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Have your say on the future of service in Singapore!

Sebastian Lee Yew Jie, Singapore Management University

Aymeric Seah and Anabel Ong, Singapore Management University

THIRD PRIZE (tie) ($1000 each)
Cheong Nian Kai, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and,
Kimberlee Lim, Singapore Management University

Congratulations to the winners!

Read their winning essays:
First prize:
Disruptive technologies: Shaking up the status quo in Singapore by Mr Sebastian Lee Yew Jie

Second prize:
Laying the Foundation for Service-centric Businesses in Singapore by Mr Aymeric Seah and Ms Anabel Ong

Third prize:
Tech is the future and the future is now by Ms Kimberlee Lim


The Cyborg Service of the 21st Century by Mr Cheong Nian Kai

Thank you to all the students who expressed interest in the ISE 2017 Essay Competition! We received over 40* submissions from universities across Singapore and showed the talented, thoughtful, and creative insights from young adults on the service landscape in Singapore.

* % of submissions received:
SMU: 55%
NUS: 20%
NTU: 7.5%
SIM: 5%
SUSS: 5%
SIT: 5%
SUTD: 2.5% 


To commemorate the 10th anniversary of its founding, the Institute of Service Excellence at Singapore Management University (ISE) is launching an inaugural essay competition open to all undergraduates from Singapore-based universities.

The competition is organised as an effort to harness the creativity, inspiration and initiative of our future generation of leaders in promoting a culture of service excellence. It also aims to inspire society to learn from our young minds and to think about how each of us can make a difference.

The competition invites submissions from all undergraduate students residing in Singapore. Students should submit an original essay addressing one of the following topics:

1.     Role of technology. Discuss the impact and opportunities of disruptive technologies on the service sector.

2.     Talent. Assess the appeal of service sector jobs and discuss what companies can do to attract local talent into the service sector.

3.     Culture. Does Singapore have its own unique brand of service and how can we build a culture of service centricity in Singapore? 

$3000 1st prize

$2000 2nd prize

$1000 3rd prize

* Winners will be announced on 31 October 2017 on the ISE website.

2000 words maximum

30 September 2017 (23:59 local time)

Undergraduates from Singapore-based universities

Students must be enrolled at the time of submission.

1. Essays must be 2000 words or less, excluding essay title and cover page.

2. Essays must have a cover page indicating (1) essay topic (2) essay title (3) your full name (4) address (5) phone number (6) e-mail (7) IC or passport number (7) nationality (8) tertiary institution (9) school or department at tertiary institution (11) course enrolled (10) student number and, (11) word count.
* Entries missing any of the above information will not be considered.
* Please note that ISE is unable to confirm receipt of essays or answer individual inquiries concerning competition results.

3. Students will need to submit a Student Status Letter/Certification Letter to verify their status as a currently enrolled undergraduate student. This letter can be automatically generated via your university's student online system.

4. Essays can be written and submitted by individuals or groups.

5. Essays must be original and unpublished. Plagiarised entries will be rejected.

6. Essays may be submitted electronically in Microsoft Word format with the subject “2017 ISE Essay Competition” to or via postal mail to:

             Institute of Service Excellence (Attn: 2017 ISE Essay Competition)
             Singapore Management University
             81 Victoria Street
             Singapore 188065

7. The Institute of Service Excellence at Singapore Management University will assess the merits of the essays and reserve the right not to award a prize

8. The Institute of Service Excellence at Singapore Management University reserves the right to compile and publish selected works.

9. Copyright of the entries will be assigned to the Institute of Service Excellence at Singapore Management University.

While the focus of the essay should be on Singapore, students may choose to reference or cite examples and/or best practices from abroad. What we are looking for are essays that are original, analytical, insightful, and rich in imagination, ideas and recommendations. In addition, we will be evaluating essays for:

  • Grammar
  • Organisation
  • Strong style and personal voice
  • Clarity of content and ideas

The competition will be judged jointly by the Institute of Service Excellence management and faculty from the Lee Kong Chian School of Business at Singapore Management University.


Last updated on 13 Nov 2017 .