07 Aug 2017
Veronica Gets Her Dream Job Before She Graduated
MS YEO MUI JOO, VERONICA
Master of Science Business Management (HRM)
Edinburgh Napier University, UK
Graduated in 2015
Veronica is a mother of 4 grown up children. She comes across as someone who has a zest for life, living with a sense of excitement, and oozing with energy! She enjoys working with people, and that explains why she is into human resource management as a career.
“I have been working in the HR arena for more than 25 years. I love interacting with people as it gives me joy to see employees grow with the company.”
Interestingly, her interest in human resource actually started when she was helping out in her family business. You could say that she was put in a position where she could not say no.
“Initially I was tasked with setting up the HR department for the family business as a matter of fact. Since then, I was hooked, and the passion as well as my interest in human resource management grew over the years. As I did not have the proper qualification after the family business, I had to work my way up from being an HR Executive to HR Manager, and to an HR Director.”
It took her 17 years in total to plan, strategise and pursue her academic dream that led her to complete her Diploma in 2003, a Bachelor Degree in 2005, and finally a Master’s degree in HRM in early 2015. She found the whole curriculum relevant and was very satisfied with the whole programme. She said:
“While my work experience helped, I needed to acquire deeper knowledge in order to venture into the senior management level. I decided to enrol in the ENU programme through PSB Academy as that would help prepare me for professional and business skills at the management level.”
“The duration of the curriculum and the core/elective modules offered were relevant in my field of work and, more importantly, the course fee was affordable as compared to other universities. With my employer's blessing, support and sponsorship, that relieved me of any financial burden that I might have.”
Veronica found the lessons to be very interactive, but being the oldest in the programme and not having stepped into a classroom for a long time, it took a while for her to adapt.
“There were only 6 of us in the inaugural batch of this Master’s programme. As the oldest, it was very difficult for me to adjust to learning life again after so many years. It was very challenging as the last time I studied was exactly 10 years ago, and I could not adjust to the late nights due to lectures and tutorials classes. I also struggled with projects because of my full-time work, personal and family commitments. However, I had great support from my classmates, family and best friends who always encouraged me to go for it just when I was about to give up.”
She recalled fondly the wonderful experience she had with the lecturers.
“The lecturers and tutors were highly qualified and they flew in from Scotland for every single module. They brought very insightful and priceless multinational corporation experiences on a global aspect, sharing their valuable experiences and knowledge, and always quoting examples from real life on every topic. Group discussions during lectures and tutorials were something I really enjoyed doing as we learned best practices from each other.”
Unlike other graduates looking for a job, Veronica had it easy. Even before she completed her Master’s programme, she was head-hunted and offered the current position as the Director of HR in a travel retail organisation.
“I was offered the HR Director position because of my 25 years of relevant HRM experience and, more importantly, the Master’s programme specialising in HRM resonated with the position. Under the company's employee grading system, I was viewed high up there as category ‘A’ candidate.”
Veronica may have a full-time job now, but what many people do not know is that she is very active in pursuing other interests outside of the organisation. She is a firm believer in life-long learning and wants to inspire her children and let them know that ‘if the mother can do it, there is nothing they cannot do.’
In 2010, she went to Melbourne, Australia, to be certified as an Image Consultant/Trainer. Then, in early 2015, she was sent to Nepal to represent Singapore in an international beauty pageant competition for mature and married women. It was a mission to foster heritage, culture and friendship with other international delegates. She made Singapore proud when she was crowned “Mrs Heritage International” on a global stage! Veronica also sets aside weekends or Saturdays for adhoc voluntary work, such as Grooming Etiquette workshops for the less-privileged, and charity events to give back to society, both locally and overseas. Recently, she made a donation to rebuild a primary school in Nepal after the earthquake, and also donated 100 umbrellas for primary school children in Philippines affected by Haiyan typhoon.
It is hard to believe that she still has the energy to do all these things on top of her family commitments. Veronica, we salute you!
Article by Jeffrey Yap (Student Affairs & Industry Engagement)