Lim Ling Ling

Technical Section Head

My company and job 

 ExxonMobil's Singapore Chemical Plant is a world-scale facility that employs state-of-the-art chemical processing technologies for high-performance manufacturing in today's competitive global chemicals market. In particular, I work in one of the world’s largest steam crackers  ?  the core of this highly integrated site.

My responsibilities involve managing a group of process engineers who support the technical aspects of plant operations, ensuring that the plant is fully optimized and running well. At the same time, I also have to ensure that the engineers in my team are given developmental opportunities so that they can achieve their full potential.

The best bits

Thanks to ExxonMobil, I have had  many opportunities to try my hand at different things through the years. I have worked as a process engineer, a business analyst, and in feedstock/product scheduling before my current role. I have grown and learned tremendously from each and every role that I have held.

My current role as a technical section head is particularly rewarding, as I get to impart the knowledge I have gained to younger engineers every day. It is fulfilling to see them grow more and more competent in their daily responsibilities while I also hone my leadership skills at the same time, with guidance from the management team. Knowing that I can be a positive influence in the plant every day is what excites and motivates me  ?  whether it is about creating greater safety awareness, optimising a particular process, or successfully troubleshooting a plant issue.

Be prepared

 A graduate entering the industry should come with a mindset that safety is a core value in the workplace, and ensuring a safe work environment is necessary for every job and task that he or she embarks on. There has to be a commitment to an incident-free workplace whether at job sites, behind the wheel, or in office cubicles.

Also, ExxonMobil operates in a competitive global market. Graduates need to be highly adaptable to meet fast-changing priorities, and highly analytical of various complex technical issues while still delivering top-quality work.

Some advice 

It is a big step from a school environment to a corporate organisation, and everyone will need time to assimilate into the company culture. Having prior work experience such as an internship definitely helps, and paper qualifications are important up to a certain point.

In the long run, however, it is your soft skills and your hunger for knowledge and success that matters. Skill sets such as being able to communicate well with others, drive productivity in an organisation, and being highly adaptable are some of the qualities that will carry you through your career.