Assistant Manager, Corporate Development, Marine Services Division
"At work, there is open communication, regardless of rank and seniority. Many of my mentors and colleagues focus on lessons learnt, rather than the mistakes made. "
Why did you choose to join SPO’s Management Trainee (MT) programme?
I’ve always enjoyed multi-disciplinary learning as it allows me to learn more, appreciate the bigger picture and make objective decisions. Given that SPO is part of the Swire conglomerate and the MT programme promises a structured learning programme across different functions and locations in SPO’s business, joining the SPO MT programme was a no-brainer for me.
Can you recall some memorable moments at work?
There are too many moments to recall! I have been extremely lucky to have worked in SPO’s subsidiary, Swire Blue Ocean, in Copenhagen, Denmark for six months as part of my job rotation as MT. I was given the opportunity to spend 18 days on board the company’s world-class windfarm installation vessel (WIV), the Pacific Orca. During that time, I also witnessed first-hand the installation of offshore wind turbines and even had my first taste of flying in a helicopter for a crew change.
Willis with one of SPO's windfarm installation vessels in the background.
Willis with the SPO Malaysia team during one of his rotation as part of his Management Trainee rotation programme.
As part of the fundraising efforts in support of seafarers organised by the Sailors’ Society, I participated in a hiking expedition together with colleagues from SPO and our sister company, The China Navigation Company (CNCo) and we successfully conquered Mount Fansipan in Vietnam. It was memorable as we raised funds for the worthy cause to support seafarers and I’ve made many new friends in the wider Swire family beyond my usual work circle!
Why do you like working in SPO?
The people and the friendly and conducive work culture make work enjoyable. It is easy to make good friends in the company as everyone is very friendly and approachable; it’s very much like a big family here. At work, there is open communication, regardless of rank and seniority. Many of my mentors and colleagues focus on lessons learnt, rather than the mistakes made. This is a huge plus as it encourages new joiners like me to step out of my comfort zone and be confident to raise questions at work.
Willis taking a group shot with his fellow crew members during his vessel trip as part of his rotation.
What are your biggest takeaways from the MT programme so far?
On a personal level, I’ve learnt the value of humility, which is one of the corporate values of SPO. The learning opportunities and work exposure throughout the MT programme have allowed me to interact and work alongside people of diverse specialisations, backgrounds and nationalities. I’ve been fortunate to be able to hold open and sincere conversations with those I work with and have learnt a lot in the progress. SPO, like its parent company, Swire, has a strong learning culture and I’m constantly learning on the job, regardless of which department I’m assigned to.