Career Paths

Ask, ask and ask. It is an absolute necessity to stay in the know! - Sheng Long

Published 18 Nov 2020 by Ramya Ramesh

“If there was one thing I wish someone had told me at the start of my career, it would be to never stop asking questions.’’ - Sheng Long

Sometimes, it is not about asking questions all the time but the intention to ask the right ones. Sheng Long casually refers to it as the “keep asking until you get the answer” skill. In other words, never stop seeking the right answers.

He even details a method to help anyone find the answer – Start by approaching the first person who comes to your mind who may know the answer - this could be your colleague from the same team or a different team. If that person is unable to answer, ask him or her who can potentially help with your queries, and keep going until you find the right person. This method may even bring you to someone you have never even thought of!

Lesson of the day: Never settle with an assumption that may be wrong; keep asking until it’s clear.

Sheng Long is the Business Development Manager for Open platform in Singtel International Group (IG). The open platform enables subscribers of Singtel Group (e.g., Singtel / AIS / Optus / Telkomsel / Airtel) to purchase digital content such as those from Google Play Store, Apple iTunes, Netflix and Spotify via mobile bill payment.

A daily routine built on work and play

Sheng Long’s day starts off with a commercial catch up meeting with his manager. The rest of his day entails reviewing commercial contracts with partners, developing new partner pipeline, meeting with potential business partners, working with the product team to ensure the smooth onboarding of other partners and lastly, monitoring the sales and revenue from tableau dashboard.

However, his busy day does not end there.

He makes it a point to hit the gym for his daily workout routine and breaks a good sweat. He then heads home or out for dinner before getting ready to brace another day of learning and excitement.

Before Covid-19, he also travelled at least once a month to meet Singtel’s associates for commercial discussions in locations like Bangkok (Thailand), Jakarta (Indonesia), Bonifacio Global City (Philippines) and New Delhi (India). Though the trips were hectic, he managed to squeeze in some time to explore the cities.

Sheng Long highlights the importance of self-care, work/life balance and injecting excitement in his routine. His self-care routine involves meditation, getting outdoors regularly, and dedicating time for self-reflection.

“With these principles in mind, I have grown to become a better listener and be more empathetic,’’ he shares.

His #SingtelLife moments

Sheng Long loved being a part of FinTech Festival 2019. Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) is the world’s largest FinTech festival and a global platform for the FinTech community to connect, collaborate, and co-create with one another. Singtel is the only few telcos participating in this festival, which are mostly meant for companies like Google, VISA, and major banks.

“We showcased some of our products (VIA Open platform, Dash, Cross Border Payments) in this event. We received positive feedback from other companies and many were amazed that Singtel had all these offerings,” he shares.

He also learnt a lot from the experience of onboarding Spotify for AIS Thailand. He grasped elements of technical kick-off, coordinating with various stakeholders, understanding the technical APIs, and the migration of existing Spotify customers to new connections. This was indeed a fruitful time for him.

His most memorable moment, however, was during his IG getaway to Bintan, Nirwana Resort Hotel. There were a series of fun activities - amazing race, recreational activities, and Dinner & Dance. He also points out that this was a great time for bonding with his team!

‘’I joined Singtel IG because of the unique travel opportunities, given that this is a regional role. I got more than what I asked for - I also had the chance to work on big projects such as onboarding of Apple Store, Apple Music and Spotify for direct carrier billing!’’

He shares that Singtel is more than a telecommunication company with the plethora of non-telco products and services such as DASH, Cross Border Payments as well as PVP Esports.

‘’Singtel Group always finds ways to innovate and stay ahead of the competition. That is why I am proud to be a part of the Singtel family!’’ he grins.

Personal path to the mastery of asking questions

Venturing into something new and asking questions go hand in hand. When one asks questions, they are not only inquisitive, but also embracing the ‘’growth’’ mindset.

‘’To ask questions, you have to overcome any shyness or hesitation you may possess. It takes less energy to articulate your thoughts than to worry about what your peers and mentors think about you.’’.

He adds on by emphasising on continual learning. There is always something to learn and discover and unless someone has achieved perfection (which will never happen!), it’s important to experiment with ideas and voice out any doubts.

“One more thing, sometimes you not only get effective answers, but also way more information beyond your scope. That is what we’re looking for - to learn from the best possible discussions we spark!’’

Ending off with those wise words, we have a question for you:

Will you be asking more questions?

Explore a multitude of career opportunities and stories at Singtel Careers. Find out why Singtel is the Employer of Choice* and explore our opportunities here.

*Awarded by HR Fest Awards 2020, which recognises and celebrates outstanding achievements of the region’s top leaders, teams and organisations.

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