Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Jobseekers’ Diaries: I majored in real estate but followed my heart into social service

In this instalment of Jobseekers’ Diaries, Ms Seah En Qi reflects on a difficult decision between starting a career in her field of study — real estate — and pursuing her passion in social service.

Jobseekers’ Diaries: I majored in real estate but followed my heart into social service

The writer looks back on a difficult decision between starting a career in her field of study — real estate — and pursuing her passion in social service.

As jobs are a top concern for Singaporeans in the Covid-19 crisis, TODAY’s Voices section is publishing first-hand accounts from jobseekers in which they reflect on their experiences and what keeps them going. 

In this instalment of Jobseekers’ Diaries, Ms Seah En Qi reflects on a difficult decision between starting a career in her field of study — real estate — and pursuing her passion in social service. 

Graduating during a pandemic can be quite the ride.

I remember we were told to brace ourselves for a downturn in the job market and to “prepare for the worst”.

Many of us expected the search to be tough, and it was.

Having majored in real estate, I explored internships in various functions, such as real estate consulting, banking, research and facilities management.

Other than my academic commitments and internships during my four years at university, I discovered activities that soon became my passion.  

Having volunteered with other students from the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Residential College 4 since my first year, I found myself immensely enjoying working with children and youth at risk.

My passion led me to explore other volunteering opportunities in the community and engage in community development projects.

These experiences pushed me to apply for various social work positions, in addition to the jobs related to my real estate major.

I started sending off applications in January, and applied for 50 or 60 jobs. 

My volunteering stints, however, seemed at once relevant and not so relevant to the social work sector. 

Although I volunteered at various social service organisations, social work is still a profession requiring evidence-based practice and skills.

Gearing up for the job hunt was no easy feat.

It meant building my portfolio early in school by looking for internships and preparing for interviews and assessments.

Little did I expect myself to be caught in a bind after graduation.

I had to decide between accepting an offer to be a consulting analyst at a real estate company and waiting for the outcome of an interview for a role that I was passionate about in the social service sector.

I am thankful for the advice from my mentors, career advisers from the NUS Centre for Future-ready Graduates as well as course mates who were always willing to extend a listening ear or helping hand during those tough times.

Ultimately, I decided to forgo the offer from the real estate company and wait for the interview outcome from the Ministry of Social and Family Development.

I was offered a job as a child protection officer at the ministry in June. 

While I am extremely grateful for the opportunities and how everything panned out in the midst of the pandemic, it could have easily been otherwise. 

I had even worked out a plan B — to pursue further studies in social work several years after getting an internship or a job following graduation.

At times, we are one decision from a completely different life. 

If you know what your heart desires, go for it.

ABOUT THE WRITER:

Ms Seah En Qi, 24, graduated in May with a degree in real estate from the National University of Singapore. She is a child protection officer at the Ministry of Social and Family Development.  

If you are a jobseeker with a compelling story or know someone who wishes to contribute to this series, write to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number.

Related topics

Jobs jobseekers social service Covid-19 coronavirus

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa