A Heart for Culture and Mother Earth

Ng Wen Ying, a CapitaLand scholar at National University of Singapore is building more than just a career through architecture. Her chosen course of study is helping her form a deeper connection with the city-state's inherent culture.

Issue: Jun 2009

Ng Wen Ying (second from left) and fellow recepients of the BCA CapitaLand Built Environment Scholarship 2008 with Mr Lai Choon Hung, Deputy Chief Corporate Officer (far right) and Mr Tan Seng Chai, SVP HR (far left) at the scholarship award ceremony
Wen Ying's proudest moment: receiving her scholarship at the BCA Award Ceremony
20-year-old Ng Wen Ying says she is very new to architecture and is yet to establish her niche in the society, but the one thing she is certain about is that she wants to make a difference. The CapitaLand scholar chose architecture for this very reason. "I feel that architecture plays a very significant role. Not only does it preserve culture; it incubates life and this aspect is very meaningful to me. I also have a heart for conservation and I know that good design makes a positive effect on the environment. I want to do my part for the earth in an architect's role," she says with laudable positivism. Wen Ying likes to visit places and understand how architecture ties in with culture aspects within the built environment to create a sense of place. "Architecture is not just about structure. It is a philosophy," she believes.

While searching for a scholarship that awarded her more than just monetary benefits, she came upon the BCA Industry Built Environment Scholarship which matches scholars with major corporations, CapitaLand being one. "I was seeking for exposure to cutting-edge architecture as well as a working environment that strives to give a sense of belonging. CapitaLand, being one of the top real estate companies in Asia is definitely the best place for an aspiring architect," Wen Ying says.

Rewarding Connections

Wen Ying (far right) with her coursemates, in the school exhibition hall
Her desire to enter a nurturing environment was matched and fulfilled by CapitaLand. "On one occasion, we were invited to dine with the CEO of CapitaLand Mr Liew Mun Leong. It was a memorable event as we sat listening and learning from his experiences and life story. We also receive Sunday emails from Mr Liew in which he shares with us the progress of the company, his inspiring encounters, things we can learn, and sometimes, issues regarding business and ethics," Wen Ying says. Through the Mentorship and Buddy Programme, the scholar was matched with Mr Olivier Lim, CFO of CapitaLand as her Mentor and Mr Edwin Koh, Project Executive, CapitaLand (Vietnam) as her Buddy. "Mr Lim is extremely knowledgeable about Singapore architecture, the buildings' history and heritage", Wen Ying says. "He inspired me to read up more about the city and its heritage but at the same time advised me to be more globally aware by being in touch with current affairs."

"Even though Mr Koh, my "buddy", is posted in Vietnam, he makes every effort to meet with us during his visit to Singapore," Wen Ying adds. "Having studied architecture at National University of Singapore, he shares with me his wealth of experience and information that enables me to make decisions related to my career. Through him I learned several other aspects relating to work life, overseas experiences and even about study modules."

Wen Ying (far left) was influenced by the heritage architecture on her recent course-trip to Penang
The BCA CapitaLand Industry Built Environment Scholarship is awarded to a maximum of four students every year and upon graduation, they are offered employment within the company to develop their career.

Wen Ying aspires to be involved in the promotion of green architecture within CapitaLand's portfolio. "The Varsity Park condominium in particular was unique for its design. The green features have won the development the Green Mark Gold award which is a recognition for CapitaLand's environmental responsibility," Wen Ying comments. "I hope that I will be able to make contributions in a similar way."

On the whole, Wen Ying says that she has benefited much from this scholarship. "The scholarship has not only supported me for my studies but also taught me things that the textbooks would never cover."

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