Working and Studying at CSA: Opportunities for Continuous Learning

19 Oct 2020

What does it feel like to return to school after almost two decades of working life? Meet Lim Thian Chin, Director of CSA’s Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) Division, who was offered a postgraduate scholarship by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) to pursue the Executive Masters in Cybersecurity at Brown University.

Thian Chin, who was previously from the private sector, joined CSA in 2015. He leads a team that is responsible for building the cyber resiliency of Singapore’s essential services across 11 CII sectors covering government, utilities, transport and service clusters. Read more about his personal reflections on his experience and learning journey with CSA.

By Lim Thian Chin, Director of Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) Division

Managing Singapore’s CII cyber resiliency at CSA has kept me on my toes. Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving domain. We have to stay ahead in the game in order to build a trusted and resilient cyberspace that allows Singapore to capitalise the benefits of a connected world. Determined not be Alvin Toffler’s “illiterate of the 21st century”, I embarked on a search for an Executive education that will broaden my global and strategic perspectives and yet challenge my assumptions in a domain that I have been working in since 2001.

I was very fortunate that CSA has a strong culture of work hard, play hard, and train hard. My Chief Executive was very supportive of my developmental plans. After careful evaluation, I decided to pursue the Executive Masters in Cybersecurity at Brown University.  One good news followed another. It was the icing on the cake when I was offered a postgraduate scholarship by the Ministry of Communication and Information (MCI).

It has been almost a year into the Masters programme. Coping with work, family, social life and an Executive programme in tandem is a gritty experience. Thankfully, the journey at Brown has thus far been immensely enriching and illuminating. It is an epitome of education at its best – the concept of kindling the flame, not filling of the vessel. A high-octane cohort, the interdisciplinary curriculum, the sharing of diverse experiences among students, lecturers and industry practitioners, as well as the access to a vast network of policy makers, more than made up for the punishing routine.

Support from family, team and bosses has been phenomenal. They are instrumental in the process. I am glad I started this learning, unlearning and relearning journey a year ago, it has been one of the best decisions in my life.