Work Hard, Play Hard
by Nicolette Wong, Manager, Partnership and Programme Department, IPOS
Working in IPOS has opened my eyes to life in the Public Service. People often say that the Public Service is extremely bureaucratic and government officers have it easy at work. Whoever said that has certainly not worked in the Public Service. After 3 years in IPOS, I can assure you that we work hard and play hard.
I started out in the Communications and Engagement Department where I worked with creators of different creative fields to educate tertiary students on Intellectual Property (IP). Under the Project IP Partners initiative, I had the opportunity to work with creators like Nathan Hartono, Edwin Low of Supermama and Sylvia Chan of Night Owl Cinematics to raise awareness of IP rights in their respective creative fields. While it was tiring to organise a session almost every month, it was encouraging to see the students’ faces light up when the creators share tips and insights first-hand.
Later, I moved to the Partnership and Programme Department where I continued to engage creators but with a more entrepreneurial angle. Our department would take the reins in organising IPOS’ annual IP conference, IP Week @ SG. In 2017, the conference saw over 3,000 participants from more than 40 countries. There were many late nights and weekends spent trying to put the event together, but there were also fun moments. For instance, you might be wondering what do light sabres and IP have in common? I had the opportunity to feature a young company, The Fun Empire, at IP Week @ SG because the owners created a new fitness workout using light sabres and trademarked the name of the workout. They were so popular that their exercise classes were always fully subscribed. It was the first time the owners took part in such an event and they were appreciative of the opportunity to be exposed to an international audience.
Knights for IP
Throughout my career, one thing I cherish deeply are my colleagues. The people at IPOS are friendly, humble and helpful. I always look forward to lunch time as it is a chance to bond over a hearty meal. At the recent Dinner & Dance, my colleagues and I dressed up in “Christmas” theme and I wrapped myself in tinsel and LED lights to become a Christmas tree! We also had a Santa family, an elf, two snow(wo)man and some presents. We did not win the “Best Dressed” prize, but we had lots of laughs and enjoyed making and sourcing the outfits together.
Getting creative with the team
If you are considering joining IPOS, be prepared to work hard but also know that you will have the support of your colleagues and there will be many opportunities for fun moments as well.