the kiasu trainee

August 25, 2009

Just 2 weeks of working and I am having so much fun learning!

I really hope I can keep this up.

Because the company has a lot of outfits (manufacturer, developer, contractor, investor), there are many projects happening simultaneously. My brain is overloaded with new information everyday. All these construction terms I’m learning now; formwork, framework, beam, conduit, BRC, blocks, bricks, prestressed wire, cast insitu. OMG. Just when I thought I’ve learned it all, my seniors will discuss something and come up with new terms to confuse me.

What’s interesting is also learning about the financing side. How the bank works, what sort of facilities they offer, what sort of percentages they give, which bank gives the best rate, which bank is the most cooperative, how the loan process works. All these things I’m picking up slowly.

I’m currently under the wings of the Financial Controller. I’m so lucky to have her as my mentor because she knows the company inside out and is always on top of the issues. The most important thing is that she’s not stingy with her knowledge. She readily answers all my questions, even the stupid ones.

I never knew I was so kiasu; I want to know everything and I want to follow my seniors everywhere.

My manager stands up and leaves the room.

Me: Where you going? *ready packing up my bag to follow her*

Senior: Toilet la! Ish, everywhere also you want to go.

I’m pretty sure they’re sick of me now. But they understand that I just want to learn as much as I can, as fast as I can.

I go out of the office a lot to follow my seniors meet clients and bankers. At the same time, I also spend a lot of time in the office doing office work, Excel spreadsheets, typing out meeting minutes and writing letters to people. Some people say back office work is really boring compared to front office, but both seem equally fun to me.

I went to Indonesia last week to see the progress of our development project there. It’s so interesting when you’re involved from the beginning; from the architectural plans, the engineering plans, the mechanical plans. I’ve been introduced to so many of the components that are required in any building; sewerage treatment plant, water pump, pipes, iron bars, gen-sets.


Whenever we meet people, I’m always introduced as a “Management Trainee”. No one knows I’m the owner’s daughter and I like it that way.

I like to ask a lot of questions when I don’t understand, and I like to voice out my opinions during meetings. This way, they know I’m serious and I’m interested in what they’re telling me. But they must think I’m a super eager “trainee.”

It’s so far from my legal background! I feel like I’m learning a whole new degree.