Ambassador Ambassador for a day Ambassadors of Singapore blog enrichment kids Living in Singapore

13 girls get to see what it’s like

What’s it like to be a robust lady who represents her nation abroad? 13 girls who gained our Ambassador for a Day contest received a once-in-a-lifetime probability to find out.

In our March concern, as a salute to Worldwide Ladies’s Day, we launched a contest for girls ages 10 to 18 to spend a day with one among Singapore’s female ambassadors. Much to our delight, we have been buried with purposes from girls of all ages and nationalities. Narrowing it down to thirteen was extremely exhausting as they have been all wonderful applicants.

And what days that they had! Each winner’s experience was unique, with all the ambassadors and their employees really rolling out the pink carpet for his or her “minis”. The girls discovered about diplomacy, attended events 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 girls described their day as a life-changing expertise.

We’re incredibly proud to have been a part of this initiative, and we’re comfortable to present the girls’ accounts of their experiences under!

Hui Yue Xi (Joyce) (18), Singaporean

Faculty: St. Andrew’s Junior School

Ambassador: Margriet Vonno, Netherlands

Why did you want to be Ambassador for a Day?

To seek out out extra concerning the career monitor of turning into a diplomat and the ambassador of my country as I’m considering taking Political Science at university.

How did you and the ambassador spend your time together?

Firstly, I met Ms Vonno at the Dutch Embassy; she’s a really pleasant and amiable lady. Her driver then took us to our first event of the day, Tulip Mania at Gardens by the Bay. Once we arrived, we have been treated as VIPs, and cameras began flashing in entrance of us – it was an eye-opening experience for me. We were given 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 Airlines.

After lunch with the other ambassadors and girls from the Ambassador for a Day programme, we went to an event where technological startup corporations shared details about their innovations and new technologies; I was enormously awed by the shows.

After a stop at Ms Vonno’s residence, the place she gave me a radical tour of her house and showed me many necessary artefacts, we headed to a ultimate event on the Botanic Gardens, for a presentation by the Argentinian ambassador relating to flowers and fauna from Argentina which are displayed in 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 events, however I ended up at events all through the day, so it was far more significant than expected. I was 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 thoughtful amidst their busy schedules.

Do you assume this experience may have an effect on what you choose to do for a career?

The perception I’ve gained into the career of an envoy and dealing in the overseas service has enhanced my curiosity in Political Science, and I’d like to proceed pursuing this monitor in the future.

Sofia Genato (13), FilipinoPolish ambassador for singapore

Faculty: SOTA
Ambassador: Magdalena Bogdziewicz, Poland

Why did you want this opportunity?

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

How did you spend your time collectively?

We spent our time speaking about current world points, in addition to Poland’s connections with Singapore. I used to be also very fortunate to take part a luncheon with the other feminine ambassadors and I obtained to speak to them, too.

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

I expected it to be a very enjoyable, enriching and particular learning experience and it actually was. The most important surprise was the luncheon. The expertise was superb – a once-in-a-lifetime alternative. Who gets to say, “I’ve eaten a meal with people I would like to grow up to be like”? And, to prime it off, the food was very delicious.

Do you assume this expertise may affect what you select to do for a profession?

Before this experience, all I knew was that I needed to work for the UN. Spending a day on the Polish Embassy confirmed me the totally different duties of a diplomat and the workforce she relies on.  As such, I now have a greater image of my position or entry level to this world, working in the communications division. She additionally inspired me that, with arduous work, I might have the ability to achieve no matter I would like to, and that I ought to take all these experiences and learning alternatives to make a constructive impression on our world.

Elliana Patel (11), Indian-AmericanEliana USA

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

Why did you need this opportunity?

I needed to experience what a diplomat does on a day-to-day basis, and study the inside workings of an embassy. I’m all the time wanting to meet inspirational ladies in leadership positions.

How did you spend your time collectively?

We started our morning at 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 categorized info in case of emergency or attack. We then went to the Mastercard Innovation Middle the place I discovered about beautiful new know-how that makes use of synthetic intelligence to verify your knowledge when buying by way of Mastercard. It gave me an perception into how the Ambassador works with American corporations and connects them with the Department of Commerce. Afterwards, we headed to the AmCham 46th Annual Conference where I used to be lucky sufficient to meet 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 a different way abled and poor – and I found her influential and galvanizing. We mentioned international points 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 meet fascinating individuals and study concerning the US Embassy, however my expectations have been blown out of the water. I really feel very fortunate to have gotten to spend the day with Ms Stephanie, an articulate, caring and impactful individual. Her stories about raising her own daughters, the sacrifices she has made for her nation, and her thoughts on how to be a better individual have been extremely motivating.

The perfect surprise was the behind-the-scenes look I received of the embassy, and interacting with Pepper, an AI-enabled robotic on the Mastercard Innovation Middle.

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

If individuals like Ms Stephanie, who needs to make change and clear up problems, are in positions the place they’re being heard, our future will probably be vibrant. I aspire to be as respected and completed as her at some point!

Rubab Khan (17), PakistaniIsrael

Faculty: Abroad Family Faculty
Ambassador: Anita Nergaard, Norway

Why did you want 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 setting. I additionally needed to study from fellow ladies how to strategy challenges, talk effectively, assume well and handle individuals empathetically.

How did you spend your time together?

We first attended the Singapore Maritime Know-how Conference (SMTC). I then had lunch with the ambassador and later attended some shows from start-up corporations. We also 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?

While I anticipated a learning expertise, it went beyond my expectations. Not solely did I achieve information from Her Excellency, I additionally acquired publicity to many different ambassadors, numerous chief executives, sensible start-ups and more! It was unforgettable.

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

Do you assume this experience may affect what you select to do for a career?

After this expertise, I’m even more excited to pursue a career in economics, as my ambassador has a PhD in that subject. Will probably be an amazing success for me if I’m in a position to take even slightly part of the skilled path she has taken.

Olivia Thacker (11), BritishCanadian ambassador Singapore

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

Why did you need this chance?

I’ve learnt rather a lot about unfair pay for ladies lately, and I needed the opportunity to see a profitable lady at work, so I utilized.

How did you spend your time together?

First, I met some of Ms McDonald’s colleagues – they have been really nice. They defined what they did and I discovered all of it very fascinating. One of the best bit was speaking to a woman about pretend passports (Canada Border Providers Officer) and making an attempt to spot the difference 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 the individuals she would e mail and what sort of selections she would make and watch them speak, however it was actually interactive and far more fun than I assumed. It was a tremendous day and I acquired a move that stated I used to be the Excessive Commissioner of Canada for the Day!

The most important surprise was being able 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 experience may have an effect on what you select to do for a career?

I feel it has undoubtedly given me options because I really like to help my classmates with issues. I’m very completely happy and grateful that I received the opportunity 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 International (SJII)
Ambassador: Simona Halperin, Israel

Why did you need this chance?

To assist me purchase a view on how national matters that an envoy identifies and pursues are processed when it comes to communication and representing nations in another country. Witnessing such a dignified profession in action will help me perceive how a well-functioning office can effectively overcome challenges.

How did you spend your time together?

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 was lucky to additionally meet different ambassadors at a cocktail event and it was an honour to speak to such influential figures.

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

I anticipated numerous formal events and conferences relating to day-today celebrations and conditions that an ambassador might encounter; nevertheless, I used to be uncovered to far more. I saw Ambassador Halperin characterize Israel at the cocktail reception and take part in discussions that supported things she was clearly captivated with, such because the Makeathon, which is striving to help individuals with disabilities develop into extra unbiased.

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

Do you assume this expertise may affect what you select to do for a profession?

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

Darcy Gilder (12), AustralianAmbassador in SIngapore darcy

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

Why did you want to be Ambassador for a Day?

It was a tremendous opportunity I couldn’t move by. I assumed it will 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 received 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 surprise?

The day had much more social interactions than I used to be anticipating. The seminar was a huge shock because it showed me what number of Greeks live in Singapore – and what number of are involved in delivery. It’s an enormous business! Also, everyone I met spoke at the very least two languages!

Do you assume this experience may affect what you choose to do for a career?

Before this expertise, I had an unrealistic view of the job, however now I know the truth. This hasn’t made me lose interest in the job. I even have a greater understanding of how the world and the financial system works. Despite the fact that I don’t know what I would like to do once I grow up, this has opened my eyes to one other job that is filled with infinite opportunities.

Lies van Asten (11), DutchAmbassador 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 might be cool to walk via a day with an envoy. I also thought that it will be a life-changing opportunity as you often don’t get the prospect to see what an envoy does on a traditional day. I also needed to know what ladies in a excessive place can do to influence the world.

How did you and the ambassador spend your time together?

The Finnish Ambassador and I principally attended conferences in the course of the day, and for lunch the Deputy Prime Minister came, along with Pasi Sahlberg, a Finnish professor, and Jaya Mohideen, the Ambassador from Singapore to Finland. We additionally purchased flowers to put on the desk for the lunch.

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

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

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

I feel it should have an effect on my selection of profession because now I’ve came upon that girls can achieve something in life. It has strengthened my concept of turning into a scientist after an excellent schooling, with a view to creating a better world.

Thulsa Miqdhaadh Moosa (16), MaldivianAmbassador 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 passion for learning concerning the world of diplomacy, worldwide relations and UN sustainable improvement. I needed to study how being an envoy can lead to making a difference in our world and permit everybody to profit from the correct to reside as equal beings with equal opportunities.

How did you and the ambassador spend your time collectively?

We took half in quite a lot of totally different actions and occasions throughout the day, including attending an attractive Anzac Day service, where I was honoured to lay the wreath with the ambassador. We also attended enterprise conferences, signed a condolence ebook, toured Tulipmania, hosted an event and simply discovered more about each other.

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

I actually didn’t know what to anticipate, but I’ve now realised how it’s an immensely essential position to symbolize 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, regardless of how busy all of them have been. HE Ms Dorte is such a tremendous position mannequin, and someone who I aspire to be like at some point.

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

I now know extra concerning the totally different roles in an embassy and the duties of an ambassador. It’s most undoubtedly a profession path I will now think about. In someday, I’ve learnt a lot about public diplomacy, trade, consular, the maritime business, sustainability, health, know-how and extra.

Tanishka Trivedi (16), IndianAmbassador in SIngapore new zealand

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

Why did you want to be Ambassador for a Day?

Because the leader of the UN Ladies Club in my faculty, I needed to study concerning the roles and duties that come along with management outdoors the varsity world.

How did you and the ambassador spend your time together?

First, I sat down with Ms Tyndall and she or he congratulated me on my achievement and spoke about her job, her life and how much 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 staff. They have been pretty individuals and Ambassador Mausoom had a pleasant sense of humour. The food served at lunch was scrumptious, too – the fruit crème brûlée was my favourite!

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

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

Do you assume this experience may affect what you choose to do for a profession?

It appeared obvious to me that Ms Tyndall believes within the sort of leadership that embodies the saying “We rise by lifting others”. My day together with her confirmed to me that it isn’t all glamorous. There is perhaps fancy lunches, conferences with very esteemed individuals and excessive recognition, nevertheless, one has to have essential insights into political conditions and find a way to cope with social issues thoughtfully. I observed that even when disagreeing or simply having totally different views, each the events have been extraordinarily respectful. This experience has encouraged me to work more durable in the correct course!

Olivia Weston (11), BelgianAmbassador 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 understand what diplomats actually do. My grandfather was a British diplomat, and my father typically talks about his life because the baby of a diplomat, dwelling everywhere in the world. I additionally thought it will be fascinating to understand what it’s like as a lady to work in any such career.

How did you and the ambassador spend your time together?

We started the day with a administration assembly and I obtained to sit in on the discussion. Subsequent, we headed to a media conference at the National Gallery, followed by lunch. There were more conferences in the afternoon, together with one with the European Chamber of Commerce, and to round off a busy day there was a cocktail get together on the Danish Ambassador’s residence. It’s not far from where I stay, which was nice since I was more than ready for mattress!

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

I assumed there is perhaps numerous boring time spent in an workplace; in reality, diplomats appear to spend most of their time in face-to-face conferences and discussing things over a meal or drink. The times are long, nevertheless, and I feel it have to be robust to combine such a job with being a mom. My largest surprise was how nice everyone was to me! All of them took time to say hiya to me and ask me about my life in Singapore.

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

This was a very great expertise for me – I’m so happy that my mom encouraged me to apply. 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 would like to grow to be a diplomat, but I might like a job the place I’m not caught in front of a computer all day!

Annika Grapow (15), GermanAmbassador 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 by many various areas of work, including the diplomatic area. I’m also very keen about empowering girls to get up in fields which are nonetheless dominated by males.

How did you and the ambassador spend your time collectively?

Once I came to the Austrian Embassy in the morning, HE Mrs Fichtinger-Grohe launched me to everyone and confirmed me the Embassy. We started the day with some consulate work, resembling a passport that needed to be issued. We additionally seemed on the news, as you all the time want to keep up to date with occurrences! Later, we went to a business lunch at Paulaner and met the brand new Austrian Common Manager. After some further workplace work, the ambassador and I went to go to the Austrian world market leader in hearth brigade applied sciences, an organization referred to as Rosenbauer. We obtained a presentation on the company and a tour of the manufacturing grounds; there have been many various vans and gear. Within the night, I was granted permission to be a part of the Dutch King’s Day reception, which was a really nice experience – I met many inspirational individuals.

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

I went to the Embassy without any particular expectations, and just let the day come because it did. Turns out it was nice! I’m not a fan of drawing out nice expectations, as a result of if I achieve this, I have a tendency to get disenchanted.

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

Do you assume this expertise may affect what you select to do for a profession?

Spending the day with the ambassador was an experience 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 mind for the profession decisions I will have to make in future. Thank you, HE Frau Fichtinger-Grohe!

Olivia McCafferty (13), AustralianAmbassador 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 opportunity because it might be great to actually see and listen to straight from an ambassador what you will have to do within the job and why it’s such an necessary job.

How did you and the ambassador spend your time together?

The ambassador had some friends so I obtained to see how she often handles conferences like this. We talked quite a bit and I used to be in a position to ask all of the questions I had, plus I obtained to study so much about what you have got to do as an envoy – symbolize your nation, maintain up to date on information, attend conferences, organise activities, and promote cultural and economic ties.

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

I expected virtually exactly what truly occurred, but I also assume it surpassed my expectations – it was great. The most important surprise was discovering out what number of places the ambassador had worked at and how lengthy she had been an envoy.

Do you assume this expertise may affect what you select to do for a career?

I really assume that being an ambassador 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 experience.


For extra helpful ideas head to our
Dwelling in Singapore part.

The Nice Singapore Quiz 2019
A newbie’s guide to public transport in Singapore

This article first appeared within the July 2019 edition of Expat Dwelling. You possibly can buy a replica or subscribe so that you never miss a problem!

Categories