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KEPPEL – Making My Mark, My Keppel Story


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.

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