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Keppel – Shaping Leaders Of The Future

keppel_chenChen Jiejing grabbed the opportunity to work in a world-class offshoreand marine group and was amazed with the career development prospects.

When I made the choice to take up the Keppel Group Scholarship in 2004, I was a mere 19-year-old  fresh out of junior college. What did I know about the offshore and marine industry? I remember the Human Resources Manager sharing with me that many people have misconceptions about working in a shipyard – that it is dirty, dangerous and demanding, or 3 Ds as it is commonly known. However, I saw this as a huge opportunity to work in a world-class company where I would be able to learn from the best in the industry.

As a scholar, I had numerous opportunities to be exposed to the company’s operations even whilst studying. Keppel actively engages its scholars to make sure that we develop our competencies and skill sets. Whilst my peers were holidaying, I took the opportunity to intern at the different key divisions namely Keppel FELS, Keppel Shipyard and Keppel Singmarine. Those internship stints gave me the opportunity to experience the organisation’s work culture and opened my eyes to the vibrant world of the offshore and marine industry. I was impressed by how my seniors were more than willing and open to share their wealth of knowledge and experience. Being part of a company with a strong culture of learning and sharing was invigorating.

Global Outlook
As a global company with operations around the world, Keppel also encouraged us as scholars to venture overseas to broaden our horizon and enrich our international experience. I was lucky to be enrolled in the NUS Overseas College Programme, and spent a fruitful year in Philadelphia where I discovered more about myself as well as gained new perspectives in many areas including handling cultural diversities and working with different personalities. This was possible, thanks to Keppel’s sponsorship.

Before the completion of my studies, I discovered my passion in process excellence through a fellow scholar who was working in Keppel FELS’ Process Excellence division. Today, I am part of a team that strives to create a continuous learning environment within the organisation. Through constant improvement in our management approach and work processes, we seek to enhance the overall quality of our products, reduce costs and become a more effective and efficient organisation.

I am proud to be part of a team of energetic engineers who constantly seek change to better improve our workplace. If you are seeking an administrative job with regular day-to-day routines or work with a systematic learning curve, then Process Excellence is not for you. From gathering requirements from internal stakeholders to working with external stakeholders such as EDB and SPRING for grants and programmes, every day poses new and exciting ­challenges. Success and satisfaction are not guaranteed as our endeavours may not always succeed. However, having a ­relentless spirit does pay. I remember feeling an immense sense of satisfaction when I managed to attain a grant in an area that was unprecedented for Keppel. The hard work was worth it!

Leadership Roles
As a Keppel scholar, I was also privileged to be given opportunities to assume leadership roles in other aspects of the company.
Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) celebrated its tenth ­anniversary in 2012, and I was given the chance to oversee the ­entire ­programme for the anniversary concert. Graced by the former President of Singapore SR Nathan and the ­Ambassador of Vietnam HE Tran Hai Hau, it was an ­exhilarating and ­eye-opening event. For six nerve-wrecking months, we had to plan a fund-raising concert featuring over 200 Keppelites from ­different companies under Keppel O&M, as well as ensure the event was executed with precision and care. It was a truly unforgettable experience. During this ­period, I met many new colleagues and have forged strong bonds with friends, whom I know I can trust and rely on for support. The ­anniversary concert was a success with the theatre packed with over 1,600 ­Keppelites and affiliates. More importantly, the event raised over $350,000 for our beneficiaries. It made all our hard work over the last few months worthwhile.

I believe that Keppel has empowered me and ­provided ­numerous opportunities to develop my leadership skills and form bonds with colleagues from other business units, ­preparing me well as a future leader of Keppel. The scholarship has certainly allowed me to soar to greater heights and I ­believe that I will be able to continue to grow and shape the future ­together with Keppel.

CHEN JIEJING
Keppel Group Scholarship
Age: 28
Now: Engineer, Process Excellence department, Keppel FELS
Attained: BEng in Mechanical
Engineering, NUS
From: Hwa Chong JC