The Milken Institute and Switzerland-based Partners Group AG have joined hands to contribute to a Monetary Authority of Singapore push to provide Singaporeans with "upskilling" opportunities to enhance the city-state's status as a global financial center.
On June 4, Milken and Partners Group announced the launch of the Milken Institute Singapore Internship Program, a turbocharged version of an effort Milken has pursued on its own over the prior four years. This year, 22 candidates, all recent graduates, were selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants — a class of interns roughly double the size of the program in previous years, said Melissa Petros, the Milken Institute's Hong Kong-based director, philanthropy and programs, who oversees the effort.
"The aim is really just to nurture young Singaporean talent so that they can continue to grow Singapore as an economic hub in Asia," she said.
Each intern works with mentors from Partners Group, a private markets-focused manager with more than $109 billion in assets under management or the Milken Institute in their areas of interest. Internships will run anywhere from four to 12 months.
"I have an intern who's working for me in philanthropy. He's really interested in impact investment and because we had that conversation he is now doing a project on impact investing research with Partners Group," Ms. Petros said.
Ms. Petros conceded that the virtual environment necessitated by the global pandemic in Singapore — where a pickup in the number of new cases recently prompted the government to impose tighter lockdown restrictions — has made it more challenging for interns to make the most of the networking opportunities the program would otherwise offer.
"We have had to adapt…but I think we've managed it really well," Ms. Petros said. There have even been some silver linings, she added. The level of speakers the program has been able to access, virtually, for its Global Leaders Speaker series — which provides interns with weekly opportunities to interact with prominent business leaders and academicians — has been amazing, she said.