Marine Engineering might not seem like a typical field that girls would go into, but this never stopped Clarie Teo. Here’s her story:
I was the top O Levels scorer of my cohort in CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent, and at that age I had already known that I wanted to take a path that’s out of the ordinary. I asked myself how I would like to make my mark on this tiny island and that’s when I decided to pursue maritime engineering at Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA), here at SP. Thankfully, my parents have always given me the freedom to make my own choices, and that’s how I got to where I am today.
During my course of study in SMA, I learned everything about ships from scratch and the knowledge and skills I acquired were essential to my job as a marine engineer on board one of the Navy’s Frigate. The thing that I like about engineering is that the principles and fundamentals never change, all we need to know is how to apply them. And what I really love
about SP is the opportunities made available to students to branch out to non-academic areas and learn other skill sets. The highlight of my poly days was definitely the many overseas trips, seven in total, that I went on.
So I bet that you must be curious about what it’s like for a girl to be in a male-dominated industry, such as the Maritime sector? Personally, I have always believed in doing what you love, in order to love what you do. This motto of mine has enabled me to excel at the many things that I love doing, which include being on board ships. In fact, being in a male dominated environment has never scared me because as long as I maintain professionalism at my job, I’ll be able to earn the respect of my colleagues, which I have.
My time in the Navy taught me more than what it takes to defend our seas. While working aboard ships, I grew in confidence and learnt to be independent. I loved all aspects of my job as a Military Expert Scholar, but after four years I decided that it was time for me to further my studies and gain more expertise in the area of engineering. And so, I applied for the MaritimeOne scholarship.
I’ll soon be studying mechanical engineering at NUS under the MaritimeOne scholarship — an opportunity that was hard-won and for which I’ll be always grateful. In five years’ time, I see myself stepping back into the maritime industry, which is where I always wanted to be.