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Discovering the magic of real estate
Magicians never reveal their secrets. Yulianti has us spellbound as she shares her first-hand experience on building spaces for the community.
Tell us your secrets! How do you make the magic come alive as a Management Associate (MA) in the Project Development department?
There is a certain magic in seeing plans take shape! They come alive from drawings to an actual building. The project that is currently bubbling away is 79 Robinson Road - a new towering office building which will be the new home for working executives.
Variety is the spice of life and that's what I enjoy with my current role. Some days I am in the office - planning, liaising with my team. Other days, I will be out and about on site, monitoring the progress of our development.
"There is a certain magic in seeing plans take shape! They come alive from drawings to an actual building."
Did you expect to be involved in such a major project just fresh out of school?
As a fresh graduate, I was looking for an opportunity to gain more exposure and training across different functions and roles. Joining CapitaLand's Graduate Development Programme (GDP) definitely gave me this rare opportunity!
It was something which also appealed to me as a Civil Engineer from the National University of Singapore.
The programme also offers me an opportunity to do job rotations which meant that I can learn more about the real estate business from different perspectives. With each rotation, i'm able to glean first-hand insights and learn directly from supportive mentors as well as caring teammates who are always ready to share their wealth of knowledge and experiences.
Teamwork must be crucial when it comes to ensuring the success of a project of this scale. How critical do you think teamwork is?
Camaraderie and teamwork is absolutely crucial in conjuring the success of any development project. In this role, you need open communication and regular updates between different roles and functions for seamless coordination and execution.
Beyond just one project, the team requires cooperation of individuals with different technical skills so that we can also build on the knowledge and experience of our past projects.
The team I am in is very collaborative and that is essential for a project to be completed on time, within budget and with the best quality.
How about working with people outside your team?
Being in the GDP, we are involved in many other interesting and meaningful projects outside of our scope of work. My fellow MAs and I were tasked with a project to look at ways to improve the organisation.
Despite our different backgrounds, thought processes and working styles, we managed to create something bigger and better than what we would have achieved individually. Tapping on all the excellent ideas contributed, we came up with a presentation that we were all satisfied with.
Just like how these skyscrapers change our built environment, how has your time in CapitaLand changed you?
I think it is important to carry a sense of curiosity and adventure into both your work and personal life, but I did not expect to be taken this far out of my comfort zone!
Undeniably, it is a tad nervewrecking at first but that's how growth happens! There is no sorcery here, hard work pays off and this role has exposed me to many new experiences, and has given me more fruitful learnings and new perspectives.
Have you learnt anything fascinating about the real estate industry?
With concrete & steel, it gives the illusion that the real estate industry doesn't change. However, the real estate business landscape is one that is fast-evolving. Customer and tenants' demands are also changing rapidly and to continue to be one of the top real estate companies in Asia, we need to keep up.
For the Project Management team, we need to be nimble enough to incorporate these shifting needs into our design and construction stage for offices of the future. Being agile and flexible is definitely a key strength in these changing times.
You must be very busy at work. How do you find balance? Does your work in CapitaLand fit in with your lifestyle?
I enjoy a good sweat session during CapitaLand's Wellness Wednesday initiatives. We can sign up for fun runs around the Central Business District or even pilates and boxing classes held in the office.
For me, a good exercise regime is not only good for overall health, but also helps me perform better at work and increases my productivity. I feel that I can think more creatively when I'm more active. The best part - I get to meet new colleagues and make new friends in CapitaLand when I take part in these activities.
No matter how busy you are at work, it is important to have some time to yourself. It helps in clearing your mind and decluttering your thoughts.
Like you're 'Marie Kondo-ing' your mind?
This often comes as a surprise for others... but I actually enjoy organising and decluttering in my free time too. I'd even say that organising is my hobby!
I moved to Singapore from Indonesia 10 years ago. Since then, I have moved homes quite a couple of times and I have always found the process of packing, organising and decluttering to be quite a marathon.
To save myself the hassle of going through every single room, cabinet, drawer and evaluating what I want to keep, sell, or donate - I've decided that it's best to constantly review my belongings.
After going through my possessions for a couple of times, I've realised there is actually a lot of items I can live without.
This is my way of continually editing and curating my life!
Wow! So if you had to pick just one quote or mantra that motivates you, what would it be? What has resonated with you?
James Cameron once said, "If you set your goals ridiculously high and it's a failure, you will fail above everyone else's success."
This has helped me get through my studies and I believe it will continue to shape and motivate me as I continue in my journey in CapitaLand, and through many more milestones in my life.
Lastly, any tips for fresh graduates thinking about joining CapitaLand?
Be open to new ideas and always challenge yourself to learn and do more than what you think you are capable of.