NTU Career Tracks 2024

A Career in the Built Enivronment: Angela Ng

Tell us about your role and main responsibilities.

As the Executive Advisor in the CEO Office, I support the leadership team in implementing Lendlease Asia’s growth strategy and spearheading organisational changes. I advocate for streamlined activities within the organisation based on the priorities of our CEO and serve as a trusted partner to strengthen the leadership team’s efficiency and effectiveness by understanding, framing, and advancing our CEO’s priorities. My role in the CEO Office also provides me with a clear insight into the vision of the two CEOs I work with, enabling me to understand their leadership approach as they lead a team of over a thousand employees.

I am currently part of a team working on the $3 billion redevelopment of Singtel’s Comcentre, where my primary responsibilities include design management and debt financing. I support the team by leading and managing the consultants in executing Lendlease and Singtel’s joint vision. I also raise capital to fund the project.

What made you pursue a career in this sector?

I began my career as a graduate engineer with Lendlease under the BCA Undergraduate Scholarship. Lendlease’s diverse capabilities spanning investment, development, and construction, have given me the opportunity to rotate through various teams and business units. I have gained experience in cost planning, planning and scheduling, and business development, working on projects such as Paya Lebar Quarter, Singtel Comcentre Redevelopment, Shaw Tower and pharmaceutical projects in Tuas.

My role as the Executive Advisor in the CEO Office allows me to engage in Business Planning and Strategy, which includes the establishment of a $1 billion fund dedicated to the investment of Life Science-focused real estate assets and the pursuit of investors for various opportunities. With each experience gained in the real estate industry, my passion and determination to pursue a career in the sector have grown stronger.

What do you enjoy most about this role?

What sets Lendlease apart from other industry players is its comprehensive end-to-end capabilities in real estate. As a developer, we acquire funding from investors, purchase land, think of what to build, construct and then manage the assets. By engaging with the multifaceted aspects of the Built Environment sector, I am able to revitalise urban precincts and create the best places. I find great satisfaction in actively shaping these urban environments.

My role requires a combination of focus and flexibility, as well as effective stakeholder management skills to lead and influence cross-functional teams and stakeholders to achieve desired outcomes and business objectives. Being exposed to diverse perspectives mean that I am able to develop skills and knowledge across various domains, which is something I enjoy.

What were some work challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?

In a dynamic and fast-paced environment, effective communication is key to the team’s productivity. The challenge lies in conveying messages with precision and clarity, especially in complex discussions where time is of the essence. Mastering the ability to switch between concise and elaborate communication styles allows me to adapt to various personalities and handle challenging situations.

Another challenge is in aligning different stakeholder perspectives. I have learned to fall back on first principles thinking, that is challenging my own assumptions and identifying unconscious bias so that I can better place myself in others’ position and develop a win-win solution. It is certainly challenging but as long as there is an open dialogue and a shared vision, we can always find common ground.

What is needed to be successful in this role?

I believe that certain foundational principles are universal to excel in any role. These include being agile, adaptable and adopting a continuous learning mindset. I also believe in prioritising collaboration and teamwork because the strength of a collective effort always outshines individual endeavours.

To have long-term success, I encourage individuals to actively pursue new challenges, push their limits and explore different perspectives each day. I believe this sparks growth, cultivates a well-rounded skill set and brings about a more versatile approach to problem solving.

Share your advice with students who are keen to pursue a career in your field.

The Built Environment industry offers endless learning opportunities for both personal and professional growth. It is important to keep an open mind and give your best effort in everything you do. Everyone’s journey is unique and whatever path you choose will certainly value-add to your experience and career progression as long as you give it your best shot.