She travelled the world for 12 months on maritime internship
When Miss Amelia Pickering, 20, sailed through the dangerous Gulf of Aden, she placed nets in the passages of the container ship and readied water hoses with the crew in case they were boarded by pirates.
Miss Pickering a graduate of the Diploma in Nautical Studies at Singapore Polytechnic (SP), was on a year-long internship with American President Lines (APL), which ended in April 2016.
She told The New Paper: "Although it seemed like a movie, (the pirate threat) was real. I couldn't do much but adapt accordingly."
Almost all SP students do an internship, with some going abroad to countries like Australia, China, Japan and Korea.
As a deck cadet, Miss Pickering helped the officers navigate routes cluttered with small fishing vessels and stowed or discharged containers at ports during her time at sea.
While working on two massive APL container ships - the larger of which is able to carry more than 130,000 tonnes of cargo - Miss Pickering visited ports like Chiwan in China, Dammam in Saudi Arabia, San Francisco in the United States and Valencia in Spain, and passed through the Suez Canal in Egypt en route to France
She said: "I went ashore and visited Valencia's museums, San Francisco's Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge - those moments felt like a holiday."
Being the only woman among the crew left her feeling intimidated and lonely at first.
"I felt that I couldn't handle the strenuous tasks as well as my male colleagues."
But it got better after the first two weeks, as the rest of the crew - from China, India, Malaysia and Indonesia - were all friendly and made sure she "always had someone to ask questions" .
Miss Pickering is following in the footsteps of her father, who works on dredging vessels, and her parents were supportive of her stint at sea.
She has graduated from SP and is a harbour pilot at the Port of Singapore Authority.
Her mother, Madam Suraya Alias, 51, who works as a sensory panelist, said: "Initially, I was afraid as she was going to be surrounded by men and might suffer from homesickness. But she is independent, loves adventure and she handled herself well during the internship.
"I knew she would learn and see things there that aren't in a regular office job."