Lee Wei Jian Joel

Manager/Planning

Joel graduated with a BEng in Mechanical Engineering from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in 2013

The people who succeed are those who have an insatiable curiosity, never tire of learning, are adaptable and continuously evolve with the industry to remain relevant.

My company and my job

I currently lead a team in Yard Planning. We are responsible for the assignment of containers in our terminal’s yard to achieve optimal usage of space and efficient deployment of equipment.

Additionally, I think of various strategies to maximise land usage across the city terminals (Brani, Keppel and our depot business) and liaise with required stakeholders to execute the plan. I also work closely with a team of about 60 operations and technical staff.

How I got my job

In my final semester at NTU, I applied for the Mechanical Engineer and Operations Executive positions online via PSA’s website. I recall feeling thrilled to be shortlisted for both roles.

There were 2 rounds of interviews for the Engineer position. The interviewers asked a mixture of technical as well as situational awareness questions.   

In addition to the interviews, there was also an acrophobia test where I climbed up a quay crane as part of the test. The feeling of being up on the crane for the first time was both exhilarating yet nerve-racking. A quay crane is 52-metre-tall, which is about 20 storeys high!

I eventually chose to begin my career in PSA as an Equipment Engineer as I wanted to apply my Engineering knowledge and skills from school.

Career Development

I was in the Equipment Engineering department for about 4 years before volunteering for a rotation to Operations department because I wanted to learn and understand more about port operations.

The rotation gave me opportunities to meet new people, acquire new knowledge and skills as well as share my engineering knowledge with my colleagues.

The highs and lows

The dynamic nature of my work ensures that no two days are the same. I also get to work on special projects, such as managing Singapore’s crucial imported food supply in our refrigerated container yards during the Circuit Breaker period. No doubt the pressure was intense running the project but I’ve learnt so much about the upstream and downstream elements of supply chain management.  

Another memorable experience was being part of the team that helped Singapore clinch the “Largest Shipping Container Image” in the Guinness Book of World Records!

Teamwork is in our DNA. There is this big sense of accomplishment when everyone works towards the same vision and goal.

Training and support

There are structured training programmes to prepare you for the role. To be an Equipment Engineer, you will learn theoretical knowledge through classroom lectures before getting into hands-on training with a dedicated mentor.

The training for the Operations role consisted of classroom trainings as well as on-the-job training attachments to the various sections, such as the control centre, stowage and yard planning. I also had a shift mentor to guide me in my learning.

Work-life balance

Being part of the port that never sleeps, working hours vary due to our dynamic nature of work. My seniors shared with me that work-life balance is a personal choice.

There are days where you have to put in more effort to provide that excellent level of service to our customers but there also times where you will prioritise time for family and friends. My advice is do what you love, and work-life harmony can be achieved. 

Advice for Graduates

The people who succeed are those who have an insatiable curiosity, never tire of learning, are adaptable and continuously evolve with the industry to remain relevant. In the words of Steve Jobs, “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”