China. Tanzania. Kenya. I was always moving around with my family when I was younger. With an appetite for travelling and adventure, I completed my studies in the UK. After that, it was only natural for me to pursue a career that gave me the chance to explore and experience new places.
I’ve been extremely lucky to have worked in Hong Kong and Singapore for smart, honest, hard-working managers such as the General Manager of Cargo Sales & Marketing, General Manager of Southeast Asia, and the Chief Operating Officer at Cathay Pacific. They have had full confidence in me, advocated for me throughout my journey, and encouraged me to take on new projects.
Some of the job roles I have taken on include working shifts at the Hong Kong airport check-in, attending sales meetings, working on initiatives and building rapport with customers at the Head Office Cargo Hong Kong.
In my fourth year in Swire, I still get to encounter endless opportunities, welcoming faces, and open doors in countries I’ve never been to before. I can’t think of another company that can give me that.
Currently as Port Manager in Hanoi & Danang, Vietnam, a lot of the time is spent training and developing my team of 30 people. I also present ideas and produce workshops on a regular basis. And recently, I was honoured to receive an invitation to speak about the cargo industry and trends at the Hanoi Global Logistics Conference. I have become more comfortable and confident speaking in front of people. This is only one of the many things I have learnt at Swire, and I’m certain there’s still a lot to learn wherever I move to next.
The House Staff Management Trainee Programme has taught me the importance of being able to step out of your comfort zone. With plenty of opportunities to work on different things here, it’s the best way to challenge yourself and gain new skills to grow. I don’t have a financial background but because I’m heavily involved in budgeting, I’ve had to step up to the plate and learn quickly. What was once daunting is now enjoyable. And as part of the programme, I am preparing for my CIMA certificate level exams.
As a Property Officer in Taikoo Place, Hong Kong’s largest wholly-owned Office Development, a memorable project I was involved with was installing EV chargers in the building’s car park to improve sustainability and give our tenants a better experience. EV chargers were new to me, so I took time beforehand to research and learn as much as I could about this breakthrough technology. I was there from the beginning to the end of the installation process, so was lucky to watch an idea grow from some rough sketches into the real thing, which also helps the environment.
My next challenge? Marketing in Hong Kong, but following that I could be posted to a different department in Hong Kong or possibly somewhere in China. I studied Mandarin at university and have spent some time in Shanghai so am relishing the chance to put it into practice again. There are endless opportunities to continuously grow, learn and develop outside my comfort zone.
I always enjoy taking on new challenges and the Swire Management Trainee programme is exactly what I was looking for.
The first few months were probably the toughest but most rewarding. In Swire Beverages, I was given responsibility for around 200 customers in Xiamen, selling all sorts of Coca-Cola products to supermarkets, small restaurants and everything in between. To learn the role, I job shadowed a senior sales representative for a month. It looked simple enough, but when it came to selling on my own, it was almost impossible to sell anything. I spoke to my bosses and was advised on the importance of creating and nurturing “Guanxi”, or “Relationships”. That’s what the other sales representatives did, so that’s what I challenged myself to do too. Soon after, the more I bonded and understood my customers, the more Coca-Cola products I sold.
After my time in sales, I was posted to Swire Coca-Cola Taiwan as a Customer Logistics Specialist creating value for our customers with supply chain initiatives. However, some process issues were identified. I raised this and explained to my manager what needed to be done to rectify the problems. Right away, a new department was formed called Business Process Improvement and that’s how I got my current position as a Business Process Specialist.
And that is a great thing about Swire. They really value their people and ensure we have a high level of autonomy and responsibility. Applying for this Management Trainee programme is perhaps one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has led me to the type of challenges I was looking for.
During my final year at university I decided that a career in chemistry wasn't for me. I wanted a broader skill set and I wanted adventure. By joining Swire's Management Trainee Programme I knew I would have a genuine opportunity to rotate, develop and grow in different areas of the business, and in different parts of the world. I now work in Marine Services and my role can take me to another country at a moment's notice. Having been based in New Zealand for the last year, I have just relocated to Papua New Guinea where I work as Marketing Manager for Swire Shipping. Even my induction was an unforgettable adventure – a three-week voyage through Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, where I travelled port-to-port with the crew visiting the various local offices and agents along the way. The frequent relocation provides good opportunities to try new things. I've managed to keep active in my host cities so far, and have taken part in a variety of sports. It's tough to know what lies ahead, and you can never truly prepare yourself for it, but the short notice professional and cultural change ensures a steep learning curve, and provides challenges which can often be far disconnected from your usual day to day.