Neo Wen Fang
Wen Fang graduated with a Bachelor of Business Management, majoring in Finance, from the Singapore Management University.
Share with us on how you are a #FutureMaker at Siemens. Describe a typical day in your work.
I am now on the financial controlling team, and was a commercial project manager before this. I look through financial statements and approach respective colleagues on any figures that may seem weird. I regularly meet with colleagues on my team, project managers or technical support staff and engineers, in order to get their feedback on any problems they may be facing in the course of rolling out projects.
With the move to digitalization, I get to improve existing processes in my work, such as trying to automate the generation of financial data, so that I can spend more time analysing the data instead.
Describe what working at Siemens means to you.
It’s a big company – everyone knows this brand! But what sets Siemens apart is our emphasis on sustainable growth. We do not just care about business profits but we develop technologies, helping the world advance in an environmentally friendly way. This makes me proud to be part of Siemens.
Describe the most memorable project you’ve worked on to date with Siemens.
For one of the projects I handled as a Commercial Project Manager, I visited the Batam yard to check on the construction progress of the electrical house modules, also known as E-house modules. The E-house module is a Siemens solution for generating power supply for deep sea usage. I got to see my purchases and the end-product we were building for the customers.
Was it difficult for you to pick up technical knowledge on the job?
When I started out, I used to check with my colleagues on the technical side when it came to ordering materials, as there is a commercial project manager and technical project manager for each project. I gradually learned more as I went along. There is an advantage to having both commercial and technical knowledge.
How did you find out about the job opportunities at Siemens?
I chanced upon the Siemens Commercial Apprenticeship Program Asia Pacific (CAPAP) on the university job portal.
I was attracted by the opportunities to rotate across the various commercial areas, which I believed will help me in finding out what I like most and what suits me best. I was also drawn to the overseas theoretical training phases.
Describe the interview and selection process. How did you stand out?
We began with some logical and numerical tests, followed by a group case study, and lastly an interview with the direct hiring managers. The most challenging part was the group case study with 5 or 6 people in each group. I maintained my confidence and in presenting the case study solution, I aimed to organise my thoughts. As for working in a team, I listened to the opinions of others first before coming up with my suggestions.
How do you get to own your career path at Siemens?
Through the CAPAP, I started my rotation in the pre-sales phase, bidding and going through contracts and terms, working with lawyers and negotiating with customers. After three months, I went to the controlling team. Lastly, I was at the execution team working on projects at a detailed level, with the technical team, which included the engineers for technical drawings, and with project managers for costing and budgeting.
For my first permanent role after the rotation, I chose to join the execution team, completed my one and a half year bond there and am now in the controlling team, staying on after the bond.
Each year, we have a performance management phase, where we meet with our reporting managers to set targets for the year. I get to voice out on areas that I want to work on, or even things I don't like about the current working environment, job or tasks, so that we can come up with my future development for the next year.
What is your most memorable experience working at Siemens?
We had our overseas theoretical trainings in Bangkok and Malaysia for a month each, coming together with other CAPAP graduates from other countries. There were two candidates from Singapore in my cohort, and a total of 14 in the ASEAN region. We had trainers from different fields such as accounting and IT, who had worked in Siemens for at least a decade. Through the CAPAP, I talked to experienced staff and also new staff at the same time, listening to different perspectives. In this CAPAP network, we learn and share together, undergoing teambuilding events.
We still keep in touch with each other although we are in different countries. During the second training, we shared more with each other on different job scopes and industries that we were allocated to.
How are you supported in your career?
When I was just three months into my rotation as a commercial project manager, my mentor with 15 years of experience in the field guided me along for an independent project.
Also when I was undergoing the CAPAP, I had a formal mentor whom I met every two months. She was from the management of another division and such a pairing was aimed at the sharing of knowledge across different industries.
What advice would you give graduates who are looking to join Siemens?
Apart from the fun and flexibility, this is a good place to start your career with exposure to diverse cultures and technology. We have a wide range of businesses across industries from Mobility, Building Technologies, to Processes. Siemens is also a vastly international workplace where you can learn to adapt to different cultures.