Good food is very often an adventure in itself – from trawling through the intricate web of food reviews, to taking multiple flat lay photos before taking the first bite. Together with Eunice, we found ourselves enjoying some treats on a little food adventure at Tiong Bahru Bakery while learning about CapitaLand's Graduate Development Programme.
Why did you choose CapitaLand out of this buffet spread of career options?
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do at first, which I’m sure many graduates will be able to relate and understand.
I always had wide-ranging interest in the real estate scene and pictured myself playing a part in shaping Singapore’s landscape. After doing my research in that space, I thought CapitaLand’s Graduate Development Programme (GDP) offered a good depth for me to explore my interests. CapitaLand is a well-established home brand with many properties worldwide, and the global exposure was a really big draw for me.
How would you describe your CapitaLand experience using the five taste profiles – sweet, salty, sour, bitter, umami? Why?
I had a good mix of experiences that can be summed up in three taste profiles.
Umami – A taste of home and a sense of warmth. Through this programme, I’m thankful to have met many great colleagues along the way who’ve been really kind in guiding me, many of whom I consider them as friends today.
Bitter and a pinch of Salt – On the other spectrum, I’ve encountered my fair share of challenges and come to realise that a lot of hard work goes into making things work well.
This unique combination comes together to make the ‘dish’ more flavourful, which ultimately has more substance at the end of the day. It all comes together in one full circle and I feel that the GDP has made me a better person.
"I see the good in people and I aspire to be a changemaker in their lives."
If you have to name a dish to describe each of your rotations in your GDP stint, what would it be and why?
My three rotations would be like:
Korean Ramen – a spicy broth with quick-to-cook noodles.
I was attached to the CapitaLand Regional Investment team and learnt a great deal about the different markets in the region and interacting with people from varied background and cultures. It was a challenging yet rewarding time that reminded me of comfort food– delicious and satisfying.
Poké Bowl – a colourful mix of fresh and raw ingredients.
With the asset value creation and management team at CapitaLand Commercial, I had room to experiment with new ideas and was exposed to multiple projects. A few years back, the coworking concept was a new buzzword and not much was known of it. Together with the team, we did a deep dive to better understand our customers' needs. We have since launched a few programmes and we are now ready to unveil our new 'office of the future' ecosystem, which will be ready in phases from 1Q 2019.
Fragrant white rice – a staple that completes the meal.
When I was part of CapitaLand Mall Trust’s Investment and Asset Management team, I gained a better sense of the fundamentals in real estate, learning skillsets such as property valuations and asset planning. I also had the chance to learn first-hand how to crunch data by working closely with CapitaLand’s data analysts, making hypotheses and drawing insights.
With your experience in curating an office of the future, what’s brewing next for the mobile workforce?
Enabling companies and their staff with more flexibility is the way to go.
Going forward, companies are looking for more flexible solutions for the workspace and will be looking to property owners to provide greater support.
Landlords have to start engaging individuals and home in on creating experiences to inspire and attract talents. This can be done by curating an environment that provides an avenue for people to convene, and further enhance that through fun, cool and exciting community events.
The fast-changing economic cycle results in more companies needing the ability and agility to move and react quickly, in the form of ad-hoc spaces for example. Technology is quintessential in this equation. Corporations and developers will need to go beyond collecting data; they need to make sense of this information to better understand their customers and enhance user experiences.
Can you give us a taste of what our workplace would look like? Will there be a greater blend of cafes and offices?
Good coffee is important to me, at least!
There is more room, and a bigger need for a good cuppa’ in the workplace, as it helps fuel the individuals. A cafe within the office environment also helps to fulfil a multitude of functions – for people to hang out, eat and have meetings – and I really like the variety of choices a cafe can provide.
In the example of Capital Tower, CapitaLand is redeveloping its Level 9 by bringing in more lifestyle elements that will add more value to the office environment. By creating new touchpoints for employees, it also serves to energise the community as a whole.
During your time here at CapitaLand, describe a special memory that you have with food.
Yonanas! It’s essentially a dessert maker, where you get a frozen treat with just fresh fruits.
A bunch of my teammates held a little Yonanas party and we served up some really delightful soft-serves – using bananas, blueberries and raspberries.
Perhaps we can offer a cold-pressed juice or dessert subscription for our 'office of the future' community?
What is your favourite meal of the day? Why?
Lunch! There are a lot of good food options in the Central Business District. More importantly, I get to enjoy a good meal with people I enjoy spending time with.
I think it is so satisfying to fulfil food cravings and be in good company. Eat when you want to, with people you love and for me, that's the best feeling in the world.
Coffee, Cakes or Croissants, what’s your favourite item from Tiong Bahru Bakery? Why?
My favourite has to be their croissants!
The matcha-flavoured croissant has a good mix of crisp almonds and a nice sweet taste of matcha filling that balances out the flavours. I would definitely recommend it to my friends!
The lemon tart deserves a special mention too. It has the perfect balance of sweet and sour, a definite pick-me-up after a meal. .
Having your cake and eating it too – how has the CapitaLand GDP experience helped build your dreams?
Before the GDP, I was a blank canvas about what real estate and management is. Now, I seek to make a real impact in the world we live in, in whatever that I do.
Through my experience with the programme and its diverse offerings, I have a more profound understanding of my strengths and weaknesses. I had a lot of opportunities to work with good colleagues, which really helped build my people skills. When faced with a tough challenge, I also have the ability to tap into this invaluable network within the company to find solutions and get things done.
Amusingly enough, I wanted to be a policewoman when I was a kid, perhaps something along the lines of wanting to make a difference.
I see the good in people and I aspire to be a changemaker in their lives.