When Ms Evy Wee was invited to join DBS in 2004 as a management associate, she decided to accept the offer, despite the fact that western banks were a more popular choice at that time.
She recalls: “I was working in Malaysia at that time with no plans to enter banking. Then DBS gave me the offer to join its management associate programme. Since I was young and wanted to explore life on my own, I thought I’d give it a shot.”
Eight years later, Ms Wee, 30, is now vice-president of management information systems (MIS), strategy and planning for its institutional banking group (IBG)’s COO (chief operating officer) Office.
Focusing on MIS and strategy, she assists the Global IBG COO to oversee regional strategic project implementations.
Working with other key partners including finance and credit, she also collects, collates and analyses data and transforms it into meaningful information.
The banking landscape has evolved dramatically, with Asia becoming the hub. Data analytics, which refers to understanding and translating data into information for strategic purposes, business operations, client relationships and risk management, has also grown in importance.
“With the abundance of data available with technology, there is a demand for the skill set to translate it into meaningful measurements or information,” says Ms Wee, who graduated from the London School of Economics with a degree in mathematics and economics in 2003.
With the bulk of her work assignments being assigned by the COO, team heads or the head of IBG, Ms Wee’s job is challenging and she works hard to meet high expectations and standards.
She doesn’t mind putting in extra hours at the office as she does not have any family commitments. Having said that, she adds: “My supervisor does his best to ensure we all maintain work-life balance, especially those with children and family. He is generally quite flexible — as long as the work is done.”
“I am honoured to be given a chance to prove myself at a young age, and to interact fairly often with the senior management team. Their passion and commitment towards delivering excellent results definitely keeps me going,” she says.
She has to manage projects that necessitate participation and support from multiple divisions to ensure that everyone’s objectives are aligned, not an easy task. Nevertheless, Ms Wee takes things in her stride and accepts challenges as opportunities to learn and improve in a fast-paced environment.
She says: “My immediate supervisor once told me: ‘The pursuit of perfection is a never-ending journey’. With Singapore as DBS’ headquarters, I get to participate in key decision making which impact the operations across the region — they form part of DBS’ strategy to become the Asian bank of choice.”
She has also benefited from the bank’s practice to enable staff to undergo lateral movement as part of their career growth and development.
“Since 2004, I have been posted to different divisions within the bank, allowing me to gain a deeper understanding of the workings and mechanisms in banking. At every stage, my superiors have given me opportunities to take on challenges to prove myself, and their time and efforts to show me the ropes,” she says.
The bank also motivates employees through various initiatives, such as “5@5”, where staff get to leave at 5pm every Friday, perfect for bonding sessions after office hours.
Employees are also recognised and rewarded for their dedication and hard work by being nominated for Spot Awards every quarter by their peers.
To those interested in a job like hers, Ms Wee advises: “You have to be people-oriented to connect with them on a common framework. You need to be analytical, adaptable and positive in the face of changes. Being meticulous, yet not losing sight of the big picture, is also important.”