Categories
Analytics Innovation Marketing

3 Key Skills for the Digitally Transformed Economy

I was recently listening to a news report in 2020 by Singapore state-owned media CNA, where Chief HR Officer of Singapore University of Technological Design, Dr Jaclyn Lee, outlined three of the most important skills to have in this new digital economy:

  1. Analytical and Computational Thinking Skills
  2. Innovation and Thinking out of the box
  3. Social Media Marketing

The interview particularly resonated with me as these are the skills which I have previously identified were important for my career development and listed as my top 3 skills on LinkedIn, and also in the summary statement too (Social Media is one form of Digital!) As my blog was created with the specific purpose to educate juniors and adult learners on analytics, innovation and marketing, I believed that it would be apt to share from my experience how I managed to build up my Analytics, Innovation and Social Media knowledge.

1. Analytics and Computational Thinking

Analytical skills has been around for the longest time, we may not know it, but the critical learning skills we have been exposed to all our lives also applies in terms of analytics.

For me, I acquired my analytics skills from my Business Analytics Education at Nanyang Business School! There are also several other Universities like National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University which has analytics courses as well!

Another way to gain this knowledge is from online courses. Coursera, EdX, Udemy are examples of online sites with free courses. In Singapore, the WSQ also offers adult learning courses in multiple courses including analytics and computational thinking!

To hear more about why I decided to specialise in Business Analytics, do read this post!

I also used my analytics knowledge to decipher the content of spam comments here!

2. Innovation

My experience with innovation is that the responsibility to build innovation lies in yourself. I always believed that I am an out-of-box thinker who will constantly find new ways to do things. These are some ways you could try improving on innovation!

I. Find new ways to do a project

Have you completed a work project or an assignment at school before and performed well? Now, think of another approach you could try to achieve the same, if not a better outcome. Many people would think that the end result is always important. While the end result is important, I always believe that the process is as well. Sometimes, I find myself consistently asking how I can do something better. While it does not always work, the thought process is also a good learning opportunity.

II. Get yourself more exposure to multiple fields

This may seem counter-intuitive to many who are interested in building their career in a one-track path, but from my experience, this was one way where I had the exposure to more innovation. I was fortunate to be able to do three MNC internships, where I had the exposure to the human resource, market research, product marketing and digital marketing functions, in the automotive, information technology and medical device industries. If you require some assistance in securing more MNC internships, do read this post!

I also had the chance to try out the consumer goods, retail and e-commerce industry at the same time by running my own startup, EcoTumble, where we offered Food Storage and Drinkware Solutions. While I was in charge of the marketing function, it was also important to learn how everything came together. Therefore, I also had the chance to take part in logistics, procurement, sales and strategy aspects of the business. I did this as part of the Minor in Entrepreneurship Programme in NTU, which I felt was a transformative experience and definitely recommend!

III. Always keep a continuous learning mindset

Adding a new point after having had a week of e-learning as a work incentive. As the saying goes, change is the only constant. In order to keep abreast of what our customer needs, we need to not only constantly change the environment, but also ourselves. In order to expose to more open innovation, learning is an integral part of it all. I had the chance to look through some of my general paper notes in junior college and realised the opportunity to read widely allowed me to learn so much more about how various parts of the economy are intertwined together in order to deliver value to consumers. Ultimately, innovation brings a solution to a unique problem that is faced based on changes in the economy.

3. Social Media Marketing

For people who grew up as digital natives, social media should be nothing foreign to us. For those who did not have the privilege of being exposed to social media since young, it is not too late to begin!

I have used social media since 2009, for my personal use, for my startup and also during my internship at KaVo Kerr.

Regardless of whether you have used social media before, there are some steps which can be followed. Here are some which crosses my mind:

I. Knowing your own personal brand

The first step to social media is knowing your own personal brand, what you stand for. For instance, I am personally interested in Analytics, Innovation and Marketing, and I want to help more people understand these fields!

II. Determine your Social Media Mix

The second step is to determine which social media to use. For instance, I would like more people to understand these fields which I am interested in, very academic fields. Therefore, I decided to turn to writing to get the knowledge across. The social channels which I have decided to use, which differs for what kinds of audience I want, is through LinkedIn (for Adult Learners) and Instagram (for the Student Population. I do occasionally use Twitter and Facebook to try to build Search Engine Traffic, still in the experimental stage, perhaps I might elaborate some day!

III. Decide on a posting schedule

The third step is to plan when to post. In order for social media to work, you will need to ensure that your readers/viewers are consistently engaged. This will keep them as returning users as your content is something which interests them. For instance, I have decided that on Mondays, I would post an Analytics or work-related post for my viewers to look forward to. I also wanted Friday as a leisure post day but it might prove to be tough as I am holding a full-time job as well and these posts do take up considerable time. Hence, it is important to also see not just what you want, but what is also theoretically possible from your schedule and nature of work!

That said I have not really prepared other posts on social media yet! Do let me know in the comments section on what kinds of social media posts you are interested in, or if you would like any elaboration on each of the paragraphs!

Sounds really daunting? It takes that first step to start learning and growing!

P.S. The links in this post are not sponsored.

If you liked this page, do bookmark this site, orĀ follow us on our LinkedIn page.

Want to build analytics into your management decisions? This post may be for you.

Want to build other core and relevant skills? Do look at this post!

Want to track your website traffic using Google Analytics? This post shows you how.

Image Credits: Photo by NASA on Unsplash
Original Post: 3 Aug 2020, Updated 27 Jun 2021

Categories
Management

University Internship Search Guide (Tips from 3 MNC Experiences)

Hello everyone! It’s me again. I understood from a few of my NTU NBS juniors that first year students are now required to do a compulsory internship as part of their curriculum. I am sure many of the other universities will start to have this requirement in place, and even if there is none, I definitely encourage you to think of how you can make full use of your time.

I did not have a year 1 Summer Internship unlike many of my peers so if you are reading this and did not manage to secure an internship in your first year, you are not alone! Here are some steps which you can take to find your internship.

1. Have a Good Resume or Portfolio with Unique Value Proposition

The first thing you need is your job hunt apparatus — your resume. I heard of many formats in the resume which may or may not work, but personally when I was looking for internships and my graduate job, I used the one page resume format. Some key parts to include is Education, Skills (Especially when you have no work experience), Work Experience, Projects, Co-curricular Leadership and Achievements.

However, the key focus is not on the format, but how your resume tells a story. Personally, I took a Business Analytics and Entrepreneurship Undergraduate Degree with an intention to apply these skills in management. Having the technical skills on my resume without work experience helped me in getting my resume spotted by the hiring manager for a Regional Talent Management role at my first internship company, Schaeffler, a German MNC operating in the Automotive industry. As for my other internships, I believe that most of my interviewers also looked at my co-curricular leadership as well as achievements in making the holistic decision to shortlist my resume for interview. One way to do it is to focus on what is transferrable to the job. With a business analytics degree, I am well-positioned to join almost any business function of any sector since it is a very broad and general degree with the technical power to do wonders in many functions and sectors.

If you need some reference, I recently ported most of my resume to my own portfolio site. If you need help refining your resume, do drop me a note in the comments section below or reach me through my LinkedIn! Do let me know you reached me through this blogpost!

2. Prepare a Good Cover Letter Format

In all honesty, when I found my first internship, I did not use a cover letter. However, I found out that after hunting for my subsequent internships and full time job, I had a higher rate of success whenever I included a cover letter in my applications. So please prepare a cover letter.

Each cover letter should be in a specific format which the recruiter wants to see. It is not merely sharing about your value proposition, but about how your value proposition aligns with the job description provided by the employer.

The general rule of thumb I have when writing a cover letter is to write it accordingly to the job description. This will do your recruiters a great favour when they comb through the many job applications for the particular role.

Same as before if you need assistance, do drop me a note in the comments or LinkedIn!

3. Utilise the resources you have in the Job Hunt

For starters, here are some resources which you can use during your job hunt:

A. Career Services Office(s) in your University

In Singapore, most local universities have a dedicated career office. Some like NBS has an extra one in the school for dual job search prospects! These career offices have dedicated career coaches and advisors who can help you with your career planning as well as internship search. Do reach out to them early!

The career services offices in my alma-mater also have exclusive job portals, CareerAxis and CareerFit for NTU and NBS respectively to help students with their internship and full-time positions.

B. Job Portals

To gain more possible avenues for internships and jobs, especially from the hiring freezes due to COVID-19,