From its humble origins as a regional airline, SIA has grown to become one of the most recognisable names in the aviation industry. A world-renowned brand distinguished by its quality of service, the SIA brand has become synonymous with the pinnacle of civil aviation. From the impeccable service provided by the iconic Singapore Girl to its commitment to environmental sustainability, SIA has definitely earned its keep as the world’s most awarded airline.
Even after 42 years of operation, SIA has consistently maintained its high standing as a superior service provider in the aviation industry. However, this premier airline did not achieve its current standing by resting on its laurels. In order to live up to its reputation, SIA emphasises the need to constantly evolve and adapt. One individual who represents this belief is 26-year-old Ground Services Executive Alan Lim, a recipient of the SIA Open Overseas Scholarship.
Admiration and Ambition
Alan’s interest in the aviation industry was piqued when he first had the opportunity to travel on an SIA flight as a child. He recalled the joy and the sense of wonder he felt whenever he travelled by air. “I remember the excitement and fascination I felt each time I had the opportunity to travel on an SIA flight,” he reminisces.
As an adult, Alan’s childhood fascination developed into a sense of respect for the airline as he learned more about the company. “SIA has shown itself to be an adaptable and resilient organisation over the years. This serves as a testament to the quality of its management and workforce and affirms its position as one of the stalwarts of Singapore’s early economic development,” he says.
So when it came to applying for a scholarship, the SIA Open Overseas Scholarship stood out. It provided Alan with a chance to work with the company that he had come to look up to, an opportunity that he simply could not refuse.
A Door to New Experiences
Alan’s scholarship also afforded him the chance to study in France and the UK, where he had to overcome the hurdles of living alone in a foreign country. He recalls, “It was almost like starting a new life – I had to get used to the new public transport system, supermarkets, people and learn all the little cultural nuances that are so essential to daily communication. The overseas experience certainly taught me to be more adaptable and resilient as an individual. I have matured a lot as a person and have broadened my horizons!”
Alan Lim Jing Yuan
SIA Open Overseas Scholarship
Designation: Ground Services Executive (Standards & Performance)
Studied: Master of Science (Managerial & Financial Economics), HEC Paris, France
Bachelor of Science (Economics),
University College London, UK
The SIA scholarship also provided Alan with the opportunity to move out of his comfort zone and explore the world beyond his school. He shares, “I was able to travel to exotic locations such as Chernobyl, Russia, where I visited Reactor No.4 and the abandoned city of Pripyat. The walk around Pripyat was truly a surreal and eye-opening experience and one that I am fortunate to have had.”
In addition, Alan was privy to unique internship opportunities. “The internship gave me an early look at the culture of the company. More importantly, it enabled me to establish contacts within SIA, a crucial opportunity in such a large and complex organisation. This allowed me to tap on a wider base of experience outside my own department and facilitated my learning within the company,” he says.
Learning Beyond School
As an organisation that is committed to the development of its staff, SIA creates an environment where employees are challenged on a daily basis and encouraged to constantly learn and improve themselves.
Alan works in the Ground Services Department, which is in charge of all aspects of airport operations in SIA. As a Ground Services Executive (Standards & Performance), Alan’s primary function is to serve as an analyst. He explains, “I monitor the performance of SIA’s overseas stations and identify performance trends as well as areas where processes can be improved on. I also help to coordinate the work for some departmental projects. One of the more exciting projects I’ve worked on would be the launch of the Premium Economy Class, yet another step in SIA’s efforts to improve the experience of its customers.”
He acknowledges the challenging and stimulating environment that SIA has placed him in, noting that there was quite a steep learning curve to climb when he first joined SIA. “I was required to have a good understanding of airport operations and the interdependencies between the multiple events in these operations. Thankfully, I was surrounded by colleagues who had many years of experience in the airline and who were more than willing to share their knowledge and experiences with me. It also helped that I was inquisitive and was not afraid to ask questions!” he laughs.
And even as a fresh graduate, Alan was given opportunities to embark on major projects and make recommendations on project directions. He enthuses, “This level of empowerment has allowed me to ‘learn by doing’, accelerating my personal and professional development in the company.
“To add on, I’ve also had the privilege of meeting and engaging with our overseas industry partners in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, and San Diego, US, despite being in SIA for just over a year. This has allowed me to understand first-hand new developments in the industry and network with other industry employees to open up new possible collaborations.”
A Career of Fulfilment
Alan stands by his decision to take up the SIA Open Overseas Scholarship, and every day on the job only affirms this further. SIA is more than just an employer to Alan. “SIA is like a huge family, where teamwork is a key pillar of the organisation and I can always depend on my colleagues,” he declares warmly.
Alan also notes how important it was to him to be able to find a job that he truly wanted. SIA provided him with precisely this – a job that fit his aspirations, interests and personality. “This is truly a rewarding career for me. Work is only work if you’re not having fun,” he adds with a laugh.
“The learning never stops at SIA – even after you graduate from school. I look forward to rotating to a new department in less than a year’s time. I will need to pick up new skills and will be faced with a new learning curve to overcome, but this is a challenge that I definitely relish!”