He cleans up his act after messing up
SkillsFuture diploma grad didn't let mistakes hamper him from learning on the job
Sometimes, people make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them. And Mr Don Chua Say Yeow learnt that lesson the hard way - all because he wanted to go home early.
The 27-year-old was on a one-year work attachment at Yang Kee Logistics while studying for a specialist diploma in supply chain management at Republic Polytechnic (RP).
This diploma - his second - is part of the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme for Logistics.
As a junior customer service executive, Mr Chua oversaw the export of goods for a lubricant company.
One day, in a hurry to knock off work, he cleared a lorry even though the goods that were being transferred to Malaysia had not been checked.
Unbeknownst to him, some bottles of lubricant were leaking and damaged three to four crates. The affected crates, containing 10 bottles each, had to be thrown away.
The client was furious, and Mr Chua's manager warned him not to make the same mistake again.
Said Mr Chua: "I was disappointed in myself. Through this mistake, I learnt that everything must be done responsibly."
Yang Kee Logistics gave him a second chance and even selected him as a potential candidate for leadership development.
In the Earn and Learn Programme, graduates from polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education colleges can earn a special diploma where they study and work at the same time.
Mr Chua was introduced to the programme by a lecturer who taught him during his studies in supply chain management in RP from 2010 to 2013.
He completed his national service in 2015 before starting on the programme later that year.
Juggling work and studies during his one-year stint was tricky. Mr Chua worked from Mondays to Thursdays and went for classes at RP on Fridays.
Mr Chua said: "It was tough at first but colleagues and mentors helped me manage well."
Mr Ong Swee Keong, 43, senior general manager at Yang Kee Logistics and one of Mr Chua's mentors said the company never viewed him as a student.
In fact, despite working only four days, Mr Chua was given full-time pay. After he completed his programme in September, Mr Chua accepted a full-time position at Yang Kee.
When asked about Mr Chua's mistake, Mr Ong said: "We recognise that making mistakes is a part of learning. The important thing is that they learn from them so that we become better."
Last Wednesday, Mr Chua and 34 others received their completion certificates.
They are the programme's pioneer batch. Now in its third batch, there are a total of 80 participants so far and 25 partner companies.
Mr Ong said Yang Kee Logistics is happy to be part of the programme.
"It is a win-win for schools and companies. Logistics is not a sexy sector, and it is difficult to recruit people because of the labour crunch," he said.