Soon after embarking on her career at Standard Chartered 26 years ago, Yoke knew that the Bank would be her lifelong home. Since 1996, Yoke has dedicated herself to her role and as a result, she has seized numerous opportunities to grow and progress. Yoke is currently working as the Head of Data, Systems and Management Information and she is responsible for leading Standard Chartered Malaysia’s internal audit operations.
What’s the best piece of career advice you have ever been given?
Be confident in your capabilities and don’t be afraid to put your ideas forward. Never give up and ask for support if you need it. Devise strategies to keep yourself motivated, set goals for yourself and keep raising the bar. Be a team player and don’t ask “what’s in it for me?” but instead “how can I help my colleagues and make the office a better place for everyone?”.
What drew you to a career in banking?
My appetite for the banking industry was sparked when I was young. Between high school and university, I landed jobs in two international banks. I enjoyed the working environment, professionalism and how every individual played an important role in daily operations. I quickly determined that my future was destined to be in the banking industry. After graduating I applied for my dream role at Standard Chartered and I was successful. I have been with the bank for 26 years and I haven’t looked back!
What do you enjoy the most about working for Standard Chartered?
Having worked for Standard Chartered for 26 years, I have developed meaningful and genuine friendships with my colleagues. My friends at Standard Chartered are like my extended family members, we encourage and care for one another and I look forward to seeing them every day. I particularly enjoy meeting with my colleagues from overseas and learning about their cultures. Working for Standard Chartered is not just to pay your bills, it is about doing something that you enjoy and are passionate about.
Standard Chartered is committed to employee development, we are provided with all the required tools and information to perform our roles to the best of our abilities and we are regularly given opportunities to improve our skills. The Bank is a force for good and recognises the importance of giving back to our local communities, I am very proud that I am part of an organisation that permits time off work to take part in volunteering initiatives.
Give an example of how you live by Standard Chartered’s values - doing the right thing, better together and never settle.
I live and breathe Standard Chartered’s values in both my professional and personal lives. In my role as the Head of Data and Systems in the GIA Function, I work on various projects with teams across the business. On every project we work on, my colleagues and I embody all three of the Bank’s values. We rely on one another to fulfil our individual responsibilities so that the project goes smoothly. We are happy to help one another when required and we always do the right thing by ensuring we work with integrity and honesty. We never settle for satisfactory outcomes, we are committed to producing the greatest work possible.
What makes working at Standard Chartered unique?
As Standard Chartered is an international organisation, the ways of working are considerably different to most jobs. Since joining the Bank 26 years ago, my manager has always been based outside of Malaysia. Despite the different time zones and our inability to meet face-to-face, my managers have always shown strong leadership and empathy. They made a real effort to ensure that I felt included, engaged and valued for my work.
Being managed by someone overseas can pose some challenges such as negotiating time zone differences. Although it can be difficult, there are many advantages to working with colleagues on the other side of the world such as having a flexible working schedule. I can avoid heavy morning traffic when commuting to work and I have the opportunity to have more face-to-face time with my manager outside of their peak working hours.
What advice would you give to someone applying for a position at Standard Chartered?
Before interviewing for your desired role, it is important that you perform adequate research into the position that you are applying for and the Bank’s strategy. Analyse how your experience and qualities make you a suitable candidate for the role and how you relate to Standard Chartered’s values. Most importantly, come to the interview prepared to convince the panel that you align with the culture at the Bank.
I landed my dream job with Standard Chartered after seeing an advertisement for a Quality Assurance Officer position in a local magazine. After reading Margaret Chin’s success story as the Head of Audit for Malaysia, I was instantly sold and said “That’s it, I’m going for it!”.
I got married in 1997 and then started a family. From 1997 to 2002 I had three children, one boy and two girls. Standard Chartered supported me through my life changes by giving me flexibility such as working from home and adjusting my working hours.
Following a restructure of the group internal audit (GIA) function, various audit roles were relocated to Malaysia from the UK. I put myself forward and landed the job, this was a huge milestone for me as it meant I had to relocate to Malaysia from Kuala Lumpur. I travelled to London to complete the handover, which was a notable moment in my career. I received limitless support from management and with their help, I seamlessly transitioned the GIA operations to Malaysia.
I have led various projects within the GIA function. Most notably, I assisted with building a collaborative and agile new audit system for the Bank. The project was a great success and we delivered a new system that streamlined our internal audit operations.