Jun Shin Jung
My company and job
My application for the CapitaLand-USP Scholarship (scholarship) during my second year in university helped fund my four-year honours degree.
As a company, CapitaLand appealed to me; while it is a local real estate company headquartered in Singapore, its expansion overseas provides opportunities outside of Singapore as well. In addition, the mentorship programme — the biggest appeal of the scholarship — provided me with a steep learning curve.
The mentorship programme required me to be paired up with a CEO from the CapitaLand Group. My mentor was Ms. Lynette Leong from CapitaCommercial Trust, and I benefited from our casual meet-ups, where topics of discussion ranged from my student life to insights from Ms. Leong’s working life.
I joined CapitaLand in January this year, and am now undergoing their Graduate Development Programme. The programme allows me to be rotated across various departments for more than a year. This aligns with my career goals, because a psychology degree is not exactly job-defining or industry specific, unless you plan on pursuing further studies to become a clinical psychologist.
As part of the rotation, my first stop was CapitaLand’s corporate office, where I was given the opportunity to contribute towards corporate planning. The job scope includes market research, competitor analyses, as well as preparing and providing materials for the President and Group CEO, and the board meetings. I also concurrently assisted Corporate Finance in preparing materials for some projects.
My first rotation afforded me a macro perspective of CapitaLand, and it was especially enriching for me, especially since I do not have any background in real estate. It was also highly challenging, since I had to pick up research tools and learn what to look out for when conducting market and competitor analyses.
I’m currently undergoing my second rotation in an operations role with The Ascott Limited, CapitaLand’s wholly-owned serviced residence business unit. The challenges and requirements of this function are very different from that provided by the first rotation. My work here requires me to be on my feet to learn practical hands-on skills, as well as to interact more closely with people — be it working as a team with colleagues or interacting with guests.
Getting the job
The selection process for the CapitaLand-USP Scholarship was extremely rigourous - three rounds of interviews, one aptitude test, and a final interview with CapitaLand’s then-President & Group CEO, Mr. Liew Mun Leong.
I feel quite strongly that my academic results played a big part in being shortlisted, but following that, the interviews were what mattered most. For the interviews, I believe that two qualities — sincerity and passion — go a long way. Before trying to convince others that you are a good candidate, you should first be convinced that the company itself is a good fit to your values, personality, and career goals.
Be prepared for
It is extremely important to have an open mind. Be prepared to learn and to adapt quickly, as well as to be responsive to the environment.
The Graduate Development Programme is more suited for those who would like to take the time right after graduation to explore various options, to establish your interests, passion and strengths.
If you already have an idea of the sort of industry or job that aligns with your career goals, it may be advisable to apply directly for a specific position and then work your way up, rather than moving horizontally for greater exposure across different functions.