky to have gotten to spend the day with Ms Stephanie, an articulate, caring and impactful individual. Her tales about elevating her personal daughters, the sacrifices she has made for her nation, and her ideas on find out how to be a greater individual have been extremely motivating.

One of the best shock was the behind-the-scenes look I obtained of the embassy, and interacting with Pepper, an AI-enabled robotic on the Mastercard Innovation Middle.

Do you assume this expertise may have an effect on what you select to do for a profession?

If individuals like Ms Stephanie, who needs to make change and remedy issues, are in positions the place they’re being heard, our future can be shiny. I aspire to be as revered and completed as her at some point!

Rubab Khan (17), PakistaniIsraelIsrael

Faculty: Abroad Household Faculty
Ambassador: Anita Nergaard, Norway

Why did you need this chance?

To discover and study. By gaining perception into the job of a feminine ambassador, I needed to strengthen my understanding of cultural integration and of representing my nation in a world surroundings. I additionally needed to study from fellow ladies how you can strategy challenges, talk successfully, assume well and deal with individuals empathetically.

How did you spend your time collectively?

We first attended the Singapore Maritime Know-how Convention (SMTC). I then had lunch with the ambassador and later attended some shows from start-up corporations. We additionally attended the SMTC R&D Seminar the place awards have been introduced by Her Excellency. We ended the day with the Maritime Get together of the Yr, organised by the Norwegian Embassy.

What did you anticipate from the day? What was the most important shock?

Whereas I anticipated a studying expertise, it went past my expectations. Not solely did I achieve information from Her Excellency, I additionally acquired publicity to many different ambassadors, quite a few chief executives, sensible start-ups and extra! It was unforgettable.

My day was full of surprises, but when I have been to decide on one, it might be listening to the speech of Singapore’s Managing Director of Microsoft. It was really enlightening, and gave an actual perception into how the corporate is run.

Do you assume this expertise may have an effect on what you select to do for a profession?

After this expertise, I’m much more excited to pursue a profession in economics, as my ambassador has a PhD in that subject. Will probably be an incredible success for me if I’m capable of take even just a little a part of the skilled path she has taken.

Olivia Thacker (11), BritishCanadian ambassador SingaporeCanadian ambassador Singapore

Faculty: Dulwich School (Singapore)
Excessive Commmissioner: N Lynn McDonald, Canada

Why did you need this chance?

I’ve learnt quite a bit about unfair pay for ladies just lately, and I needed the chance to see a profitable lady at work, so I utilized.

How did you spend your time collectively?

First, I met a few of Ms McDonald’s colleagues – they have been very nice. They defined what they did and I discovered all of it very fascinating. The most effective bit was speaking to a woman about pretend passports (Canada Border Providers Officer) and making an attempt to identify the distinction between actual and faux ones. Afterwards, we went out for lunch and met a few of the different Ambassadors for a Day. We ended the day on the Oceans Summit.

What did you anticipate from the day? What was the most important shock?

I anticipated Ms McDonald may sit with me and speak by means of all of the individuals she would e mail and what sort of selections she would make and watch them speak, nevertheless it was actually interactive and rather more enjoyable than I assumed. It was a tremendous day and I obtained a move that stated I used to be the Excessive Commissioner of Canada for the Day!

The most important shock was with the ability to attend the Oceans Summit Partnership and seeing Ms McDonald speak to an enormous crowd of individuals; I assumed it was very inspiring.

Do you assume this expertise may have an effect on what you select to do for a profession?

I feel it has undoubtedly given me choices as a result of I really like to assist my classmates with issues. I’m very comfortable and grateful that I acquired the chance at a younger age and that I’ve quite a lot of job choices on this space to select from.

Juliette Honor Botos-Lehavy (14), American

Faculty: Saint Joseph’s Establishment Worldwide (SJII)
Ambassador: Simona Halperin, Israel

Why did you need this chance?

To assist me purchase a view on how nationwide issues that an envoy identifies and pursues are processed when it comes to communication and representing nations abroad. Witnessing such a dignified profession in motion may help me perceive how a well-functioning office can successfully overcome challenges.

How did you spend your time collectively?

We travelled to a seminar at NUS concerning the Indonesian elections. I engaged with Ambassador Halperin’s employees, discussing the upcoming Independence Day celebration, recognising 50 years of Singapore-Israeli relations. I additionally attended a dialogue on the Makeathon that the Israeli Embassy is collaborating with Tikkun Olam Makers to deliver to life. I used to be lucky to additionally meet different ambassadors at a cocktail occasion and it was an honour to speak to such influential figures.

What did you anticipate from the day? What was the most important shock?

I anticipated numerous formal occasions and conferences relating to day-today celebrations and conditions that an envoy might encounter; nevertheless, I used to be uncovered to far more. I noticed Ambassador Halperin symbolize Israel on the cocktail reception and participate in discussions that supported issues she was clearly captivated with, such because the Makeathon, which is striving to assist individuals with disabilities develop into extra unbiased.

The most important shock was conversing with the varied ambassadors and gaining information about such an essential job from one other perspective. I’m so grateful for his or her kindness and openness when sharing their experiences.

Do you assume this expertise may have an effect on what you select to do for a profession?

After my day with the ambassador, I’m intent on exploring the world of diplomacy. The position of representing your nation in a overseas place is so necessary for variety and a deeper understanding of different cultures.

Darcy Gilder (12), AustralianAmbassador in SIngapore darcyAmbassador in SIngapore darcy

Faculty: Dulwich School (Singapore)
Ambassador: Constantina Koliou, Greece

Why did you need to be Ambassador for a Day?

It was a tremendous alternative I couldn’t move by. I assumed it might train me about embassies, management and extra – and it did!

How did you and the ambassador spend your time collectively?

We spent our time discussing the roles and duties of ambassadors. Not solely that, however I spent the day with many different departments, and I even obtained to see them processing a visa. Later within the day, I went to a seminar about Greek delivery.

What did you anticipate from the day? What was the most important shock?

The day had much more social interactions than I used to be anticipating. The seminar was an enormous shock because it confirmed me what number of Greeks live in Singapore – and what number of are concerned in delivery. It’s an enormous business! Additionally, everybody I met spoke a minimum of two languages!

Do you assume this expertise may have an effect on what you select to do for a profession?

Earlier than this expertise, I had an unrealistic view of the job, however now I do know the truth. This hasn’t made me lose curiosity within the job. I even have a greater understanding of how the world and the financial system works. Regardless that I don’t know what I need to do once I develop up, this has opened my eyes to a different job that is filled with infinite alternatives.

Lies van Asten (11), DutchAmbassador in Singapore finlandAmbassador in Singapore finland

Faculty: GEMS World Academy (Singapore)
Ambassador: Paula Parviainen, Finland

Why did you need to be Ambassador for a Day?

I assumed it will be cool to stroll by way of a day with an envoy. I additionally thought that it might be a life-changing alternative as you often don’t get the prospect to see what an envoy does on a traditional day. I additionally needed to know what ladies in a excessive place can do to affect the world.

How did you and the ambassador spend your time collectively?

The Finnish Ambassador and I principally attended conferences through the day, and for lunch the Deputy Prime Minister got here, together with Pasi Sahlberg, a Finnish professor, and Jaya Mohideen, the Ambassador from Singapore to Finland. We additionally purchased flowers to placed on the desk for the lunch.

What did you anticipate from the day? What was the most important shock?

I didn’t have too many expectations as I had no clear view what an envoy may do in the course of the day. I didn’t anticipate it to be so tiring because it was with all of the conferences! I additionally didn’t anticipate that the day was going to be about schooling; I did take pleasure in this rather a lot as a result of I’m a scholar myself. I used to be stunned at how a lot I loved Finnish meals – and I didn’t assume I might ever attempt reindeer in my life! I additionally thought that the Deputy Prime Minister won’t speak to me, however quite the opposite, he was very pleasant and we had a terrific chat.

Do you assume this expertise may have an effect on what you select to do for a profession?

I feel it’s going to have an effect on my selection of profession as a result of now I’ve came upon that women can obtain something in life. It has strengthened my concept of turning into a scientist after a superb schooling, with a view to creating a greater world.

Thulsa Miqdhaadh Moosa (16), MaldivianAmbassador in SIngapore danishAmbassador in SIngapore danish

Faculty: Abroad Household Faculty
Ambassador: Dorte Bech Vizard, Denmark

Why did you need to be Ambassador for a Day?

I’ve all the time had a ardour for studying concerning the world of diplomacy, worldwide relations and UN sustainable improvement. I needed to study how being an envoy can result in making a distinction in our world and permit everybody to profit from the appropriate to reside as equal beings with equal alternatives.

How did you and the ambassador spend your time collectively?

We took half in quite a lot of totally different actions and occasions all through the day, together with attending an exquisite Anzac Day service, the place I used to be honoured to put the wreath with the ambassador. We additionally attended enterprise conferences, signed a condolence guide, toured Tulipmania, hosted an occasion and easily discovered extra about one another.

What did you anticipate from the day? What was the most important shock?

I actually didn’t know what to anticipate, however I’ve now realised how it’s an immensely necessary position to characterize and promote your nation. One after the opposite, the day was filled with surprises. My favorite was how warm-hearted and welcoming everybody was on the embassy, no matter how busy all of them have been. HE Ms Dorte is such a tremendous position mannequin, and somebody who I aspire to be like someday.

Do you assume this expertise may have an effect on what you select to do for a profession?

I now know extra concerning the totally different roles in an embassy and the duties of an envoy. It’s most undoubtedly a profession path I’ll now contemplate. In someday, I’ve learnt a lot about public diplomacy, commerce, consular, the maritime business, sustainability, well being, know-how and extra.

Tanishka Trivedi (16), IndianAmbassador in SIngapore new zealandAmbassador in SIngapore new zealand

Faculty: Abroad Household Faculty
Ambassador: Jo Tyndall, New Zealand

Why did you need to be Ambassador for a Day?

Because the chief of the UN Ladies Membership in my faculty, I needed to study concerning the roles and obligations that come together with management outdoors the varsity world.

How did you and the ambassador spend your time collectively?

First, I sat down with Ms Tyndall and she or he congratulated me on my achievement and spoke about her job, her life and the way a lot she loves doing what she does. Ms Tyndall’s first assembly of the day was with a consultant of Air New Zealand. After that, we met college students from Puhoro STEM Academy. Later, I met Ambassador Mausoom from the Maldives and his group. They have been pretty individuals and Ambassador Mausoom had a pleasant sense of humour. The meals served at lunch was scrumptious, too – the fruit crème brûlée was my favorite!

What did you anticipate from the day? What was the most important shock?

I intentionally tried to reach with no preconceived expectations as I needed to take pleasure in and study from every part that was so generously provided to me. I used to be astonished by how a lot Ms Tyndall knew about local weather change.

Do you assume this expertise may have an effect on what you select to do for a profession?

It appeared apparent to me that Ms Tyndall believes within the type of management that embodies the saying “We rise by lifting others”. My day together with her confirmed to me that it isn’t all glamorous. There may be fancy lunches, conferences with very esteemed individuals and excessive recognition, nevertheless, one has to have essential insights into political conditions and have the ability to cope with social points thoughtfully. I observed that even when disagreeing or just having totally different views, each the events have been extraordinarily respectful. This expertise has inspired me to work more durable in the best path!

Olivia Weston (11), BelgianAmbassador in SIngapore for the europenan unionAmbassador in SIngapore for the europenan union

English Faculty: Lycée Français
Ambassador: Barbara Pinkert, European Union

Why did you need to be Ambassador for a Day?

I used to be excited to have the prospect to know what diplomats actually do. My grandfather was a British diplomat, and my father typically talks about his life because the youngster of a diplomat, dwelling everywhere in the world. I additionally thought it might be fascinating to know what it’s like as a lady to work in such a profession.

How did you and the ambassador spend your time collectively?

We began the day with a administration assembly and I obtained to take a seat in on the dialogue. Subsequent, we headed to a media convention on the Nationwide Gallery, adopted by lunch. There have been extra conferences within the afternoon, together with one with the European Chamber of Commerce, and to spherical off a busy day there was a cocktail celebration on the Danish Ambassador’s residence. It’s not removed from the place I stay, which was nice since I used to be greater than prepared for mattress!

What did you anticipate from the day? What was the most important shock?

I assumed there could be a number of boring time spent in an workplace; the truth is, diplomats appear to spend most of their time in face-to-face conferences and discussing issues over a meal or drink. The times are lengthy, nevertheless, and I feel it have to be robust to mix such a job with being a mom. My largest shock was how good everybody was to me! All of them took time to say whats up to me and ask me about my life in Singapore.

Do you assume this expertise may have an effect on what you select to do for a profession?

This was a very nice expertise for me – I’m so happy that my mom inspired me to use. It has been enjoyable to speak with my father about it, too (I feel he typically needs he had adopted in his father’s footsteps!). As for me, I don’t assume I need to turn out to be a diplomat, however I would really like a job the place I’m not caught in entrance of a pc all day!

Annika Grapow (15), GermanAmbassador in SIngaporeAmbassador in SIngapore

Faculty: GESS (European Part)
Ambassador: Karin Fichtinger-Grohe, Austria

Why did you need to be Ambassador for a Day?

I’ve all the time been interested in many various areas of labor, together with the diplomatic area. I’m additionally very passionate about empowering women to face up in fields which are nonetheless dominated by males.

How did you and the ambassador spend your time collectively?

Once I got here to the Austrian Embassy within the morning, HE Mrs Fichtinger-Grohe launched me to everybody and confirmed me the Embassy. We started the day with some consulate work, akin to a passport that wanted to be issued. We additionally seemed on the information, as you all the time want to remain up to date with occurrences! Later, we went to a enterprise lunch at Paulaner and met the brand new Austrian Common Supervisor. After some additional workplace work, the ambassador and I went to go to the Austrian world market chief in hearth brigade applied sciences, an organization referred to as Rosenbauer. We received a presentation on the corporate and a tour of the manufacturing grounds; there have been many various vans and gear. Within the night, I used to be granted permission to hitch the Dutch King’s Day reception, which was a really good expertise – I met many inspirational individuals.

What did you anticipate from the day? What was the most important shock?

I went to the Embassy with none particular expectations, and simply let the day come because it did. Seems it was nice! I’m not a fan of drawing out nice expectations, as a result of if I achieve this, I are likely to get dissatisfied.

The most important shock was when the ambassador and I sat within the cockpit of a brand-new hearth brigade tank about to be deployed at Changi Airport, which I discovered actually thrilling!

Do you assume this expertise may have an effect on what you select to do for a profession?

Spending the day with the ambassador was an expertise I actually cherish. It gave me a sensible concept of what a job within the diplomatic area seems like, and I’ll maintain it behind my thoughts for the profession decisions I should make in future. Thanks, HE Frau Fichtinger-Grohe!

Olivia McCafferty (13), AustralianAmbassador in SIngapore vietnamAmbassador in SIngapore vietnam

Faculty: UWCSEA East
Ambassador: Tao Thi Thanh Huong, Vietnam

Why did you need to be Ambassador for a Day?

I needed this chance as a result of it might be nice to actually see and listen to straight from an envoy what you need to do within the job and why it’s such an essential job.

How did you and the ambassador spend your time collectively?

The ambassador had some friends so I obtained to see how she often handles conferences like this. We talked so much and I used to be capable of ask all of the questions I had, plus I acquired to study a lot about what it’s a must to do as an envoy – characterize your nation, hold up to date on information, attend conferences, organise actions, and promote cultural and financial ties.

What did you anticipate from the day? What was the most important shock?

I anticipated virtually precisely what truly occurred, however I additionally assume it surpassed my expectations – it was nice. The most important shock was discovering out what number of locations the ambassador had labored at and the way lengthy she had been an envoy.

Do you assume this expertise may have an effect on what you select to do for a profession?

I actually assume that being an envoy can be an excellent cool job to have and I undoubtedly assume that I’d need to be one once I’m older after this expertise.


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This text first appeared within the July 2019 version of Expat Dwelling. You possibly can buy a replica or subscribe so that you by no means miss a problem!

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