It was always her dream to join the public service.
But a career in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) never really crossed her mind until she attended an Army career fair in 2017 with a friend who wanted to sign on.
That was when Military Expert (ME) 4 Lim Sheen Yu found out about the Military Domain Experts Scheme (MDES) and decided to join the Military Intelligence formation.
"I chose the MDES scheme as it was designed to deepen your expertise in specific domains and I enjoy rigorous and challenging work."
Today, the 25-year-old has become an SAF Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) Intelligence Expert under Joint. She even received the Sword of Honour after completing the Military Domain Experts Course (MDEC).
ME4 Lim was among the 96 servicemen and women who were appointed as Senior MEs on 8 Jul. Of the graduands, there were 20 from the Singapore Army, 21 from the Republic of Singapore Navy, 38 from the Republic of Singapore Air Force and 17 from Joint.
In the light of the COVID-19 situation, they received their ceremonial swords and scrolls at decentralised ceremonies organised at the Service levels. The ceremonies were held at the Air Force Training Command.
Addressing the graduands in a recorded video during the ceremonies, Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman said that new and unexpected challenges will present themselves, and the SAF must adapt to the new post-COVID normal and remain effective against emerging threats from non-conventional domains.
"Senior Military Experts like yourself will be at the forefront of these changes. You will be asked to apply your expertise and professionalism across many different situations and challenges, to exercise leadership and judgement to move the organisation and our people along the correct trajectory," said Dr Maliki.
"(You) must strive to develop better and sharper solutions in your respective domains, and in so doing, enhance the SAF’s operational effectiveness and capabilities."
ME4 Lim's route to becoming a C4I intelligence expert was not without its challenges.
When she enlisted and began Basic Military Training in January 2019, the tough physical training was something that she had to deal with as she was not very active before that.
"I (actually) made an effort to go running before enlisting. And because the SAF had progressive training, it helped me acclimatise, so it wasn't as scary as I thought (it would be)," said ME4 Lim.
She added that the support and encouragement from her section and platoon mates also helped.
The friendships and camaraderie also made her MDEC enjoyable, as she met personnel of various backgrounds and experiences. For instance, her course buddy was twice her age but that did not stop them from learning from each other and becoming close friends.
"We were very similar in many ways despite the age gap. He was also a very genuine person and open in sharing his experiences. He showed me what it meant to lead others by example and never hesitated in giving me honest feedback for me to improve," explained ME4 Lim.
She also wants to dedicate her Sword of Honour award to her batch mates and instructors.
"It's not a recognition of myself but my batch mates, as well as the time and effort that the instructors have invested in us," said ME4 Lim.
"I'm very grateful that throughout this entire journey, I have people who supported and allowed me to develop my perspectives and values that I like to uphold as a future commander – to lead, develop and provide opportunities for my soldiers to grow."