Ms Bernice Chan was only 19 when she went to China to intern at a farm run by seafood supply chain manager Oceanus Group.
During her time at the farm in Xiamen, in Fujian province, she did maintenance work, fed abalones and did preparation work for periods when abalones would spawn.
Now, the 21-year-old is working as a management trainee with the Singapore firm.
Ms Chan is an example of how young Singaporeans should go overseas to gain exposure and work experience, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in his Budget speech yesterday. He announced a programme to enhance funding support for students interning overseas with Singapore firms.
Ms Chan said: "The internship experience was eye-opening for me. It was a lot of fun working with the locals. I learnt a lot, from interpersonal skills to technical skills."
Ms Chan, who chose to study marine science and aquaculture at Republic Polytechnic, is now part of the operations team at the Oceanus farm. She helps with data collection and analysis, and conducts experiments to learn more about abalones.
"Overseas internships are important because you are given the opportunity to immerse yourself in a different environment... It is amazing what you gain from five months in different surroundings."