Lih Ting started her career in Shell Singapore after her graduating from the Master of Science in Industrial Chemistry program in 2007. The Verbinden team speaks with her to find out more about her career journey thus far.
Hi Lih Ting! Can you tell us about yourself and what you are currently doing?
Lih Ting: Hi! I studied a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering at NUS prior to getting my Master of Science degree in Industrial Chemistry at TUM Asia. After graduating, I was accepted into Shell’s graduate technical program and that marked the beginning of my career with Shell. I have since been with Shell for eleven years and have taken various roles, such as being a Technologist with Singapore Bukom refinery, Vietnam Country Technical Advisor and Asia Bitumen Pricing and Marketing Manager. Currently, I am doing pricing for our products in Asia and I am also accountable for all the main products from some of Shell’s largest refineries globally.
What made you decide to further your studies after your Bachelor’s degree?
Lih Ting: After completing my Bachelor’s degree, I found that the job market was restrictive and there was not much room for career development in this field. I wanted to work in a job that I could be passionate about, but I could not find one in the opportunities available then. Thus, I started looking out for opportunities to further my studies which will broaden the job opportunities available to me. I was fortunate to find the course that I really liked in TUM Asia. TUM is well-known in the technical areas and the course lecturers are extremely well-respected in their fields of expertise. The course also gave me a chance to expose myself to an entirely new culture, new language and new experiences. Thus, I jumped at the opportunity and was glad to obtain a scholarship from Degussa for my Master’s degree at TUM Asia.
Looking back, how would you describe your education journey at TUM Asia?
Lih Ting: My education journey in TUM Asia was nothing short of fulfilling. The course is holistic, aiming to develop students to their fullest potential and to be ready for the work force in the areas of individual’s interests. From industrial-relevant course work to internships, I enjoyed every step of the journey as the program was able to prepare me for my future career ahead.
Do you find that your Masters education has prepared you for your current job responsibilities and your career path?
Lih Ting: I was first introduced to Wacker Chemicals from Professor Plank, who taught our construction chemistry class. I was very intrigued by his lessons and the aspect of chemistry that he taught. He helped to link me up with Wacker Chemicals and recommended me for an internship position with them. He helped to open the door to my career and I am really grateful to have encountered caring professors like him.
“From industrial-relevant course work to internships, I enjoyed every step of the journey as the program was able to prepare me for my future career ahead.”
Did you choose this career path specifically?
Lih Ting: To be honest, it was not something that I had it all planned out when I graduated. It was more of a discovery process about myself, to learn what I enjoyed doing and what I feel I could really excel in. It also helped a lot that I was offered overseas assignments over the years which allow me to broaden my knowledge both in a work and personal capacity.
Tell us what keeps you motivated at work, after being in the workforce for eleven years now?
Lih Ting: Never stop learning! Since joining the workforce, I find myself learning every day, be it new knowledge, new market movements or even a new culture. Everything is changing at such fast pace that the only thing that is a constant is change. It is of vital importance we keep ourselves relevant to the society, the world doesn’t wait.
As TUM Asia turns 15 this year, share your thoughts with us!
Lih Ting: I used this quote in my graduation speech and the same quote still applies to all fellow TUM Asia Alumni: “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” (Ralph W Emerson) Regardless of your age, I would encourage students and alumni to constantly explore new opportunities and always keep a curious mind while enjoying your life and your work.
Voon Lih Ting is a graduate in the joint TUM-NUS Master of Science in Industrial Chemistry programme. More information about the programme here >>
This interview was published in the Verbinden Spring 2018 issue >>
Interested students may apply for the Master of Science programmes from October 15 each year. Start Your Application Now>>