Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore Reviews

Updated March 13, 2015
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  1. A chance to be exposed to some of the best strategic thinking and diplomatic practice

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore full-time

    Pros

    MFA is intellectually challenging work, and far from bureaucratic. The postings train you to think on your own two feet, to advocate strongly for your country's position, and to develop broad networks.

    Cons

    Work-life balance is poor, even by the standards of diplomatic services - seems particularly tough for working women with children.

    Recommends
  2. Think hard before u join

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore

    Pros

    Face of Singapore, high pay, considered quite an elite job, exciting job duties that is different from corporate

    Cons

    long working hours, not like other government jobs which have work life balance, require a lot of writing skills

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look beyond paper grades. Human can be trained. Attitude cannot be trained.

  3. Good Exposure, Chance to work overseas

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore full-time

    Pros

    Good overseas exposure and good allowance

    Cons

    Difficult bosses, too much policy writing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have more EQ and leadership skills.

    Doesn't Recommend
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  5. Overall a great opportunty

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore full-time

    Pros

    Exciting assignments to work on.
    Opportunities for career development

    Cons

    Work-Life balance
    Having to work long hours

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Increase training

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  6. A good starting job for Diploma / Public Degree Holders / those interested in postings / career in Public Service.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Foreign Service Administrative Specialist in Singapore (Singapore)
    Former Employee - Foreign Service Administrative Specialist in Singapore (Singapore)

    I worked at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Competitive Salary for Public University Graduates / Scholars or Individuals with Diploma Holders etc.

    Chance to travel overseas, overseas postings (Usually after 3 years average).

    Opportunities to network / interact with Ambassadors etc.

    May appeal to those who are interested in Diplomatic relations between Singapore and other countries / career in Public Service / Overseas Postings.

    Remuneration for Overseas Postings is rather good esp countries that are considered Hardship Postings (third-world countries). There is also political / safety considerations on the Overseas Postings for employees (e.g. it is less likely to post females in Middle Eastern countries or countries with high rape cases).

    Cons

    Large remuneration gap between Public and Private Degree Holders, whether it is in terms of Positions (see * section under Advice) or Remuneration (i.e. Basic Salary, Language / Retention Bonuses, Bonuses etc), although responsibilities may be rather similar, depending on Directorate. Hence Private Degree Holders may feel it is unfair or like a "2nd class citizen".

    Job Rotations and Overseas Posting opportunities comes after 3 years or so (depending on Experience / Directors / Ambassadors recommendations etc) - so one has to be patient. Mature individuals that have proven themselves may have a faster track.

    Job Scope for Functional Overseas Postings may seem rather dull to some, but is challenging.

    Employees may also be posted to a country they might not like, and if they reject that posting, they might have to wait for a few more years for next posting offer.

    Work-life balance poor in Political Directorates and some Functional Tracks like HR and Protocol.

    Having to deal with Red Tape, a steep Learning Curve (although there are Orientation / Familiarisation Programmes for both FSAS and FSOs and a 1-month attachment to Overseas Missions), slow Promotions (due to the structured progression usually associated with Public Service careers) and an Elitist culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To this day and age, understand that some Ministries, like MFA, still do not recognise some Private Degrees, whereas some Ministries / Statutory Boards do and that in MFA, there are two schemes: the Foreign Service Officer (FSO) scheme - which are mainly occupied by Public University graduates and the Foreign Service Admin Specialist (FSAS) scheme - which are mainly occuped by Diploma / Private University graduates.

    Following PM's Speech at the National Day Rally 2014 where he said "the Civil Service does offer fulfilling careers to non-graduates", I do hope that as a Public Service employer, MFA can sincerely re-look its Current Work Culture and Remuneration Policies - especially for the FSAS scheme.

    Otherwise, the turnover for FSAS will remain high as Diploma / Private Degree holders pursuing their Private Degrees may leave after getting their Degree due to non-recognition of their Degrees.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  7. Exciting and Demanding

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern

    I worked at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore as an intern

    Pros

    Decent compensation, fast paced/exciting work, experience and learn much. Suitable for adventurous, energetic people who are interested in world affairs, and who are keen to be part of foreign policy work and how it is implemented on the ground

    Cons

    long, irregular hours, need to adapt fast, not the most nurturing working environment, change is a constant - different things to work on, different postings every few years

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  8. Intense but develops you as a person

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Foreign Service Officer in Singapore (Singapore)
    Current Employee - Foreign Service Officer in Singapore (Singapore)

    I have been working at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    High quality of work delivered and also expected of you. You get to work with brilliant people. Remuneration is great (at least for the entry level). A wide variety and broad scope of work - you'll never be bored.

    Cons

    Poor work-life balance. Everything will seem pressing and urgent, requiring your attention immediately.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train leaders and empower more. This will help get things done quickly and spread the work more effectively.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9. A Unique and Meaningful Career

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Foreign Service Administrative Specialist
    Current Employee - Foreign Service Administrative Specialist

    I have been working at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    A unique career which provides opportunities to work overseas while staying firmly rooted to Singapore. A meaningful career that help advances Singapore's national interests and also be in a position to help fellow Singaporeans in distress overseas. With job rotations and overseas postings, there is always light at the end of the tunnel even if the going gets tough. Between every rotation comes a time when one is "out of job" by stay employed. Work is very challenging and highly engaging, especially on overseas postings.

    Cons

    Very long and irregular hours. While overseas postings may sound very attractive, they can be very disruptive to personal and family life.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  10. Desk officer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Desk Officer in Singapore (Singapore)
    Current Employee - Desk Officer in Singapore (Singapore)

    I have been working at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Can travel extensively as well as live overseas

    Cons

    Stressful, tight deadlines, competitive and low pay

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nil

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  11. Personal and career development is tops.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Corporate Support Officer in Singapore (Singapore)
    Former Contractor - Corporate Support Officer in Singapore (Singapore)

    I worked at Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    Company provides course for development of personal and career goals.

    Cons

    Salary and culture needs sprucing up.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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