Employee Story – Career Development by Summer Tong

MyDBSJournet - Career Development

How many decades are there in one’s life, particularly working life? We had a chat with Summer Tong, from Risk Management Group (RMG) – Operational Risk, to know more about how he takes charge his own career by stepping out of the comfort zone to navigate within the bank.

“Almost 10 years ago, I wanted to make a change in my career. I found an opening in DBS’ Credit Control Unit of RMG. I was impressed by my first manager in DBS who interviewed me at that time. It was really a joyful interview as she was very cheerful and made me at ease to share my work experience and aspiration. She also mentioned both good and challenging parts of the role which made me better prepared when joining DBS. Though I focused on credit risk at the beginning, I also had the chance to learn about operational risk related knowledge. Few years later, I transferred to Institutional Banking Group (IBG) for a role under COO - Governance & Control team. Earlier this year, my HR Talent Advisor reached me out for an Internal Mobility opportunity in RMG Operational Risk. Initially I was hesitant about it because the nature of the role is similar to what I did in IBG. But I took a second-thought since I really want to challenge myself , I then worked on the skills assessment via MySkills, applied for the opening and I made it,” said Summer.

He continued, “I really find this Internal Mobility experience a joyful end-to-end journey to me. Starting from MySkills, I updated those skillsets I possess as well as my proficiency levels in the system. During the Goals & Development Plan and On-going Review, apart from setting goals and keeping track of my performance, I also indicated my preference on gaining more exposure and working across functions. HR then reach out to me when the RMG role opened up and later, I learned that I am a match to the role via DBS Match.”

DBS Match is a platform where it serves as an internal job matching machine in DBS. Leveraging statistical algorithm, it matches the bank’s job openings with suitable internal candidates according to employees’ personal qualifications like skillsets, proficiency levels and years of experience to enhance the growth and development opportunities of our people.

Summer pivoted himself smoothly in different roles within DBS with the transferable skillsets that he equipped, and his experience of cross-team collaboration is equally important. “I had the chance of being involved in operational risk projects before I take up the recent role, hence I knew the teammates and even worked with some of them before joining the team. In fact, the same may also apply to other colleagues who embrace internal mobility. I’d call it an advantage indeed. We are familiar with the Bank’s culture and values, its organisational structure, working mode as well as understanding the software and hardware that we are using. It’s definitely easier and quicker to adapt to a new role within the same company.”

He continued, “I moved from a role who owns risks in the business unit to the recent one overseeing risk policies and processes for the bank. Both roles are challenging. During the time in IBG, I acted as a governance officer to own and manage operational risks in strategy, business planning and execution. I need to have deep-dive understanding on the workflows and details and involved in tones of coordination works. Now, I am in RMG as an Operational Risk Specialist where I work closely with units to provide independent risk overview, monitoring and reporting. As a risk controller, I have a chance to review the processes from a wider perspective across different units or even different markets. I learn to apply different angles and viewpoints when handling my job.”

Looking back, Summer is proud of his decision to pursue with the internal move. “Let me use PRIDE to describe this. It’s a Purposeful action about Internal Mobility as we expand our horizons and skillsets by navigating in different parts of the Bank, and contribute our experience in the new role to create sustainable impact for all stakeholders. Through collaboration (Relationship-led), we build trust and work well within and across departments while get to know each other and establish our network. Dare to try (Innovative) and embrace change is critical in the journey. In fact, HR offers innovative solutions to us, like DBS Match and MySkills instead of just asking us to provide a resume! We should be Decisive – when appropriate opportunity comes up, do take action to make the change after consideration. Lastly, we are devoted to creating a joyful culture in the bank; we are empowered to own our development while my managers and the management being very supportive to internal mobility all along (Everything Fun!). In fact, we continue contributing to the bank but in another team instead.”

At the end of the chat, we asked Summer to share any advice to his fellow colleagues: “As first step to take charge of career planning, do build your personal profile page in People Hub by updating the job history and achievements, and review the suggested skills in MySkills.”