In this series, we share the stories of unique individuals from SCALA’s Career Conversion Programmes (CCPs) whose mid-career switch to the Logistics and Supply Chain sector inspire.
I am Vikaraman. Here is my story of how I became a Technology Innovator in Logistics.
As an executive in the Innovation and Corporate Development department of YCH, I oversee and lead innovative projects that value-add to the company’s operations and technology infrastructure that are pivotal in cementing YCH’s position as Singapore’s largest homegrown supply chain and logistics firm.
Transferable Skills and Knowledge
I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, and a Master’s in Management. After working for a number of years, I discovered my passion in technology and innovations.
When the opportunity came to join the Innovation and Corporate Development team at YCH, I grabbed it without hesitation. Although I did not have the relevant experience in the industry, I had sufficient transferable skills and knowledge. Highlighting these, coupled with my growth mindset and positive learning attitude, helped me to stand out from the other applicants.
Logistics Training Course for New Hires
Upon joining YCH, while I was able to apply my existing skills in the role, my lack of experience in the industry meant that I was unable to develop to my fullest potential. I had to quickly fill up my experience gap in the logistics industry. To accelerate my learning, YCH placed me in the Logistics Career Conversion Programme offered by SCALA.
This is a skills-focus logistics training course for new hires like myself as It provides eight industry-accredited modules which focus on practical skills and knowledge that employers require. Together with about ten other career switchers who were enrolled in the programme by their employers, I learnt about topics such as, Supply Chain Solutioning, Automation Technology, Logistics and Operations Planning, that were essential to my role in the Supply Chain and Logistics industry.
Minimal Disruption from Work (and My Precious Weekends)
I was only required to attend classes over two-and-a-half days every month, minimizing the amount of time I am away from my work. In-person classes were held at Supply Chain City, but when Covid-19 landed on our shores, all classes were shifted online.
With online classes, the instructors improved the curriculum to make the sessions more engaging so that we do not feel the difference from face-to-face classes. By doubling the time allocated for discussions and including even more practical examples from the industry, they ensured that we still had the best and full experience despite the unfortunate pandemic circumstances.
I felt that the experiential learning experience with assessments that allowed us to directly apply the theoretical knowledge taught in the curriculum into practical action was very valuable. Additionally, some of the real-life examples and experiences my course mates have shared allowed me to reflect and consider the new ways we could bring in innovative technologies into YCH to benefit our operations.
Mentors with Decades of Experience in Logistics
The programme also provides a mentor who guides and supports me over the 9 months. The mentor provides 1-1 counselling and career guidance. It was really assuring to know that I have someone I could easily turn to whenever I needed expert advice on any difficulties related to my work in the Supply Chain and Logistics industry. Their moral support and guidance were very helpful and crucial for career switchers like me in uncharted waters.
Final Reflections about the Industry
Not many people outside of the Logistics industry realise how technology driven and forward looking it is. As compared to a decade ago, the digital transformation through the integration of automation and robotics, among other innovative technologies, has advanced the Logistics landscape at such an exponential and unprecedented rate that was unimaginable years before.
My journey ever since joining the industry has been exciting as I had the opportunity to network with many innovative logistics professionals transforming the industry using the latest technology.
I am as hungry as when I first began my Supply Chain and Logistics journey a year ago, and more eager than ever to learn more knowledge and gain new skills that would empower me to make a positive impact in the industry.
Help chart new careers with the Career Conversion Programmes. Find out more at: https://www.scala.com.sg/pcp