A particularly treasured experience from her time at JCU was having to wake up at 4 am to
collect data on sea snails during low tide on the beach on Bintan Island. “It was my first
time going out into the field, I was so excited that I remained unfazed by the fact that I
only had four hours of sleep before the expedition,” Ms Chew recalls. “Also, standing knee
deep in the middle of a pond at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park during mid-day, taking water samples
and checking the water depth was not something I envisioned myself enjoying, but I
thoroughly did,’ she adds.
Such hands-on learning opportunities have paid off, and Ms Chew — who graduated in 2017 — is
confident that JCU has prepared her well for her role at WRS, where she has to balance the
need to provide memorable experiences for guests and carry out her responsibilities towards
biodiversity conservation and sustainability.
“This is where JCU’s multi-disciplinary programme allowed me to have a scientific and
business perspective in my career, as well as understand the importance of both approaches
when it comes to operating a business. Simply
put, JCU’s bachelor programme laid down the foundation for me to build upon with my
experiences at WRS,” she says.
Growing demand for graduates
As the public becomes increasingly aware of the environmental impacts of businesses, such as
the haze that regularly covers huge areas in Southeast Asia, demand for Environmental
Science graduates have been growing. “Businesses are rapidly having to adapt to mitigate and
reduce their environmental impacts and there is a real need for a skilled workforce who
understand how they can develop practices that enable businesses to do this, while
supporting their bottom line,” explains Dr Hutchinson.
The holistic nature of JCU’s course means that graduates can work in a broad range of career
in public, private and non-profit industries. For instance, they can opt for a career in an
area that bridges business and science, such as sustainability, or choose to focus more on
the science or business career path.
“We have had graduates who have moved on to become environmental advisers to businesses, as
well as working in environmental consultancies, non-profit organisations and aquariums to
name but a few. Other graduates have continued their educational journey at the postgraduate
level throughout the world,” says Dr Hutchinson.
He notes that JCU continues to ensure that its programme remains relevant through its
engagement with businesses. The university’s main collaborations in Singapore are driven by
its Work Integrated Learning programme, which is designed to develop and integrate
employability skills into its curriculum, such as through internship programmes where
students are placed with industry partners in campus-based learning activities.