Wong Chong Ban
Senior General Manager II / Director, Manufacturing
BSc in Chemistry, University of Malaya (UM), 1998
No doubt academics have prepared me for my current job. More importantly, while pursuing my studies I also enhanced my soft skills, which are essential in the working world. I believe in having an open attitude and a willingness to learn regardless of the area pursued, academically or in one’s career.
Upon graduation, I came to a crossroad (as the economy was bad and job opportunities were scarce) at which I had to make a life-changing choice. Fortunately, Top Glove participated in my university’s career fair. I was shortlisted, interviewed and employed as a chemist. It was an amazing start towards a rewarding career.
My company and job
My main duty is to ensure quality gloves are always being produced at an efficient cost. I am currently overseeing a few of the company’s factories, ensuring that productivity and product quality are kept in check. Additionally, I am heading the company’s R&D centre with 40 PhD, Master’s and bachelor’s graduates who are the driving force of our innovation initiatives and processes.
The best and worst bits
The positive philosophies, culture and direction at Top Glove have shaped my character over the years. The management is transparent and provides equal opportunities where rewards and promotions are based on results. The worst bit is working in a fast-paced and challenging environment, as continuous improvement and innovation is vital to remaining competitive.
My most memorable achievement at work
Last year, I was given the opportunity to be involved in the operations of a newly acquired factory which was running at no profit, and entrusted to make it profitable. I had strong support from the management and good teamwork from my co-workers and we accomplished a turnaround for this particular factory in less than a year.
Getting the job
Part-time work during semester breaks enabled me to obtain valuable experience, which helped me adapt to a corporate setting faster. I started sourcing for jobs and eyeing prospective employers during my final year and upon completing my final examination, I went straight into permanent employment as I believe the waiting game is a losing game.
Be prepared for
...high but attainable targets. Graduates should be analytical, constantly have their thinking caps on, and demonstrate creative problem-solving skills to overcome hurdles. Working long hours is not always desirable or productive, therefore, I encourage my subordinates to not only work hard but also to work faster and smarter.
Students and graduates must believe in themselves, their abilities and capabilities. They must strive for the best in their studies and careers – as the saying goes; where there is a will there is a way.