SSIA Secretariat Team Member, Project Manager, Delia
Delia Cheung is currently the Project Manager of SSIA, overseeing projects of talent acquisition, Professional Conversion Program (PCP), student outreach and training for the industry. Before joining the Association, she has more than 15 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, working on yield engineering in GlobalFoundries. Voice Magazine chatted with her to know more about her story.
- Can you tell us about your journey in the semiconductor industry? What first got you into the semiconductor industry?
It started as a coincidence as semiconductor was beginning to boom in Singapore and my course offered 1 relevant subject during my final year. I took it up without knowing how much it would change my life. Our lecturer told us during the first lesson that what we were learning in school was technology more than 10 years ago, and that made me curious about the current technology back then. After graduation, I knew I wanted to get into the semiconductor industry and I was lucky to really get a job in the industry. I was very nervous about the interview as the interviewer was known to be an iron lady in the company. I was also worried about being not technically competent as I had only fundamental knowledge. Subsequently, other than skills and knowledge, I found that a positive mindset and attitude are more important in this industry.
- What were your biggest challenges and excitement as an employee in the semiconductor industry? How did you deal with these?
There were so many new things to learn. Every process was familiar yet different from what we learned in school. It still took lots of practice and stumbling along the way to be able to apply the knowledge onto work. I was fortunate to have met a very good mentor, Quek Pua San, during the start of my career. She was very willing to share and teach whatever she knew. Many times, I needed to stay late at work and she would stay to make sure I had someone to ask for any queries. She even fetched me home after I had missed the company bus.
- What ultimately led to your decision to leave the industry?
Despite all the excitement at work, I decided to prioritize family over career. I wanted to spend more time with both of my sons, and be more involved in the early part of their lives before the hectic life of school takes over. After much consideration, I eventually left the workforce to become a stay-home-mom to take care of my family and children.
Delia and her family
- How do you know about SSIA and why do you choose to join the Association?
In my 4 years of being a home manager aka housewife (haha…), I always kept in touch with my ex-colleagues. During one of the gatherings, I met Wee Seng again when he joined SSIA. He needed a part-time staff in his office and I jumped at the chance and volunteered myself. It was something different yet familiar from what I have done for my past life and I wanted to start afresh.
- What are the similarities and differences of working in a Wafer Fab and in a semiconductor trade association?
I get to work with many companies that I am familiar with but in a totally different perspective. Companies which used to be our competitors, customers, vendors and suppliers are now our working partners or members. The biggest difference is that I am not able to go into the clean room, which is the part I missed- lots of fond memories there.
- What do you like most about your current job? What do you find challenging?
I meet more people from different companies and help them with their needs, especially in training and hiring. I was a hiring manager in Fab and I can understand the challenges of training, recruiting and retaining talents. The most challenging part is to create and market our different industry courses to cater to the needs of the industry, at the same time, get sufficient resources like instructors and funding.
- How will you see the future of the semiconductor industry in Singapore?
I am seeing an increasing focus on R&D and design sectors within this industry. We are going up the semiconductor supply chain, and we need to be ready for it. That is why SSIA, in particular with many agencies and IHLs, are here to support such transformation of the industry, especially in areas of workforce development and upskilling. Companies which used to be our competitors, customers, vendors and suppliers are now our working partners or members. The biggest difference is that I am not able to go into the clean room, which is the part I missed — lots of fond memories.
(Right) Delia, (left) Ang Wee Seng, Executive Director of SSIA, and the SSIA Team