Tan Jing Tao
My first job
We were a newly-hired team to work on a new software project. Our team had a mix of junior and senior members. During the first month, we worked on an internal assignment, which was a good opportunity to learn the tools and technologies needed for the project. Things got really interesting when the project started in the second month – the project is for the media industry, something which I have a personal interest in. It was also quite easy for me to fit in with the working culture at arvato – everyone was friendly and helpful, which made up for a comfortable and safe environment to learn and to develop myself.
Every morning my team has a quick ‘stand-up’ meeting to update each other on what we have been doing, what we are going to do, and any problems which we may be facing. My work is mainly focused on writing codes to implement features for the software which our team has been building for almost two years. Recently, we have an increasing role in designing the features of the software – what should the software do, how should it be implemented. This lets us have a good understanding of the software from our customers’ perspective, and not just the technical side of things. I also help my team members with any technical problems which they may have, and communicate them to our German counterparts for help when needed.
Our work culture
arvato is a company where everyone’s opinions can be heard, regardless of seniority. Even though I was a junior when I joined the company, my input and ideas were taken into consideration and implemented to the project we are working on. The management team is also open to suggestions on how to improve internal processes and office facilities. The company has grown significantly in size since I joined – the way some things are still done is better suited for a smaller-sized company, however, this is something which management is working hard on improving as the company continues to grow.
Attractive job tasks - 5
Being appreciated at work - 4
Friendly good looking colleagues - 4
Good leadership style - 4
Good work-life balance- 5
Travel opportunities - 4
Positive personal development - 4
Three life lessons
Team work and cross-cultural understanding is really important at arvato – projects are seldom done by individuals, and team members come from diverse backgrounds. Being sensitive to others’ cultures is key to working together efficiently.
There is also no micromanaging culture in this company – everyone is expected to be independent and to take responsibility for their own work and to ask for help when needed. While technical knowledge is a must to have, soft skills such as creative and critical thinking as well as communication skills are also needed so that others can understand and accept your ideas and proposals.
My advice (to my younger self)
Pay attention to the theoretical concepts taught in university – they may seem dull compared to the practical parts, but they are essential for a solid foundation of knowledge needed for a career in IT.
Make full use of time outside of the classroom by participating in co-curricular activities, such as being part of a society’s committee or event organising team. The soft skills and problem-solving skills gained will become vital to surviving in today’s challenging IT industry.
The fun part
I really enjoy the casual nature of the company – we know how to have fun and still be serious about delivering on-time quality software to our customers. I was also lucky to travel to Germany and Taiwan for work and training. Knowing how the work that we do is used by our customers keeps me feeling motivated to continue to perform my best at arvato. And the coffee machine – we now have a number of colleagues who are brilliant at making coffee art!