Tan Jun Kai, Graduate at DBS Bank

Tan Jun Kai


Getting started

While I was exploring my career options in my final year at National University of Singapore (NUS), I attended the career recruitment talk by DBS and learnt about the Graduate Associate Programme. Being able to rotate through various functions and to receive mentorship from leaders of the bank roused my interest and I decided to give it a shot to apply for the Graduate Associate Programme in Technology.

Upon joining the programme, I embarked on a one-month induction training where I had the chance to meet the Graduate Associates from DBS’ six key markets. The one-month training prepared us with sufficient domain knowledge to kick start our first rotation.

About my job

I am currently in my first rotation at Institutional Banking Group - Technology. The bank is building a culture of embracing digital, data and science, and I see a growing importance in analytics. In the Analytics team, I am exposed to new technologies and get to explore new tools that can help enhance our analytics capabilities. I also had the opportunity to participate in international events such as the inaugural Singapore Strata and Hadoop Conference where the world’s best data thinkers give insight into the latest skills and technologies and share their big data strategy.

Within the first few months of my rotation, I have been involved in a wide range of projects. My first project was a turning point for me. It gave me a sense of purpose as I came to realise the work that I do can have a big impact on the bank and our clients as we strive to use data to protect both their interests. The project involved the use of the bank’s data, supported by external sources, to detect potential fraudulent activities. This project has allowed me to better understand the processes from the start to end, from the requirement gathering stage to final implementation.

Challenges I faced

Like many fresh graduates, I was eager to prove myself. At the same time, I was afraid to make mistakes. Initially, I found the job challenging as I lack domain knowledge and experience. A good lesson learnt is that I need to proactively ask questions and learn from mistakes. With senior colleagues guiding me, I am motivated to work harder and learn from them.

My biggest achievement

My biggest achievement is to have forged great relationships in the bank. Before entering the workforce, I often hear how difficult it is to make friends at work. On the contrary, the camaraderie in DBS, especially the bond I have built with the other Graduate Associates, motivates me at work every day. They are my source of inspiration and support whenever I need advice. Through the programme, I also get to meet the Graduate Associates across our key markets and network with senior leaders. Through interactions with people across the bank, I get to see different perspectives of work and life. I believe that this has also helped me to grow professionally and personally.

Essential skills in my job

In this fast moving industry, no one can survive alone. There’s an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

It is not just about having the technical skills to do the job. Collaboration and communications are important too. Instead of focusing on what other team members lack, I try to leverage their strengths and knowledge. Teamwork brings fresh ideas to the table and allows us to accomplish more together.

The DBS PRIDE! values have been a great guiding principle for me thus far. Purpose-driven, Relationship-led, Innovative, Decisive and Everything Fun are definitely key values to have for me to succeed in my job.

Advice for graduates

Think Big. We often focus so much on the details and tend to forget to look at the big picture. Learn to appreciate the role you play in your organisation and seek the purpose that will keep your passion going.

Also, while you work hard for success, don’t forget to take time out to recharge. As a coffee fanatic, I have signed up for a basic barista workshop under DBS SkillsFlex, an initiative for DBS staff of Senior Associate rank and below. We are given an additional SGD$500 on top of the government’s SkillsFuture credit to attend courses of interest. I am excited to learn more about coffee making. Keeping yourself fresh and energized would be the key for you to perform better in your day-to-day job!