Grace Ho 

Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications

"SPO has a healthy work-life balance and promotes active contribution to society through corporate volunteering events."

Why did you choose to join SPO’s Management Trainee programme? 
I was attracted to the global opportunities that SPO offers. Having relatives in Hong Kong, I’ve long heard of Swire’s reputation as a well-respected business conglomerate with diverse businesses. I believed that SPO’s sound reputation in the global maritime industry would allow me the chance to gain comprehensive and varied work exposure. 

Can you recall some memorable moments at work? 
When I joined SPO after my graduation from university in 2017, my first big challenge was to prepare a draft speech for one of our Directors that was to be delivered at the large-scale Salvage & Wreck Asia Conference held in Singapore. As I graduated with a degree in marketing and communications, I did not have sufficient commercial and technical knowledge. To prepare the draft speech, I had to research heavily and read through numerous reports to ascertain the accuracy of technical jargons and industry abbreviations as well as glean insights of past industry examples and case studies. The learning curve was steep but it was a great learning opportunity. 

My six-month rotation in our subsidiary company, Swire Seabed in Bergen, Norway was another memorable work experience. Prior to joining the company, I would not have imagined that I would have the chance to stay and work in a Scandinavian country at the start of my career. It was also the first time that I lived abroad on my own, without my parents and close friends by my side. Initially, I was a little apprehensive about being in a foreign land by myself but my colleagues in Swire Seabed were nothing short of welcoming. 

During one of the coldest days during my stay, I remember spending a heart-warming afternoon bonding with my colleagues as we baked trays of Pepperkaker (Norwegian gingerbread cookies) for the entire office. My overseas work stint in Bergen taught me invaluable life lessons – I learnt to be more introspective, to adapt to a working environment in a different cultural setting and to appreciate the differences between Norway and Singapore. To me, it was a fulfilling learning journey and I am grateful to have experienced it.

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Grace (middle) with a watercolour painting that she drew for the SPO's HSSEQ team as a gesture of goodwill for their support and guidance during her rotation.

Why do you like working for SPO? 
I appreciate the company’s strong emphasis to cultivate a learning culture and the resources invested to develop every employee’s potential. The management team appreciates employees who are curious and willing to learn. I am fortunate to have worked with nice managers who played the role of mentors at work and in life. SPO has a healthy work-life balance and promotes active contribution to society through corporate volunteering events.

What are your biggest takeaways from this programme so far? 
One of the biggest takeaways is the diverse exposure that I’ve gained from the varied work opportunities given to me. The departmental rotation exposed me to different working styles and the chance to work with people from various walks of life and specialisations. The six-month posting to Swire Seabed in Bergen, Norway, broadened my perspectives and gave me the opportunity to experience work life abroad.

It is important that the Management Trainees get the opportunity to experience different facets of the business in order to understand the company’s processes. The global exposure in the outports also help us develop cultural sensitivities and understand the business challenges that the other offices face. These work opportunities allow us to develop and hone our people skills to prepare us for future tasks and roles.