Lim Jun Ji is an Engineer in the Operations Department of Sembcorp Industries. He is a recipient of the Sembcorp Scholarship and holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) from the National University of Singapore.
When Sembcorp is mentioned, most people in Singapore think “waste management”. But that is only one aspect of Sembcorp’s sizeable portfolio. Sembcorp Industries provides solutions across the energy and utilities value chain, with an eye to a sustainable future.
Sembcorp has built a reputation for itself as a reliable partner in business, and the Sembcorp Scholarship extends that to people too. Lim Jun Ji, a recipient of the Sembcorp Scholarship, tells us about the commitment and curiosity that began his journey.
Being an engineer in Sembcorp, one would presume that you have a passion for technology and how things work. How did the interest come about?
It all began during my childhood; my dad was an electrical worker and I would often see him with tools and equipment. That piqued my curiosity and that interest grew as I entered primary school. I joined the Robotics Club and participated in various robotics competitions over the years. The annual National Robotics Competition hosted by Science Centre Singapore was the highlight for me. That helped to pave the way for me to read Mechanical Engineering for my bachelor’s degree.
How did you find out about the Sembcorp scholarship?
I was looking through the BrightSparks portal for scholarship opportunities and came across Sembcorp’s advertisement. Reading about the job description excited me and led me to research more about the scholarship and company.
What made you decide to take up the scholarship eventually?
There were a couple of reasons behind my decision to take up the Sembcorp Scholarship. First, the scholarship provided me with job security right after graduation. Second, as Sembcorp is a global conglomerate with multiple facilities and plants, I am optimistic about the various learning opportunities available to me. I will also be given the option to rotate among different job functions. Lastly, the core business is still in engineering, which means I’m able to build on my passion and interest in this field of study.
How was the application process?
What else did you know more about Sembcorp through the process? I went through a three-round interview. It consisted of an interview with Human Resources and the existing scholarship team at Sembcorp, a role-play interview and finally, a one-on-one interview with the CEO and Chief Human Resource Officer. The process was competitive and thorough, but enjoyable. I was also able to discover how I compared against the other scholarship applicants.
During the interview, I also learnt more about the business and got a better sense of the culture. The people whom I met were genuinely friendly and the Sembcorp Scholars group also shared their scholarship journey. Overall, I feel that Sembcorp is a very people-oriented organisation. This is one of the factors behind my decision to take up this scholarship.
You’ve just joined Sembcorp. How were the first three months?
It has been exciting and fulfilling. As new engineers, we are required to go through a range of mandatory courses from safety to understanding the plants. As I had undergone an internship with Sembcorp earlier, I was able to be accustomed to the working environment faster.
But even though I am more settled into my department and job scope now, I am still learning on a daily basis. Things are constantly happening when operating a power plant, so we have to learn to react to situations, analyse and make decisions. There is much more to learn; the first three months were merely the start, the “honeymoon” period.
What are your immediate goals at Sembcorp?
My immediate goal is to familiarise myself with the power plant to which I am assigned. I want to develop the ability to explain the workings of the systems in detail and to have the knowledge to navigate around the plant seamlessly. Performance monitoring is a critical component in my job portfolio. Another goal which I have set for myself – I am hoping to embark on new projects involving various business units that look into optimisation.
Looking further ahead, what are your career aspirations?
Looking ahead, I aim to arrive at a managerial role while remaining engineering-focused. These are roles which require deep insight of the plants and their operations, and a superior understanding regarding plant performance, emissions, optimisation, as well as engineering planning and studies.
What would be your advice for students looking to take on a scholarship from Sembcorp?
Keep an open mind and have faith in yourself. Avoid having any unconscious bias that Sembcorp is a just waste management company. Do more research and look deeper and you will easily understand that Sembcorp is responsible for many essential services beyond just waste management.