Working to change organizational culture
Chee Wing Chan had been out of school for more than 15 years, working in human resources for the Ministry of Education in Singapore for the past decade, when he decided to enroll in Stanford GSE’s Policy, Organization, and Leadership Studies (POLS) master’s program last fall.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve had homework,” says Chan, who took advantage of a professional development program through his employer to pursue his master’s degree abroad. When he and his family return home to Singapore, he plans to resume his work in the education sector, helping schools build a healthy culture, retain staff and inspire their employees to continuously expand their skills. “I’ve always been interested in how, with good policy and structure, organizations can bring out the best in people—especially in the field of education.”
In addition to academic coursework, the POLS program involves a project in the field. Chan’s will involve helping to make education more accessible for working adults who might not have had the opportunity to complete a college degree. “It will be exciting to see how far we can go,” said Chan, who was the first in his own family to graduate from college and received extensive support from the Singapore government to fund his undergraduate education, as well as a previous master’s degree from the University of Michigan.
For Chan, one of the most rewarding parts of the POLS program is the international network of friends and colleagues he’s developed, which he expects to rely on after he returns to his work in Singapore. “The bond will sustain us for a long time.”