A drive to excel at their job and keep abreast of industry developments are some of the things that 29-year-old Kelly Soh and 30-year-old Jerry Lim have in common. With a passion for the ins-and-outs of fibre infrastructure, they strive to equip themselves with knowledge so as to contribute to Singapore’s future as a smart nation.
Soh Ker Lee Kelly
(Operations, Implementation & Maintenance)
How did you envision your academic qualifications and interests fitting in NetLink Trust when you joined them?
Kelly: I graduated from Singapore Polytechnic with a Diploma in Electrical & Electronics Engineering, specializing in computer and communication. This has provided me with comprehensive knowledge of what an engineer does in the hardware and software aspects of computer engineering, electronic instrumentation, and telecommunication. NLT plays a key role in Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (NGNBN) and I’m a part of the fibre rollout team, responsible for the designing, building, operating, and maintenance of the passive fibre network infrastructure in Singapore. My job involves a lot of coordination works between internal and external parties, conducting in-depth statistical analyses to pre-empt potential delays, identifying root causes, and solving problems.
Jerry: I studied IT during my polytechnic days. Working with NLT has been very different from what I pictured myself doing. I first encountered “fibre” in 2013. Back then, NetLink Trust was known as OpenNet. Reading up on how fibre infrastructure works greatly piqued my interest because of how such a small strand of fibre can transmit data over great distances. In a nutshell, one thing led to another. I applied for a position with NLT and was successfully hired as an Associate Engineer in the Service Provisioning Department. The rest, as they say, is history.
You have been with the company for 5-10 years. What is it about the organisation that you like?
Kelly: I appreciate the support and guidance that I have received from my boss and the peers that I work with. NLT invests in external training for employees, which has allowed me to further enhance the skills and knowledge required for my job, as well as my personal development. Another reason I enjoy working here is the work-life balance. NLT’s recreation club organises fun activities such as bowling, basketball, and BBQ sessions for staff bonding. This makes working here more enjoyable.
Jerry: One of my favourite core values of the company is teamwork. We all share the same motivation in bringing fibre to Singapore and everyone works together to do so. Another thing I like is the multicultural environment we have at NLT. Our workforce is around 300-strong and we have many people from different countries working across the different departments. Although we may have some differences here and there, we still work in tandem to ensure that service provisioning is successful.
Share with us your progression journey in the last 5-10 years.
Kelly: I started off as an Engineering Officer and was promoted gradually over the years to an Associate Engineer, Senior Associate Engineer, and then an Engineer. When I first became a Senior Associate Engineer, I was tasked to handle fault management which includes understanding the operational (physical) work, handling fault restoration, monitoring network performance trends, and end-to-end project tracking for the operation team. There were a lot of responsibilities and it was a big challenge for me, but thankfully, my boss and colleagues guided me, sharing with me their experiences and knowledge. NLT has also provided me with all the necessary trainings, equipping me with the skills needed so that I can be confident in my work.
Jerry: I started as an Associate Engineer where my role was to provide backend support to the residential team. I slowly moved on to other roles and was involved in projects providing connections for surveillance cameras, wireless base stations and in-building as well as outdoor sensors. After few years of working and gaining recognition among my peers, I was promoted to a team-lead role, supervising a team of 11 for the Service Provisioning Department. This promotion has also provided me with an opportunity to grow and learn how to manage people with different job scopes.
Lim Chong Huat Jerry
Senior Associate Engineer
What advice do you have for students from your alma mater to build a career at NLT?
Kelly: Working at NLT provides you the opportunity to learn about the latest technology in the telecommunications field, and allows you to contribute to national projects. The people at NLT are also very easy to work with; it’s a friendly environment here. NLT also provides a stable job with good career prospects and ample recognition from the bosses.
Jerry: One of the key points that our Prime Minister brought up in the 2017 National Day Rally was making Singapore a Smart Nation. For this to happen, high speed fibre broadband needs to be the foundation for the network. NLT, which manages the fibre network infrastructure, will definitely soar to greater heights to contribute to Singapore’s vision. NLT is, without a doubt, the best place to build your career if you have an interest in fibre network.