Why did you choose the Sembcorp Scholarship?
I didn’t plan to get a scholarship while I was studying. However in my Polytechnic third year, my lecturers told us about the Sembcorp Scholarship which was relevant to our Environmental and Water Technology course. After researching on the company’s businesses around the world and their values, I felt that it would give me a good start in my career. I decided to go for it and it was indeed the best decision I’ve made.
I started my journey in Sembcorp as an Assistant Workplace Safety and Health Officer in Jurong Island straight after completing my National Service. It was bewildering to start working at such a huge organisation at a young age but colleagues were really helpful and friendly, and I was able to adapt quickly.
What is it like to be working in Sembcorp?
As a global company, Sembcorp encourages its employees from around the world to interact and share ideas so that every issue is seen from different perspectives. On an annual basis, colleagues from various countries will come together to share and exchange ideas on business protocols, challenges and their solutions to how they overcome difficult situations. This year I was very fortunate to be involved in hosting colleagues from countries like Chile, Oman and the UAE. Honestly, I was quite worried when I was appointed to be in the committee to host our overseas colleagues, as I was not experienced in interacting with foreigners and I usually take some time to warm up to people.
However, after the event I was glad that I had this opportunity. It was an eye-opening experience to learn about the challenges these other countries faced. We also have foreign students coming to Singapore for their internships. This year we had three interns from Chile. I recalled that we had a very hilarious first meeting as we learned to pronounce each other’s name correctly.
We take our work seriously but having a balanced and healthy lifestyle is just as important. Workshops such as learning how to lead an active lifestyle and preparing wholesome meals, as well as exercise classes are provided to help us live more healthily. I had so much fun at a (much needed) workout during one of the kickboxing classes!
As we keep ourselves healthy, we could then volunteer to help the needy. Sembcorp organises charity events annually, such as the Assisi Hospice Charity Fun Day 2014 which I volunteered! It was hard work having to wake up early and moving all the heavy boxes and crates but in the end, I felt a huge sense of achievement and fulfillment to help in this meaningful event.
How have Sembcorp changed you?
In my one year at Sembcorp, I already had the opportunities to try out in so many things that I could not imagine myself doing. Just recently, I had to do a presentation at the quarterly staff communications session, which was attended by the senior management. I have never presented to an audience of a hundred people before; it was a nerve-wrecking but enriching experience. The experience of corporate events and large scale presentations made me grow as a person and enhance my self-confidence. I am grateful to the company for these avenues to develop my soft skills beyond the job scope of a safety and health officer.
Choosing a scholarship is akin to deciding where you want to start your career from. From what I went through, I can confidently say that Sembcorp offers the best choice!
Tan Wei Lei
Now: Assistant Workplace Safety & Health Officer, HSE
Attained: Diploma in Environmental & Water Technology, Ngee Ann Polytechnic