Young and adventurous

They are young, they are mobile and they are ambitious. HEY! catches up with recent NTU graduates working in different parts of the globe to find out about their exciting lives as young expats

By Derek Rodriguez
Turkish delight
Lim Chuan Kai, 30
Station Manager, Singapore Airlines
Istanbul, Turkey

While considering a switch to the service industry and a job that wasn’t deskbound, the 2009 mechanical engineering graduate got wind of an opening that required him to uproot and move to the edge of Asia. He didn’t need much convincing.

Man in charge
I am here to ensure Singapore Airlines stays at the forefront of its business in Istanbul. My job is to differentiate ourselves from our competitors at the Istanbul Atatürk Airport, which is bursting at the seams. I need to take care of the operational efficiency of our flights, ensure safe and proper security screening and take care of passengers from check-in to boarding.

No regrets
The experience has been great so far. I meet and work with people from different countries and cultures. It can be challenging and exhausting at times, but the lessons learnt and experience gained makes it all worthwhile. I have no regrets about embarking on this journey.

I did it my way
I manage a team of Turkish locals who have a very different working style compared to that in Singapore. I spent the first few weeks observing and talking to my staff individually and refrained from judging or penalising them when they did things differently. This helped me gain their trust and respect, and I soon obtained a better understanding of their work culture and styles. With that, I could work closely with them to help them improve on their weaknesses. It was also important to be humble and ask for advice in areas where they are more experienced in.

Flying start at NTU
NTU gave me the opportunity to work with students and professors of diverse nationalities, exposing me to different cultures. Activities such as hall camps and inter-hall and inter-varsity games also helped me hone my social and communication skills, which are critical in my job.

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