Please tell us about your role and responsibilities
As one of two members of JLL’s Global Corporate Sustainability team in Asia Pacific (APAC), my role involves interacting with various stakeholders in JLL offices in APAC to establish a country sustainability strategy that is aligned to the organisation’s global strategy and ambitions. It is also my responsibility to support the journeys of these country sustainability teams in achieving their ambitions throughout the year.
On top of my regional role, I also wear a second hat and work on internal corporate communications from my team to the rest of the business. This involves managing a sustainability network of 3,000 employees, dabbling in website design and social media.
What made you pursue a career in this field?
I have been very passionate about the environment since I was a child. Throughout my time at NTU, I used to wonder where I would be able to find the most meaning in my career and explored various roles through internships.
I chose to work in corporate sustainability because I felt that large businesses are crucial key drivers in ensuring a sustainable future. These businesses have the immense responsibility to innovatively lead in creating change and also have a huge sphere of influence to enact these changes. In my opinion, working in this sector is immensely meaningful and rewarding.
What do you enjoy most about this role?
What I enjoy most about this role is having the opportunities to engage with sustainability professionals from all around the region and globally. It is truly enriching to learn about the sustainability journeys of teams from different countries and learn more about state legislations and other contributing factors. It is very satisfying to work with like-minded people towards a common purpose throughout the business.
I also enjoy the process of building a sustainability strategy that caters to the local landscape. There is always a lot to learn about different aspects that come under the umbrella of corporate sustainability such as decarbonisation, giving back to our communities, diversity and inclusivity, waste and water management.
What are some work challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
When I first entered the industry, there were few entry-level roles in Singapore as the environmental sector was just growing and high-level experts were needed to develop the sector. I was also in the pioneer batch of my course at NTU and we did not have any seniors to seek advice from. There was truly a lot to think through and figure out for myself.
I overcame these challenges by exploring different roles through internships during my time in NTU. Exploring enabled me to figure out where my interests lie and helped me get a feeling of the landscape in Singapore and how to pave my path moving forward.
What is needed to be successful in this role?
To be successful in this role, you will need to have an understanding of the science behind mitigating climate change, the internal structure of the business, trends and knowledge of different countries and how to bring all of these aspects and many others together to successfully achieve sustainability ambitions.
Having good presentation skills come in handy as there is a need to meet stakeholders from all levels of the organisation. There is a lot to learn constantly to keep up to speed in such a rapidly evolving sector. Thus, it is important to keep an open mind and be able to adapt quickly.
Please share your advice with students who are keen to pursue a career in this field
Explore as much as you can while in university. Use your summer holidays to do internships – year 1 is not too early to start! I did internships throughout my university education, which really helped me in finding my footing. Stay updated about trends in Singapore and look at sustainability job descriptions to find out what skills you will need. Then work towards attaining those skills. Use every possible opportunity to network as there is always a valuable takeaway from every conversation you have with someone even though it may not be apparent now. It is a great time for the green sector where jobs are aplenty and diverse whether it is in research, green finance, consulting or education among many other areas.