Alum of the Month - January 2017

Edwin Wong

The department’s faculty staff are leaders in their fields and have rich connections with the industry. Edwin Wong

  • Programme studied: MSc Public Management and Governance
  • Year of Graduation: 2015
  • LinkedIn profile

What’s your current job?

Corporate Communications, Defence Science and Technology Agency, Singapore

Where have you worked previously?

I have had a diverse work history with positions held in the public sector, including government communications and strategic relations at Public Service Division, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore. I also have experience in the private sector, having worked in financial and corporate communications at Franklin Templeton Investments and Grayling PR.

How has the programme you studied helped your career since you graduated?

My current role involves stakeholder management and communication, whether it is within my organisation or across the whole of government. Being exposed to theories in organisational management as well as case studies of situations encountered by managers or senior management in the MSc Public Management and Governance (PMG) programme, provided me with the foundation to better engage people in order to deliver my desired outcome. 

The PMG programme also gave me a basic yet interesting rubric to problem solving. From learning how to deconstruct a problem down to its finer details, to seeing the big picture when making decisions, this methodical way of thinking has certainly proved useful. When I face problems during the course of my work, I will usually think of questions such as ‘how would my professors or classmates approach this problem?’ or ‘have I given the problem a 360-degree treatment?’.

What was the best thing about studying at the Department of Management?

The best thing about studying in the PMG programme at the LSE’s Department of Management was the network it gave me. The department’s faculty staff are leaders in their fields and have rich connections with the industry.

My classmates were high achievers, hailing from different parts of the world with varying degrees of work experience. This diversity lent a novel perspective to our discussions and exposed me to different cultures. As a famous Confucius saying goes, “Walking among three people, I find my teacher among them”. We certainly learnt from each other every day.

One of the highlights of the PMG programme was the capstone project. I had the privileged opportunity to work with consultants from the Boston Consulting Group’s Centre for Public Impact. Together with my classmates, we examined and recommended an international public impact measurement and performance comparison framework focused on well-being. This project gave me insights into the inner workings of a management consultancy and allowed me to put what we learnt in theory into practice.

Finally, being a part of the LSE family doesn’t stop after leaving London. I have attended a number of LSE alumni events such as the 2015 LSE Asia Forum in Singapore. It’s always comforting to meet fellow alumni and learn of their interesting exploits and personal stories. Stay connected!

What motivates you?

Being challenged intellectually and being appreciated motivates me. I fancy challenges because only when I am challenged will I learn something at the end of the day. Challenges keep me on my toes to improve.

More often than not, a simple “thank you” could do wonders. I always remind myself never to forget showing my gratitude to a stranger, friend or family for what they have done. Any form of appreciation could make a person’s day.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

Never be afraid to make mistakes as long as you do not repeat them. This piece of advice came from one of my former supervisors, who was always patient and willing to guide me along. For a young man like myself who was entering the workforce then, it gave me the confidence to stretch my boundaries, try new things and think out of the box. 

How have you found the transition from studying to working and what advice would you give new graduates as they join the workforce?

Transiting from studying to working is like a rite of passage we have to go through. It will take some adjustments undeniably but we will come through. I would encourage new graduates to enter the workforce with an open mind, learn as much as possible but never forget the perseverance, enthusiasm and sense of purpose that took us through our LSE education. Go well!