Employee Story – Develop Self & Others by Kevin Suen
What triggers a person to be a “racer”? We had a chat with Kevin Suen, from T&O – CBG Technology, to learn about his “racing” journey in DBS and how the bank empowers him to continue his dream on entrepreneurship and become a “racer”.
“I learnt more about DBS while I was studying in the university. At that time, I participated in the Cyberport University Partnership Programme and the bank’s representative was one of the mentors sharing their valuable insights about entrepreneurship. At that time, DBS was already in the forefront of the financial technology industry. As I studied Business Information Management as my major, I would like to pursue my career in technology related field. DBS’ Graduate Associate (GA) Programme seems could fulfill my dream so I applied for it,” said Kevin.
He continued, “As a fresh graduate, I did not expect so many opportunities were provided to us. Though I was new to the bank, I was empowered to be the key person leading the projects assigned to me. I also have many chances to meet different business units’ heads so to learn from them directly.”
Though Kevin was given many chances, it’s not a completely smooth path indeed. “Not many colleagues have knowledge on machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), especially for those not in the technology team. This was the case up till a year ago. It was really not easy to sell in the ML-related ideas to business units at that time. We kept convincing them regarding the benefits and advantages for these ML new ideas, how these can help on the business, etc. Luckily that the business units’ colleagues are always very welcoming to learn and give us the chances to sell them,” Kevin explained.
At DBS, we encourage our employees to embrace a growth mindset to keep learning and growing. This is the importance for upskilling our colleagues to have the right skills to realise their fullest potential. This is to equip every one of us with future skills like digital, data, cognitive, etc preparing to be Future Workforce. Apart from internal trainings, there are some other collaborations with external expertise. Partnering with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to organize the AWS DeepRacer League across different markets as a hands-on and interesting way to learn Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
“In the beginning, I was in the local committee working with our Singapore counterparts to organise the AWS DeepRacer League competition in HK.” Kevin continued, “In the middle of the competition, I overheard from other T&O colleagues about the satisfaction of taking part in the competition. This triggered me to create my autonomous racing car and joined the competition too. This is really a fun way for not only T&O colleagues, but also all employees from different units in the bank to learn Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. We can learn at our own pace via the e-learning courses with those curated videos to help building, training and deploying the models.”
Kevin and 2 other HK colleagues were qualified to attend the DBS x AWS DeepRacer League Grand Finale. Together with other DBS fellows across different markets, they competed in the Grand Finale which was held in mid September. Kevin got the champion and he even broke the world record with a blazing 7.145s!
“I am so happy to represent HK team and win in the Grand Finale. Actually I did face some difficulties on how to further improve the performance of my racing car before the competition. Apart from those e-Learning, there is also the Community of Practice where all the DBS expert racers can share tips and tricks in this forum. With their valuable input, I was able break-through the bottleneck. I also want to thank our managers in T&O. They are so supportive for us in participating in the competition and always study with us together. So the credit of my win should go to all the HK racers and T&O colleagues,” Kevin told us excitedly.
“In fact, I strongly believe that this co-learn culture not only applies to this competition, but also in our daily work. With this in mind, we can continue learning and improving together,” Kevin added. “The department heads are very open-minded and they set good examples for us to keep on acquiring new knowledge. We have regular department Lunch-and-Learn sessions. Disregard our rank or age, everyone in the team can share his or her experience and learnings with others in these sessions. Apart from having chances to co-learn together with other colleagues, this also allows me to practise my presentation skills to speak in front of a large group of audience.”
Last but not the least, we asked Kevin to use one word to describe his life in DBS. He replied, “Supportive. I can deeply feel the support from my manager and senior management who keep on encouraging us to further develop ourselves in different perspective.”