SSIA is a key partner of Workforce Singapore’s volunteer Career Advisors (vCA) initiative, which provides individuals (especially mature workers) with peer-level support and career guidance as they navigate professional pathways to advance their careers or transition to other jobs. In this second feature, we put the spotlight on three vCAs in the electronics and semiconductor sector.

Mr Chung Ching Thiam

Director
Semiconductor Supplies & Consultancy

What made you interested to join the WSG’s volunteer Career Advisors initiative?

Having more than 35 years in the electronics industry, I recall some missed opportunities as well as good decisions made in my career, that can be shared with our younger comrades to learn from both my good and bad experiences.

Particularly in these challenging times, more young PMETs are likely facing disruption in their career, many of them shouldering significant financial commitments. I hope to share ideas on how to adjust and adapt themselves along their respective paths and lead them out of the adversity they are facing now.

As a vCA, what experience/guidance would you like to provide for your advisee(s)?

These are insights I find important:

  1. Maintaining positive energy during difficult times
  2. Re-evaluating their career paths from a helicopter view
  3. Optimising their personal VIP (Values, Interest and Personality) to seek new career opportunities
  4. Leveraging initiatives from SGUnited and WSG to work towards a career change or upskilling for a better career

Do you have a mentor/advisor in your career journey? Could you share more with us how your mentor/advisor has supported your career growth?

I had a few good supervisors who helped me pave my career and guided me towards success by being role models themselves. Skills I learnt from these mentors include juggling finer details with the bigger picture, balancing hard skills versus soft skills, managing different types of bosses, peers and subordinates, and handling potential crises.

Ms Lee Mee Nee

Project Manager
UTAC

What made you interested to join the WSG’s volunteer Career Advisors initiative?

I have been working in the semiconductor industry for over 20 years, covering product test engineering, quality engineering, new test product introduction from initial prototype sample build to final product launch, and readying for mass production. My current function requires direct interface with customers. I hope to give back to the industry by sharing insights and skillsets from my rich background.       

As a vCA, what experience/guidance would you like to provide for your advisee(s)?

I hope to instill interest in the younger generation to join the semiconductor industry. I want to share semiconductor industry trends, not just the technical aspect of work but also importance of the right soft skills.

Soft skills help us overcome challenging situations in the working world. In my current job as a Test NPI Manager, I frequently coach new hires, so that they are equipped with necessary product transfer knowledge, as well as knowhow to meet required project deliverables according to planned timeline, address different stakeholders’ expectations, and resolve conflicts arising at the workplace.

Do you have a mentor/advisor in your career journey? Could you share more with us how your mentor/advisor has supported your career growth?

I count past and present reporting officers as my mentors, having gained a lot from them in many ways. They have been very open and generous in sharing their experiences and industry knowledge through my working years. They have also been instrumental in defining who I am today, inspiring me to persist in my journey within this industry. Quoting one of my former supervisors: “Everyone is a leader in his/her own way. Strive to become a better you.”

Mr Timothy Phua

Senior Manager,
Foundry Sourcing,
NXP

What made you interested to join the volunteer Career Advisors initiative?

I came across many electronics engineering students eventually not taking up roles in the

electronics industry. This is possibly why we are experiencing widening skill gaps and talent crunch in Singapore, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. vCA is a good initiative where I can share the “ups-and-downs” with people who like to know more about this sector and hopefully, I can be a guide post for them prior to joining the industry.

As a vCA, what experience/guidance would you like to provide for your advisee(s)?

I am an example of someone who left, returned to the electronics industry and am still

contributing actively. I like to share my experience of my journey in the electronics ecosystem. Hopefully, my assignee can benefit from a better understanding and right mindset of this industry.

Do you have a mentor/advisor in your career journey? Could you share more with us how your mentor/advisor has supported your career growth?

There are many people whom I have crossed paths with, who were my mentor or advisor in one way or another. I am grateful for their willingness to share and believing in me. For example, one of them gave me an opportunity to take on a new role despite my not having prior knowledge or experience. When I probed why I was chosen, I was told “knowledge and experience can be accumulated as long as you have the right attitude”. This has left a deep impression on me since, that a right attitude will indeed get you going even when you enter unchartered territories.

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SSIA