Behind-the-Sands at Marina Bay Sands

Dec 17, 2019   |   Bryan Tan

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Apprentices being given a hands-on experience on the iconic indoor Sampan Rides before beginning their duties.

This whole program was very meaningful to me as not many people are able to experience this so it is a great honour to be selected. Not only that but, we get to learn things that are not taught in a school environment. This program is great for those who would like to have experience in working. I would encourage others to take the opportunity if given the chance,” said Tay Leng Swan (pictured above), who was nominated as one of the Best Apprentices.

“A huge thank you to the mentors as well for being there for us and guiding us. such as giving life advice, entertaining us with your humour. You guys helped me overcome challenging times in this journey,”

Leng Swan at the Disney Booth. Do you recognize this movie?

If you’ve had any interest in coming to Singapore, you’ve probably heard of the iconic Marina Bay Sands – from the Skypark Observation Deck boasting one-of-a-kind architecture and the iconic Infinity Pool, to the unique experience of a Sampan Ride through a luxury shopping destination. Marina Bay Sands Singapore also holds a variety of ground-breaking exhibitions at the ArtScience Museum. Behind the shiny exterior of Marina Bay Sands is a team of people working hard to ensure the smooth operation of the many programmes and attractions that Sands Singapore offers.

At the entrance of the Sands Skypark, apprentices were in charge of directing guests and crowd control.

As part of the Heartware – Character & Citizenship (HW-CCE) Leadership Programme, students have the opportunity to participate in a professional apprenticeship with a corporate partner. In 2019, Heartware Network had the privilege to collaborate with Marina Bay Sands. The initiative offers students a glimpse into an authentic work setting, broadens their horizons on possible future vocations, and allows them to pick up life-long skills necessary for leadership growth. This is supplemented with pre-apprenticeship trainings and on-the-job guidance from professional mentors. Through positive influence and instilling good values, this programme aims to equip students with the necessary skills and attitudes to support causes close to their hearts, in a bid to uplift disadvantaged communities. The programme develops students into community champions committed to improving both the lives of themselves and of others in meaningful ways.

15 students aged 15 to 17 from 5 schools embarked on a two-week long apprenticeship programme with Sands Singapore at two of their properties. These apprentices were nominated by their teachers and trained by Heartware Network. The apprentices spent two weeks from 11 to 22 November with Marina Bay Sands and the ArtScience Museum, both of which are managed by Sands Singapore, shadowing different mentors and performing a variety of tasks.

Students started their journey with an induction to the grounds on 11th of November 2019. Members from the Marina Bay Sands team coordinated the entry of students into the Heart of the House (a place where only staff of Marina Bay Sands were allowed). There, they warmly welcomed and introduced the students to the organisation.

Students were then given a tour of the staff canteen, a place where they would be having their lunches for the next 2 weeks, a hospitable initiative coordinated by the team at Marina Bay Sands.

After lunch, the mentors from both the ArtScience Museum as well as the Retail/Attractions team took over as they warmly received the 2 groups of students into their premises. A walk the ground session took place for both teams to ensure the students knew what to do and how to do it.

Tammy all smiles at the ArtScience museum.

With the induction complete on Day 1, the students were officially ready to serve the guests as apprentices. The 2 groups of apprentices worked in each location for a week before swapping locations on week 2 so that they would benefit from the full range of experiences. Through the proceedings, during the weekly staff check ins, the morale was high and feedback on the experiences were positive.

The programme culminated in a closing ceremony on the afternoon of Friday, the 22nd of November 2019. The students, their parents and teachers were invited to a cosy graduation ceremony at a private room in the Adrift by David Myers restaurant. The purpose of this initiative was to recognise the effort the apprentices had put in. A highlight of the closing ceremony was when four apprentices were awarded the honour of being the best apprentices by their peers and mentors.

Before departing, Marina Bay Sands had staff from other departments (Noor, Human Resource) share about what they do. These sharings aimed to give the apprentices more awareness and understanding of the working world.

The closing ceremony was rounded off with a panel discussion comprising of senior professionals from Marina Bays Sands Team (i.e. Front Office and Human Resource). The panel discussion was intended to expose the apprentices to various potential industries, as well as to inspire and convict them of what they can achieve.

The apprentices finished off the day by leading their teachers on a tour around the different locations where they were deployed, where the camaraderie and fondness between mentors and mentees was obvious. Upon finishing the tour, they were reluctant to part ways, choosing instead to stretch out the moment for as long as possible.