Esther also holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the National University of Singapore
What is your current job?
I work as a research engineer in a lab at the National University of Singapore, and I plan to pursue a Ph.D in psychology there.
My job involves designing and conducting experiments about visual attention using eyetracking, as part of a collaborative project between the engineering and psychology departments. The group I work with is interested in how gaze is oriented during stimuli processing, and how attention is 'captured'. A large part of the job requires formulating hypotheses and planning studies to test them, writing scripts in matlab to create test paradigms and to analyze results from testing participants.
What do you like best about your job?
It is a good fit in terms of what I am interested in, what I need, and what I can contribute back from my past experience.
Do you use any of your academic education in doing your job?
Yes. For example, the statistical methods I use to analyze data were acquired from the stats modules during the master course. I also first learned about eyetracking when I used it during my master thesis project at UiO. Programming skills were acquired during my bachelor course, and from my previous work experience.
Based on your education - did you feel competent when you started working?
Like in any new job, there was a lot to pick up as I had worked with similar but different systems in the past, but the experience from my education definitely helped shorten the learning time, enabling me to integrate new information faster.
How did you get the job?
From a google search.
What do you think the employers emphasize on when recruiting new employees?
I think it depends a lot on the type of job in question. For research jobs, relevant research experience is very important.
Do you have any advice to candidates who now are in the process of completing their degree and are looking for work?
Plan ahead, and try to gain practical experience in the job area that you want to work in, which could be in the form of internships, research assistant jobs, or volunteering stints. Not only does it show that you already have some knowledge of the job and demonstrate your interest and commitment, you also benefit from getting to know first-hand what to expect.