Employees come and go all the time, but not many will return to a former workplace. It’s a testament to the Bank’s compelling culture and dynamic working environment that led me to rejoin in a different role.
In January this year, I came back from a stint in another bank to take on a new challenge as the Business Planning Manager (BPM) to the CEO for Standard Chartered Vietnam. It’s totally different from my line of work in the past 13 years in coverage and sales, which entails managing CCIB (Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking) client relationships and running deals.
I would describe my current role as being the right-hand person of the CEO, helping her to succeed by taking care of her business agenda and delivering on her strategic initiatives. As a BPM, I am able to leverage on my skills accumulated over the years at a more macro and strategic level, which also helps to enhance my overall exposure and perspective.
I actually started off my career in Standard Chartered Singapore as a banking associate back in 2009 as I had studied in the university there. The next year, I relocated to the Bank’s Vietnam office.
I’m emotionally attached to this company as it has been a place that has given me so many opportunities over the years and enabled me to thrive. Not only does the Bank offer employees pathways to grow and develop, it also provides a very dynamic working environment. Our people agenda is strong, with initiatives like mentoring and coaching to help staff advance in their careers. Employees are also recognised and rewarded for their contributions. We can proactively choose what we would like to pursue and the Bank supports us in our career progression.
Just recently, I won the Grand Prize in Standard Chartered Vietnam’s Greatest Brand Ambassador Competition, where participants submitted ideas on how to promote the Bank. It feels natural to promote a brand that is close to my heart. My heart truly belongs to this place which I consider home – a place that has nurtured me and helped me to grow over the years.
Having worked in various roles within the Bank, one of the biggest challenges I faced was delivering a project under pressure even as Covid-19 was wreaking havoc on plans. The project was a leadership offsite that I had to pull off despite the many limitations and restrictions. Luckily, it turned out to be a great success as the leaders said that they felt like it was one of the most interactive and beneficial offsites they’ve attended. This can only be made possible with strong collaboration with teammates, clear responsibility allocation as well as support from senior management.
While that project was a highly challenging endeavour, my line manager also reminded me to pace myself for the long run. This is a good piece of advice as it helps to avoid burnout and mistakes. Pacing yourself also allows you to improve the quality of your work.
To be honest, I've never received such advice from a line manager before, and I felt quite touched as it shows that the leadership is concerned about our overall well-being. It also led me to reflect on my purpose and objectives in life.
Since I’ve been in this BPM role for less than a year, my goal is simply to do the best job I can. As a mum, I also seek to spend more time with my family and support my son as he enters secondary school this year. Work and family are my top priorities, and I’m glad that the Bank is supportive of employees as they juggle with both.