Even as you put in your best, Seth also believes there are times you need to cut yourself some slack.
Pursuing a career in insurance
After completing my diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Singapore Polytechnic, I decided to pursue a different course in university. In the midst of studying for my degree in 2017, I chanced upon an internship in AXA’s Investment and Wealth Management team.
I did not know how the insurance industry worked, but it turned out to be an internship to remember. I had amazing mentors who guided me patiently at work despite my lack of experience and knowledge. They made it easy for me to approach them and empowered me to complete tasks by myself.
This internship also confirmed my career interest and I was happy to be offered a fulltime position at the end of my internship.
AXA encourages empowerment, and I am empowered to make decisions and express my thoughts and ideas. I have never felt discriminated against nor made to feel less for my lack of experience. AXA promotes a culture of learning and self-development, and runs development courses for employees to hone their skills, which I have taken advantage of. I was also sent as a delegate to Taipei in 2018 to attend an Asian fund selector conference.
In my role, I have gained exposure and insights to the asset and wealth management space. My work involves performing due diligence and analysis to work on mutual funds. I also support the delivery of the Annual Investment-Linked Products (ILP) Funds Report. To keep abreast of trends and gain insights to global economic risks and investment strategies, I research and attend meetings with Portfolio Managers and Investment Specialists. My job scope also entails working on initiatives to enhance the attractiveness of the platform of ILP Funds offered to AXA’s customers.
The best bits
I have automated a large part of the biannual ILP funds report to improve process efficiency. Currently, I am still enhancing the system and its capabilities. Separately, I am working on the enhancement of an investment mandate, as well as the development of new services for ILP customers. These two projects presented steep learning curves and offered invaluable experience for me in AXA.
I personally believe that we should work in areas of a field we are passionate about. In AXA, there are many opportunities for self-development to improve myself. In addition, my role requires me to work with different stakeholders which exposes me to pick up technical and social skills. My time in AXA has taught me the value of interdependency – we collaborate harmoniously and work as one team to achieve a common goal. Teams are set up with the right mix of people and this truly helps to achieve project efficiency and efficacy.
Remember to cut yourself some slack if you’ve been putting in your best. When we make mistakes, we tend to be hard on ourselves. It is fine to make mistakes and take risks because it’s through these that you learn best. Beating yourself up incessantly for your mistakes won’t help you down the road. It is more important to spend time reflecting on the lessons drawn and to focus on becoming better.
A quote important to me is: “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” Singapore is a small and highly competitive country. We are always critical of ourselves and this can sometimes stand in our way, digging up doubt where we had once planted in faith. When others are doing well or better, it does not mean that you can’t or aren’t. Focus on your own efforts to achieve your own goals.
I am always thankful for all the opportunities AXA has given to me and will continue to strive to deliver my best in the role given to me.
I can’t tell you how your future will unfold from here. But what I can tell you is that it is coming from where you are now, and as long as you behave responsibly, you’ve got a bright future ahead.