NTU Career Tracks 2023

A Career in the Care Economy

Sociology (2021)
Specialist, e2i

Please tell us about your role and responsibilities

I joined e2i’s year-long undergraduate programme upon graduation, which allowed me to experience the various functions within the organisation. During this period, I was exposed to grant policies, organised employer engagement events, and underwent a mentorship programme to provide career guidance to jobseekers.

Currently, I handle corporate partnerships with business associations, to see how we can join forces to better serve the employment and employability needs of the local workforce. I also manage the coordination of employment facilitation services for workers impacted by restructuring exercises in companies across Singapore, to ensure that they have access to employment-related resources so they can quickly bounce back.

What made you pursue a career in this field?

Although I did not have a clear idea of what career path I wanted to embark on, one thing I knew for sure is that I wanted to create a positive and meaningful impact on others. I was also excited by the idea of being able to experience the various functions in the organisation, especially since I was unsure of what I was good at, or what I wanted to do.

Hence, I decided to apply for a role at e2i as the company’s mission resonates with me – to create better jobs for better lives. As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Knowing that our work has a far-reaching impact on the people we serve keeps me going.

What do you enjoy most about this role?

My role is quite dynamic as it involves developing new initiatives within the organisation and/or with other partners, hence I like that I always have different projects to work on, and many areas to learn in. I can also quickly get to know many colleagues across the organisation as my coordination role requires a lot of cross-department communication. The people here are what makes this role enjoyable! The exposure to various functions also enabled me to gain a wider perspective of my work and develop a deeper appreciation of the organisation’s work.

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

As a fresh graduate, I found it difficult to value-add to the organisation, as I lacked the experience and knowledge of the employment landscape which my colleagues had. On my part, I did a lot of reading through online research and internal resources to build up my knowledge.

Another important lesson is to not be afraid to ask for help. Whenever I faced obstacles, my teammates were more than happy to guide me along and I definitely learnt a lot from them. I was also able to share my newfound knowledge with my fellow batchmates when they encountered similar issues.

What is needed to be successful in this role?

Communication skills are important, especially when you have to engage many different stakeholders and get everyone’s agreement. For example, during engagements, you have to be able to bring across your messages or concerns tactfully and succinctly, in order to achieve your objectives.

Having a sharp mind will also enable you to contribute meaningfully. As a new person in the organisation, you can provide a fresh perspective when making evaluations, and identify areas of work which can simplified or streamlined so that things can be done more efficiently.

It is imperative to keep an open mind as well, as we come across people from all walks of life in this line of work.

Please share your advice with students who are keen to pursue a career in this field

It is a people-oriented sector, so you have to remind yourself to stay grounded and practise empathy. Often, it is easy to get caught up in our own objective and being immersed in day-to-day work that we lose sight of our purpose. At the same time, keep in mind that you should not feel responsible for everyone’s issues. Frequent perspective-taking to put yourself in the shoes of others is also key to making sure what you do within your scope of work benefits those whom you serve, is relevant to them and user-friendly.

A Day in the Life of an Adult Education Specialist

Head to our office at Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability

Team meetings to share what we are working on, brainstorm ideas, and get guidance on any decks that will be presented to the management team

Lunch time with my teammates or fellow batchmates from the undergraduate programme

Meetings or email correspondence with counterparts in other associations, to discuss new initiatives or share more about e2i’s talent matching, training services, and other manpower solutions to employer partners

Organise databases to be used for reports

Time to go home!

Bioengineering (2016)
Development Manager, ObvioHealth

Please tell us about your role and responsibilities

My role mainly revolves around hiring for, growing, scaling and structuring the web development team comprising mainly software engineers and product owners in the Singapore office. We grew the team from two to 30 over the past year as part of our scale-up efforts.

My main responsibilities include sourcing of talent, on-boarding them and managing their performance.

What made you pursue a career in this field?

I was looking for a job in product development in the MedTech space back when I graduated in 2016. To my dismay, I found that most of the MNCs in the pharma and medical device space mainly had a sales and operations presence in Singapore, product development was something reserved for the “mothership” back in their headquarters.

It just so happened that a MedTech start-up company which shared the same investors as another start-up that I previously interned at had an opening. I was given a warm introduction and the rest is history.

Since then, I have been working in the MedTech space building, growing and running product development teams across companies of various scales, from start-up to SME.

What do you enjoy most about this role?

I enjoy the process of building something from scratch and making it into a product. Equally gratifying is in finding good talent and developing them. I also like the exposure to different cross functional roles in a dynamic high growth start-up environment.

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

It is difficult to find young talented people to join a start-up. I had to get creative and look for people and referrals within my network. Also, training and growing the young talents into the role is another challenge of my job. I have to make sure that I give them ample opportunities to grow.

What is needed to be successful in this role?

There are two key traits to be successful in this role, namely:

  1. Being adaptable to a rapidly changing and scaling environment: What worked for a 10-man team may not work for a 30-man team. Having the adaptability to unlearn old habits and learn new ones to adapt to a scaling environment is important.
  2. Collaboration and communication: Being an individual contributor and fulfilling your job role is not sufficient. It is important to share the knowledge you have across the team and be able to explain the context of why something is important to avoid knowledge silos.

Please share your advice with students who are keen to pursue a career in this field

Focus on the learning and growth opportunities you can get in the first few years of your career. The earning opportunities will come to you once you get more exposure in the domain and the specific job function.

Find a good mentor who is, ideally, independent from your full-time job. They can be invaluable in giving good advice to help you avoid first-timer mistakes.

A Day in the Life of a Development Manager at a MedTech Startup

I get onto public transport on a typical work from office day which happens twice a week

Meetings with various team leads and product managers to update on our work progress

Lunch with the team and catching up with my colleagues

Interview candidates as part of the hiring pipeline or sync up with our HR colleagues on strategic hiring plans

One-on-one sessions with my team to help them with their career development and to help them with any issues they are facing

I try to leave office before 5pm to avoid the peak hour crowd, clearing emails or messages while travelling home

Have dinner and spend family time with my eight-month-old daughter and wife.

I have night calls every Tuesday and Thursday with my US colleagues which usually end by midnight