Yale-NUS has established an innovative Centre for International and Professional Experience to create a portfolio of global opportunities that will enhance our students’ academic learning, broaden their perspectives and hone the skills and character they need to succeed as students today and leaders tomorrow.
The Centre integrates traditionally separate and often silo-ed components of experience based learning (such as study abroad, summer sessions, internships, career services, leadership and service programming, research attachments) under one roof. This allows for a student-centered and holistic approach to the personal, professional and intellectual development of our students.
The Centre will have a team of dedicated counsellors who will work with every Yale-NUS student to craft an individualised portfolio of learning opportunities. CIPE counsellors, will provide support for navigating the available opportunities, help identify areas for improvement and connect students with the best matches for maximising their growth. The Centre will also offer guidance in how to choose the right opportunity and preparation to help launch each student in his or her new milieu.
The CIPE Team
Dean of International and Professional Experience
A native of Philadelphia, I graduated with an undergraduate degree in Economics from Swarthmore College and a PhD from Yale in Sociology, where my focus was on political institution building and democratic transitions in Europe.
I came to Singapore in 2012 to head Wheelock College and oversaw academic affairs and operations and also taught in the graduate programme. This led to me being appointed to a governmental advisory sub-committee on professional development and leadership. Prior to relocating to Asia, I spent most of my career at Harvard University and most recently was the Executive Director of the university’s Centre for European Studies.
Read a column written by Trisha for Times Higher Education here: http://bit.ly/29YAN2u
Director, Career Services
I am a born and bred Singaporean and thankful to be one. When I first found out I was admitted to NUS in the early 1990’s, PPE (Political Science, Philosophy and Economics) was the easy choice for a pragmatic Singaporean like myself. I ended up with double majors in Philosophy and Economics via a Bachelor of Arts with Merit in 1994.
Not knowing what I wanted to do, I started as a hotel management trainee, went into head-hunting (recruitment), talent management (HR) and a stint working with experienced students in an MBA programme. As an introvert, I had for many years wondered how I ended up with mostly front-line roles, including becoming a military officer in my National Service years. This is where I am grateful to have picked up tools relating to self-awareness and personal development. Knowing my strengths, weaknesses, and interests was key in helping me know what I would love to do. Borrowing Microsoft’s working motto, work is something you do and not somewhere you go. Enjoying what we do ensures our best performance. In my role at Yale-NUS, I hope to share my experiences, help the students get to know themselves better and to establish their interests and career beacons that will guide them throughout their personal and professional lives.
Associate Director, Career Services
I studied Linguistics at Yale (Saybrook College), completing Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in 1995. After working briefly as an English teacher in Japan, I joined the United States Navy. The Navy stationed me on in Japan, Italy, the United States, and Singapore, and sent me to study full-time in Monterey, California; Newport, Rhode Island; and Beijing, China.
I retired from the Navy in 2016 and joined CIPE to help connect students with the people, organisations, challenges and opportunities that will help them reach their goals.
Programme Manager, Career Services
Born in Korea, raised in New Jersey, and having spent eight years in Michigan, I am a bicultural Korean-American who considers all three of those places as home. When I first arrived at the University of Michigan as a college freshman, my life narrowly revolved around excelling in academics, lining up a well-respected job post-graduation, and making some friends along the way. Through various extra-curricular and summer experiences, I was surprised to find college to be a place where I could not only engage intellectually, professionally, and socially–but also as a place where I could discover my passions, purpose, and so much more.
Upon graduating with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, I worked full-time at Deloitte LLP as a Marketing Specialist but spent most of my free time with college students through a faith-based organisation in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I left Deloitte four years later to pursue a Master’s in Higher Education Administration at the University of Pennsylvania, where I had the opportunity to advise undergraduate students at the Wharton School as a Graduate Assistant. As one devoted to helping individuals discover their passions and purpose, I am excited to join the CIPE team as a Programme Manager in Career Services.
Programme Manager, Career Services
I was born in sunny Singapore and spent 7 exciting years in New Zealand, while completing my high school and tertiary education. I graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting and Commercial Law. The journey back on this island has been a memorable experience for me! The first chapter of my career saw me as a banking trainee for Citi, where I later progressed on to a more specialist role, servicing their top tier corporate clients. With over 6 years of banking experience behind me, I am thrilled to be facing a new chapter in life together with CIPE. As a Programme Manager for Career Services, I look forward to creating meaningful opportunities for students in their quest to grow and develop professionally.
Director, Leadership and Global Citizenship
I’ve called Singapore home for the last four years and am thrilled to join the CIPE team. My family is from Kolkata in India, but I grew up in the Caribbean and Oman. I’m a firm believer in a liberal arts education. My four years at Smith College were transformative and converted me to a lifelong advocate for women’s education. Upon graduating, I joined a research and consulting firm in Washington D.C. My childhood experiences living in developing countries had made me deeply interested in why these nations struggle to deliver basic services to their citizens, and how these smaller states negotiate with more powerful (and wealthier) countries. I saw a different side of this puzzle when I lived and worked in Washington D.C. for four years. This led me to pursue a graduate degree in International Relations. Since then, I’ve worked on projects advising private and public sector organisations in the Middle East, India and Singapore. Joining CIPE represents a break from the traditional consulting career path for me. With our diverse interests and skills, I am convinced that all of us will have multiple careers in a single lifetime. I look forward to helping Yale-NUS students explore their many interests and career options!
Programme Manager, Leadership and Global Citizenship
As a college freshman in 2007, I arrived at the University of Pennsylvania with a single giant suitcase and flaming orange hair. I had never visited Penn before. I only had a vague idea of the true importance of this place where from a budding journalist and experienced choir singer I would turn into an English major, international student mentor and proud member of the Penn World Scholars programme, where I found friends for life and future leaders to emulate. I also had the privilege to spend a year abroad at Oxford University, studying English Literature and Linguistics.
That year abroad also proved to be my academic turning point: it helped me realise that I want to use my education for the tangible benefit of others. In my senior year I took journalistic writing classes, joined the school newspaper and grew more and more interested in education. After graduation, this interest led me to English language test development, academic tutoring, career advising, and academic consulting. I now feel incredibly excited and privileged to pursue my dream of working in student affairs, helping students make the best choices for their personal, academic and professional development. A firm believer in learning through practice, I aim to give undergraduates as many opportunities as possible to explore diverse career paths before they settle on a profession that will allow them to continually grow and reinvent themselves as they make a lasting mark in their communities.
Tan Yock Theng
Programme Manager, Leadership and Global Citizenship
A social science researcher by training, my career experiences thus far in teaching secondary school students; applied behavioral and health policy research; and social strategy and policy research, have allowed me to work for change and well-being. My experience with Audible Hearts, an online peer support platform, also ignited an interest in social change and impact, in particular on evaluation and doing good better. I am excited to continue such work at Yale-NUS, and look forward to working with students as they undertake personal and professional growth.
Programme Manager, Leadership and Global Citizenship
After graduating from New York University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and East Asian Studies with a Chinese language focus, I moved to Shanghai. Over the past two years, I have been a Global Academic Fellow in Writing at NYU Shanghai, working in academic support and service-learning programme development.
I originally come from New Hampshire, but a quick look at my passport will tell you that I view airports as my home base a lot of the time! I love to travel, experience new cultures, try lots of local cuisines, and explore my nearby surroundings with friends. I am thrilled to be able to call this city my new home, while working in CIPE as a Programme Manager for Leadership & Global Citizenship.
Associate Director, International Programmes
I am from the U.S., but grew up mostly in Hong Kong and Mexico City. I received my BA in Asian Studies and Organisational Studies from the University of Michigan, and then moved to San Francisco to take a job at a large law firm. After realising that the reality of a career in law was not exactly what I had expected, I decided to go to graduate school to earn an MA in Translation. I worked as a freelance translator (Spanish and Portuguese to English) for a few years, including a year spent living and studying in Portugal.
I moved to Minneapolis, MN in 2007, and found a job at an international education programme provider called World Endeavors. I knew then that I had found a career path I was truly passionate about, as I saw the impact that students’ international experiences had on their professional, academic, and personal trajectories. In 2012, this passion led me to go back to graduate school part-time to earn a second MA in International Education, which I am currently completing. I am very excited to now be part of the Yale-NUS community and the CIPE team. My own experiences living, studying, and working abroad have been formative and eye-opening, and I feel very fortunate to have a job that allows me to work with students as they have their own meaningful experiences abroad.
Programme Manager, International Programmes
After spending my junior year studying in Munich and summers traveling and working in Germany, I was eager to help others pursue international opportunities. I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in German Studies and English and moved to New York City for a job at Cultural Vistas—an international education non-profit, which serves students, professionals, and emerging leaders through career-focused internships, fellowships and exchanges. Most recently, I held the position of Programme Director for the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals—a year-long fellowship between Germany and the US with language, internship and study components. Through this reciprocal programme, I had the pleasure of supporting incoming international students, as well as helping US students and young professionals go abroad.
A strong believer in experiential learning, I am excited about CIPE’s integrated and collaborative approach to advising and programming. I look forward to working closely with Yale-NUS students as they explore their personal and professional goals.
Goh Fang Wei
Programme Manager, International Programmes
When I first entered National University of Singapore as a student, I knew I was interested to major in Sociology but clueless about my endless opportunities. Fortunately for me, my cousin had a chat with me one day and shared about all the things she regretted not doing in university. I ended up doing every one of them- learn a language, spend a semester abroad in Germany and attend a winter programme in China. When I graduated, I aspired to do for others what my cousin did for me and I joined my alma mater’s International Relations Office administering the student exchange programme in Europe. 4 years later, I yearned to fulfil my lifelong dream and went on a 9-month epic world trip which took me across Africa, America and Europe. Joining Yale-NUS CIPE is both a beginning and a continuation. Beginning of a new chapter in my career and continuation of my passion to facilitate international experiences.
Senior Manager, Co-curricular Programmes & Special Projects
Getting started in Education happened by chance for me. Having graduated with a degree in Building, one would expect that I would be in yellow boots for my first job. Instead, I was organising teaching seminars and examination skills workshops for Cambridge University trainers. Through my interactions with these passionate academics, I learnt the importance educators play and their influence in shaping minds.
I joined the teaching fraternity and experienced the magic myself. During my stint at my alma mater, I watched how girls transformed after spending hours with me in detention classes. I watched as shy girls blossomed into outspoken leaders who rose to the occasion given the opportunity. It is an indescribable feeling and something I am glad to have experienced.
Hoping to try something new, I left teaching. Somehow, I never strayed far from being around kids and making a difference in someone’s life. Now being here in Yale-NUS, I look forward to inspire change and hope the work I do in CIPE can help make that happen. Can’t wait!
Wendy grew up in a traditional Chinese family where her father did not believe in the value of higher education for girls. She was fortunately sponsored by her first employer to pursue a Diploma in the polytechnic.
Wendy believes that there are various ways to educate oneself and is always seeking out other learning opportunities beyond school. One way she does this is to learn from other people and their experiences. Wendy takes an optimistic approach in what she does and tries to find pleasure in the simple things in life.
Hi everyone! My name’s Amanda and I’m happy to be part of the Yale-NUS team! Prior to joining Yale-NUS College, I was at a children’s education company and later moved on to the customer loyalty industry.
I am a happy-go-lucky person who enjoys travelling, listening to music, café hopping and hanging out with friends. I have an interest in languages and am currently learning the Korean language. Looking forward to getting to know everyone!
Hello everyone! My name is Nikolai Kapustin and I’m thrilled to call Yale-NUS and Singapore my new home. I was born and raised in the Midwest, but since teaching in the Hunan province in China my freshman summer at Princeton, Asia has been calling my name. I’ve worked in China and Timor-Leste in the past, in the former as an English teacher and the latter more recently at a NGO in the capital, Dili.
I’m all about putting yourself outside of your comfort zone and one of the best ways I know to do this is to immerse yourself in new cultures. On that front, I’m excited to be a part of CIPE and hope to push every student out of his or her comfort zone at least once.
CIPE Faculty Advisory Committee
The CIPE Faculty Advisory Committee serves as an important mechanism for faculty advocacy of co-curricular learning, familiarity with CIPE offerings and assessment of the rigor of proposed international or professional opportunities for students. The Centre works as closely as possible with faculty to conceptualise possibilities for learning experiences beyond the classroom, integrate these experiences back into the classroom and on campus, and provide essential resources in implementing experience-based programming. The current members of the CIPE Faculty Advisory Committee are:
- Robin Hemley, Chair, Professor of Humanities (Writing)
- Parashar Kulkarni, Assistant Professor of Social Sciences (Political Science)
- Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, Assistant Professor of Social Sciences (Environmental Studies)
CIPE Student Advisory Committee
Student interests are important drivers of CIPE programming and the nine member Student Advisory Committee is an important source of input and guidance about areas of student interest. CIPE aims to strike a balance between creating established programming and creating opportunities for student-generated ideas to flourish.
Ng Sai Ying, Class of 2017
My name’s Sai Ying and–despite the somewhat foreign-sounding name, which is actually a Hokkien-style phonetic spelling of my Chinese name–I’ve lived in Singapore my whole life. I’m really interested in philosophy and literature, which basically just means I really love reading. Philosophy is about content, or rather the beauty of ideas written in books and essays, while literature is about the beauty of delivery and the richness of language. It’s an amazing thing (and definitely one of the best feelings in the world) when you come across a quote that captures in a perfect manner a mind-blowing idea; the natural result of having your mind blown open is having new worlds open up before you (forgive the extremely clichéd metaphor, because that’s an easy link to CIPE and I’m taking it) as I hope to experience as part of the CIPE SAC.
Christopher Tee, Class of 2017
Hellloooooo there! I’m Chris Tee, and yes, I know that sounds like a girl’s name. I joined CIPE’s SAC because I think that every student in the cohort should be represented, and have access to any and every opportunity that they pursue. Being in a community of great ideas is half of the journey, making those ideas into a reality is a whole set of challenges I’d like to take on. I hope I fit this role to a tee! (*ba-dum-tss*)
The other thing you need to know – I love feeding people. My food philosophy is that food should be prepared simply, but deliver massively on flavour. Teasing out the natural goodness in each ingredient is the real triumph – not figuring out how to cram 50 different things into a dish. I’ve also learnt many painful lessons in the kitchen – knives are sharp, the pretty blue flame on the stove is actually really hot; always put a cover over the blender before you start, and that your appliance isn’t actually broken, you just forgot to turn on the power. Banging it doesn’t help either. Currently, my favourite toy is the blowtorch! (Think of a welding torch, but smaller.)
Dominic Choa, Class of 2018
Hi, I’m Dominic from Singapore. Prior to joining Yale-NUS College, I spent 2 years trekking around forests in the western part of the island as part of my national service. So, college life has been fantastic for me.
One of the most fantastic things at Yale-NUS is the opportunity that we have for professional, leadership and character growth, and a large part of this is kudos to CIPE. I look forward to uncovering more of these opportunities for all of us at the college and to grow in the process.
Helena Auerswald, Class of 2019
Hello, I’m Helena Auerswald from the United States of America. I lived in Washington D.C. for the past twelve years with my parents and two sisters. My academic interests range from Physics and Computer Science to International Relations and Economics, so I’m thrilled to be at a school where I am able to pursue an investigative interest in a wide variety of fields. Looking forward in my time at Yale-NUS, I’m considering majoring in Global Affairs and studying abroad in my junior year. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy writing about travelling, current events, cooking, international relations, and pretty much anything else! I’m also an avid athlete, having rowed crew for four years back in the States.
I am involved in the CIPE-SAC because I believe CIPE is the hallmark of what makes Yale-NUS College unique: experiential intellectual engagement with new ideas, places, and challenges. I hope to contribute to the development and enhancement of incredible CIPE programmes through these formative years of Yale-NUS history.
Gertie Ma, Class of 2019
“GERTIE. TELL ME WHAT YOU LIKE.”
“I like being outside, I guess. But I also like being inside.”
Patterns, architecture, and discovering new and open places interest Gertie.
“That makes you sound too poetic. You’re not that poetic.”
“But I am!”
Having spent 6 months abroad in 3 different countries over a span of 4 years, and “graduated” from 6 different Chinese universities, Gertie is motivated by a desire to spread the wonders of experiential learning, which she channels into her work as a member of the CIPE SAC.
Fay Lee, Class of 2020
Hi! My name is Fay and I’m from Olympia, Washington, USA. I grew up doing a lot of skiing, hiking, cycling, kayaking — typical Pacific Northwest stuff! I also enjoy music and taking pictures.
I’ve been going on adventures for as long as I can remember and the biggest was probably my year as an exchange student in Malaysia. There, I found that life is way more fun when you let go of expectations and go with the flow and I also began to realise just how powerful experiential learning can be. I joined the CIPE SAC because I thought it would be the perfect place for me to contribute something to Yale-NUS. Hopefully, I can put my study abroad experiences and love for adventures to good use!
Madison Lommen, Class of 2020
Hello! I’m Madi, hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I caught the travel bug as a freshman in high school after a unique volunteer stint in Thailand. I’ve since set out to explore the difference between tourist and traveler, discovering earth’s treasures and lifelong friends to share them with along the way. There have been fried scorpions on sticks. Campfires on volcanoes. Dancing until the sunrise. And there is so much to come–not the least of which will be adventures at Yale-NUS and a new chapter in Singapore.
The people I’ve met across the world have profoundly shaped my personal journey. These friendships, however, wouldn’t have been possible without the scholarships and grants that allowed me to travel. I’d wish the same good fortune for any. As a member of CIPE SAC, I hope to help classmates look past barriers, financial or otherwise, but instead pursue what could feel impossible and work with CIPE to make it possible. After all, there is a whole world waiting!
Ilia Kosar, Class of 2020
Hello, I am Ilia Kosar. I was born and raised in Moscow, Russia. Due to the certain features of our educational system, I primarily studied technical subjects ( calculus, computer science, physics etc.).
I believe that CIPE is one of the most important places in Yale-NUS College. It is the centre that provides an essential connection between academic knowledge and practical application of this knowledge. As a member of SAC, I hope to contribute to the development of CIPE.