Advancing Her Passion for Maritime with the YES Club

“The maritime industry excites me with developments leading to sustainable shipping and digitalisation in the future of maritime,” says Natasha Khoo, President of the Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA) Club and YES Club member.
It is clear that Natasha’s passion for maritime runs deep.
Exposed to maritime from a tender age as her father works in a related field, she has long shared an interest in the industry. Keen to learn more about the industry and to build a career in it, she chose to pursue a Diploma in Maritime Business with the Singapore Polytechnic.
In this interview, Natasha shares on her maritime journey thus far and how the YES Club has aided her through it.
At the Singapore Maritime Academy’s waterfront facility *photo taken pre-Covid
How did you find out about the YES Club and what aspects of the YES Club drew you in?
I received a publicity email which invited me to join a YES Club networking event. My seniors also previously shared with me their positive experiences with YES Club. This convinced me to take the first step and sign up for the event.
The first session I attended was virtual and hosted on Kumospace. Like many newcomers, I was hesitant as I was unsure of how effective a virtual networking session can be. Yet, this interactive platform has allowed me to meet many people from all walks of life and we exchanged stories on our own experiences in maritime. Since YES Club has a good mix of both students and maritime professionals, I was able to connect with my peers while obtaining new insights from more experienced individuals.
Do you think networking sessions are important?
Definitely. The maritime industry is very broad, and it is almost impossible for the school curriculum to cover all grounds. By interacting and listening to the experiences of others in the field, I can broaden my perspective and develop a deeper understanding of maritime—especially how the different sectors are interconnected.
While many shy away from networking and feel that it is just a practical way to obtain job opportunities, I think that on a deeper level, it is also about understanding and developing strong relationships. There are many intangible takeaways that one can obtain from networking such as being able to hear insightful discussions by young talents and maritime professionals, and I highly encourage everyone to participate in them.
Have you participated in any maritime related internships?
I took on an internship with Maersk Line in the second year of my diploma studies, and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Although my internship happened during the peak of the pandemic, it did not stop me from actively learning on the job where I was able to apply knowledge that I have learnt in school.
Despite the physical constraints, the team went above and beyond to take care of me and patiently guided me throughout my internship journey.
Natasha’s work from home setup
Are there any upcoming trends in maritime that excite you?
I am most excited about decarbonisation. Since young, I have always been passionate about the environment and had the dream of building a net zero world. At that time, many dismissed my views as idealism, but seeing the industry that I love work towards the same goals that I have delights me greatly. I am proud to be part of an industry that is actively working to transform its business processes towards shaping a more sustainable future. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to attend the SMF New Year Conversations and decarbonisation was raised during the panel discussion as well. I could not contain my excitement, especially when I heard the plans that these industry leaders have in store to bring maritime to new heights.
Would you recommend your peers to join the YES Club?
I would definitely recommend my peers to join the YES Club as they can take this opportunity to widen their view and knowledge on the maritime industry. The maritime industry has gone through a lot of transformation and the YES Club is the best place for students like us to hear from industry professionals. It is insightful to hear different perspectives on the industry and job roles from people in the YES Club. The networking session at the YES Club was such a refreshing one and I can’t wait for the next session!
Are you as excited as Natasha about maritime’s transformation? Learn more about this dynamic industry and engage in stimulating conversations with maritime students and professionals through the YES Club!
Registration is free. Drop us an email at yesclub@sgmf.com.sg to be part of the club.

Inaugural MSC Maritime Digital Challenge Grand Finals Prize Presentation

Over 129 tertiary students across 35 teams took part in the inaugural MSC Maritime Digital Challenge that seeks to plug Singapore students with a passion for technology into the maritime industry.
Students from the Singapore Management University and Nanyang Polytechnic were announced as winners of the challenges posed by Eastport Maritime, Kanda and Torvald Klaveness at the Prize Presentation held on 13 November 2021.

MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021

Three challenge statements, 35 teams, 129 students and 12 finalist teams from 4 universities & 3 polytechnics. Catch behind-the-scene highlights of the MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021.

Singapore Maritime Foundation | MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021

Catch highlights of the MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021. We thank Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport Mr. Chee Hong Tat for being our Guest-of-Honour at the event.

SMF New Year Conversations 2022: Year-in-Perspective Video

The past two years of learning to live with Covid-19 has been challenging, but Maritime Singapore has remained resilient. What are the fundamental tenets that attract companies to anchor their business in Singapore and grow their operations here? And what more can be done to leverage on Singapore’s strengths to enhance its attractiveness as a global business hub for maritime companies? How will the Singapore Maritime Foundation organize its work around Connectivity, Innovation and Talent to strengthen the maritime ecosystem? Find out in this Year-in-Perspective video.

SMF New Year Conversations 2022: Opportunities Amid Disruptions

The 2022 SMF New Year Conversations that took place on 13 January 2022 was graced by Guest-of-Honour Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Transport & Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations. Over 250 industry leaders across the breadth of maritime attended physically and virtually.
Singapore was announced to have secured the overall top spot as an international maritime centre for the fifth consecutive time in the DNV-Menon Leading Maritime Cities 2022 report.
Thank you to our industry partners for your strong support.

Mr. Lars Kastrup

CO-PRESIDENT & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL LINES

Mr. Lars Kastrup is the Co-President and Executive Director of Pacific International Lines (Pte) Ltd (PIL).
Prior to joining PIL, Mr. Kastrup was CEO of NOL/APL, and subsequently assumed the role of Executive Vice President, Strategy and M&A at CMA CGM Group. A veteran in the global shipping industry with over 30 years of experience, Mr Kastrup’s other roles include Executive Vice President of Assets at CMA CGM Group heading up CMA Terminals, CMA Ships, Container Logistics as well as regional carriers such as MacAndrews, OPDR and Mercosul; as well as Vice President at AP Moller-Maersk.
Mr. Kastrup complemented his tertiary education with leadership and management training at Penn State University and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Angeline Teo

MANAGING DIRECTOR & HEAD, GLOBAL TRANSPORTATION & OFFSHORE, OCBC BANK

Ms. Angeline Teo is the Managing Director and Head of Global Transportation and Offshore, Global Corporate Banking at OCBC Bank which focuses on the maritime, aviation, land & port ecosystems.
Ms. Teo has spent over three decades in maritime finance. Prior to OCBC, Ms. Teo was working at ING Bank, ABN Amro and DnB in Singapore focusing on maritime and offshore.
Ms. Teo graduated from the National University of Singapore with a degree in Business Administration.

Mr. John Martin

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, GARD SINGAPORE

Mr. John Martin began his career in London in 1989 with Richards Hogg Lindley Average Adjusters, and qualified as a Fellow of the UK Association of Average Adjusters in 2000.
At RHL he worked in their offices in Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In 2003 he joined Gard Hong Kong, as a claims handler. Mr. Martin also worked in Gard Japan, and in 2014 he moved to Singapore to set up the Gard Singapore office.
Besides running Gard Singapore, Mr. Martin also heads the P&I and H&M claims units and is the Senior Claims Representative for Gard in Asia.

Mr. Cyril Ducau

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, EASTERN PACIFIC SHIPPING

Mr. Cyril Ducau is the Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte Ltd, a leading shipping company headquartered in Singapore for the past 30 years.

He is also currently the Chairman of Kenon Holdings Ltd and a member of the board of directors of Gard P&I (Bermuda) Ltd. and of the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation Limited, which was established by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. He was previously Head of Business Development of Quantum Pacific Advisory Limited in London from 2008 to 2012 and acted as Director and Chairman of Pacific Drilling SA between 2011 and 2018.
Prior to joining Quantum Pacific Advisory Limited, Mr. Ducau was Vice President in the Investment Banking Division of Morgan Stanley & Co. International Ltd. in London between 2000 and 2008.
Mr. Ducau graduated from ESCP Europe Business School (Paris, Oxford, Berlin) and holds a Master of Science in business administration and a Diplom Kaufmann.