After graduating with a Diploma in Business Process & Systems Engineering in 2014, Rebecca Tan Li Kiat turned down an offer from NUS to do a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering, deciding instead to take up the SME Talent Programme (STP) award to join the workforce and “earn and learn” instead. She blogs about her feelings…
Rebecca at her office in Keystone Cable Pte Ltd
I’ve always liked the idea of growing alongside a company, so that’s what I looked for when I embarked on this programme. Keystone Cable Pte Ltd is growing to be one of the largest cable manufacturing companies in Singapore, so I’m very proud to be involved in its expansion.
At Keystone Cable, all new staff are allocated to a mentor to answer any questions they may have and share with them how to work better. My mentor explains the various aspects of the business to me and has provided me with a wealth of knowledge about the industry. She also prepares me to take on greater responsibilities and new roles within the business. Having been with Keystone for quite some time, she has been able to pass on information and experience that I couldn’t have obtained elsewhere.
After graduation, many of my friends pursued jobs with multinational corporations. But they had to compete with hundreds of staff for the opportunity to learn and be promoted. Based on my experience, I would encourage young people to find a company that suits their personality and which is aligned with their interests. For me, I wanted to work for an SME because it gives me a higher level of autonomy and the opportunity to take on greater responsibilities sooner.
After I have gained all the necessary industry experience which money can’t buy, I can always pursue my further studies later on. There’s no rush, what’s the rush? Degrees will always continue to be offered by universities – and more and more places are opening up for poly diploma holders.
On the other hand, opportunities to gain meaningful work experience in a real life context are precious and hard to come by. So we should take the chance to develop our skill-sets and strike when the iron is hot!
To all Poly diploma holders… think about it! :)