NTU Career Tracks 2024

Recent Graduate Story: Sim Tian Quan

Tell us about your role and main responsibilities.

I am currently working at Procter & Gamble as a Data Scientist. My primary responsibilities revolve mostly around data-related tasks such as data management and analysis. Additionally, I work with colleagues from different regions to explore how we can better utilise the available data to help drive business decisions that will create a meaningful impact.

How long did you take to secure a job after graduation?

It took me a little over three months before I was offered the position. I started applying around November but I only really started to be more aggressive with my job applications around March and April.

What were some challenges you faced when looking for a job and how did you overcome them?

The main challenge I faced when applying for the role of Data Scientist is the barrier to entry. Employers are typically looking for people with at least two to three years of related experience, be it professional or personal (e.g. having a portfolio of Data Scientist projects), or minimally a Master’s degree in related fields.

There were also not many job openings available when I started searching for Data Scientist roles in early November.

What are some strategies that you used to land yourself this position?

My job search process was rather straightforward. Here are some things I did to secure the position:

  • Continuously searched and applied for positions that I was interested in.
  • Tailored my resume according to the job description of the role I applied for. I made sure to include relevant projects or any sort of work and activities that showcases relevant skills as much as possible.
  • Made use of resources to help me prepare for the interviews. These resources include books, videos (e.g. YouTube), and articles (just do a Google search for anything that I felt I needed more information on).

Share your tips and advice with fellow students who will be looking for jobs or internships soon.

Most importantly, start looking for a job early. Many people will say ‘ya I know’ but do not act on it, including myself. When you are in that process, you will then realise how long some of these applications can take.

Don’t be discouraged by the high entry requirements if you are genuinely interested in a position but do not meet all the requirements. You have nothing to lose by applying! I applied for Data Scientist positions for close to a year even though the entry requirements were quite stringent. Many times, I was not even given an opportunity for a first round of interview. However, with perseverance, I eventually got a Data Scientist job which is where I am today.

Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to your school career coach if you need help. My career coach played a pivotal role in helping me secure a job. He helped me polish my interview skills and guided me to understand what employers were looking out for based on the job descriptions. My career coach provided tips and examples on how to prepare for and answer interview questions. We also had a few sessions of mock interviews to practice the responses I had prepared.

As someone who faced many challenges in this job-seeking process, I would like to once again offer the following advice to students who will embark on a similar journey: don’t be afraid to reach out to people for help!