A Deep Dive into Jireh’s Experience on the PSA Junior S.E.A.L. Programme

“The opportunities that come with the MA role are appealing as the job rotations will help me develop breadth of knowledge and identify the scope of work that best fits me, while also building both depth and breadth in my technical competencies.”

Many factors piqued my interest in PSA’s Junior S.E.A.L. programme. I attended a PSA networking session organised by Singapore Management University (SMU), where I met Jay, a Management Associate (MA), who shared about his positive experiences with PSA as an intern and an employee, as well as the rotation opportunities and prestige of the Junior S.E.A.L. programme. It held a major appeal to me, knowing that I could be offered a full-time position in PSA’s premier MA Programme if I performed well.

Further research into PSA and the field showed me how sustainability was a key focus moving forward for all players within the industry, and PSA’s commitment towards sustainability is highlighted in the upcoming Tuas Port. With Tuas Port being the world's single largest fully automated container terminal, I knew that PSA places a great emphasis on constantly developing their people and infrastructure, and that it would be a sustainable place to work at!

Being a Year 2 student then, I felt that I was limited technically, but was willing to learn and absorb as much as possible while giving back to the best of my ability. Thankfully, my hiring managers saw my hunger and drive, and the PSA environment was perfectly aligned to my goals.

A snippet of my personal workspace

Getting my feet wet and thriving in the deep end

Currently, I am entering my final year of studies with SMU’s Bachelor of Science (Information Systems). Career-wise, I admit that I didn’t have an inkling about the role that I would take upon graduating. Honestly, I was more worried about my own technical capabilities and how to apply them in the future.

However, during my Junior S.E.A.L. programme with PSA, I met supportive colleagues and nurturing superiors, and I was provided with many opportunities to grow my technical skills and build my confidence. I also discovered what I value in my career – the people, the culture and the purpose.

My awesome colleagues made my experience on the programme especially memorable! They taught me a great deal during my time here, and I absolutely love the atmosphere of unity and the culture of teamwork. My colleagues are sincere and approachable, and would go the extra mile to explain how I can approach an unfamiliar problem, or provide extra guidance when I’m lost.

During my orientation, I got to rotate across departments and speak to passionate individuals who shared about their work. From cybersecurity operations that protect PSA from unseen threats, to the collaboration of great minds in optimising algorithms for better productivity, I developed a better understanding of each business unit’s role in PSA, which honed my business acumen.

My experiences attending various annual events, such as the Christmas and New Year celebrations, and the PSA Townhall reinvigorated the positive atmosphere and highlighted the camaraderie of the PSA family.

Beyond that, I spoke to many charismatic leaders as well. One of whom taught me to put learning at the forefront of all that I do, and to not be discouraged by failure as the knowledge gained can be applied to future similar projects, or even provide insights for another project.

Our happiness and camaraderie are apparent beyond the masks (that’s me on the extreme left in both pictures)!

I learned a lot on the job; for example, data engineering work and multiple languages and tools (Bash, SQL, Python, DAX, Informatica Stack, etc.). I also discovered my resourcefulness and true capabilities in picking up new skills and knowledge. Being able to see how other business units function in tandem with ICT gave me a greater appreciation of the work that ICT does and how it contributes to overall strategic decision-making. These showed me the larger meaning and purpose of my work. 

From an internship to building a holistic career with PSA

Overall, I had a really fruitful and enriching internship experience at PSA under the Junior S.E.A.L. programme, and I am happy that I will be returning to work alongside them again as a full-time Management Associate (MA) after my graduation!

This sight welcomed me as an intern, and will welcome me as an employee

The opportunities that come with the MA role are appealing as the job rotations will help me develop breadth of knowledge and identify the scope of work that best fits me, while also building both depth and breadth in my technical competencies.

Though I have some worries regarding my capabilities, my experiences and accomplishments from my stint with PSA have provided me the confidence to move forward. I feel that I have room for improvement in speaking confidently, especially if the MA role leads to leadership positions, and I hope to improve on that along the way.

Some words of advice to juniors

My advice to graduates who are still exploring potential jobs is this – the future is bright for PSA and the maritime industry. PSA’s bold ventures beyond the port into complementary port solutions and integrating systems on a digital platform to connect the logistics and supply chain communities reflect the forward-thinking leadership. Leveraging on technology to lead the digital transformation of the logistics ecosystem will enable PSA to remain competitive, solidifying its integral role in orchestrating the global supply chain.

Regardless of the job and industry that you are pursuing, stay humble and always willing to learn. When I was notified of my first interview, I was thankful for the opportunity, and I kept that attitude of gratitude with me throughout the selection process, the postponement of my start date due to COVID-19, and during the Junior S.E.A.L. programme itself. I came in with a mindset of eagerness to learn and it served me greatly, and I believe it will serve you well too.