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KEPPEL – Making My Mark, My Keppel Story

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Working in the marine industry has stretched Samuel Chong’s limits and let him amass valuable experiences.

To make the most of my Mechanical Engineering education at NUS, I aspired to work for a company that could afford ­opportunities for me to apply my knowledge into innovative and competitive products and services. I found these opportunities and more, at Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M).
With its established position as the provider of choice in the global offshore and marine industry, backed by its key strengths of technological innovation, I would be able to work alongside and learn from world-class engineers and push myself further.
At the tea sessions organised for potential scholars to learn more about the company, I got a better understanding of the job offered to scholars upon graduation. This insight into the ­culture and working ­environment at Keppel O&M allowed me to consider my ­personal fit with the company and to make an informed choice.

Upon joining the company as a scholar, I quickly ­discovered that Keppel O&M believes in building a people-oriented ­company.It provided numerous platforms for me to keep ­connected to the company as well as to develop my ­professional skills ­holistically. I participated in yearly internships which ­allowed me to learn about the different functions and structure of the company. This ­enabled me to familiarise myself with the work ­environment as well as network with fellow colleagues and seniors, which ­facilitated the transition from school to work. I especially ­appreciated my ­mentors during my internship as they willingly and patiently guided me.
After my graduation in 2009, I started my career at ­Keppel O&M as an engineer in the Mechanical Section. There, I built strong foundations by learning the fundamentals in ship ­construction and conversion. This gave me the opportunity to fully understand the processes undertaken at ground level. My work provided ­exciting challenges with issues ranging from ­manpower to ­quality control. There was never a dull day, and there was ­always ­something new to learn.

At the end of my second year, I was transferred to the Operations Department as an ­Assistant ­Project Manager. Instead of overseeing the job scope of a particular manufacturing section, I was handling an entire portion of a project which ­required me to ­oversee the job scopes of several sections. ­Although the transition was not easy, I was ­prepared and trained for the task through my ­earlier exposure and time spent in the other sections. My new role allowed me to see the construction ­process with a fresh ­perspective – how the small pieces of a ­jigsaw puzzle fitted together to make the big picture. Throughout these past three years, I was blessed to have colleagues and managers who have always been willing to help me understand and ­adjust to the different work functions that I have had to ­undertake.

Leadership Development
As a Keppel Scholar, I was given plenty of ­opportunities to develop strengths in my personal and professional capacity. Throughout the Keppel Group, there are several initiatives to ­nurture the Group’s scholars and potential leaders. Such an ­initiative is the Keppel Global Young ­Leaders ­Programme (GYLP) under the Keppel College, it aims to nurture the Group’s high-potential ­employees and serves as a ­central platform to cultivate a global mindset as well as an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit amongst us.
I was privileged to be selected to attend the GYLP in November 2011. It comprised a two-week programme which saw Keppelites from all over the world come together to share and sharpen their ­leadership, strategic thinking and management skills. The platform enabled us to enrich our ­knowledge and exchange cultural insights with colleagues from various countries such as the Netherlands, ­Brazil, Mexico, United States, Vietnam and China.  Not only did I benefit from the ­exposure to diverse cultures and working processes, the experience also ­broadened my mindset to the ways we approach issues and develop solutions.

Currently, I am a Project Manager in the Operations Department with Keppel Shipyard, the marine arm of Keppel O&M group. Looking back, the scholarship has certainly provided me with a plethora of opportunities to stretch my limits and amass valuable ­experiences, which will allow me to further contribute to Keppel. It has empowered me with leadership and professional skills that will prepare me well as a future leader for Keppel. It is a scholarship that has allowed me to learn from the best, work with the best and strive to be the best.

SAMUEL CHONG
KEPPEL Scholarship
Age: 28
Attained: BEng in Mechanical
Engineering, NUS
Now: Project Manager,
Keppel Shipyard