Erica Ng, is currently Manager (Communications) at Marina Bay Sands. She graduated with an Honours in 2011 and started her career with Marina Bay Sands as an intern. Apart from managing communications, she also leads her department’s internship programme. Here’s what she has to say about her CNM days and her career.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I graduated with Honors from the NUS Comms and New Media programme in 2011. This also means I’ve had the honor of learning from the best tutors in CNM then, such as Cynthia Owens, Mary Lee, and Dr Chung Siyoung. I thought I would simply cruise through university life, but it wasn’t until an amazing internship opportunity came my way at the end of my third year.
I was still an undergrad when I chanced upon an internship opportunity with Marina Bay Sands. It was 2010 then and the integrated resort had yet to open. I didn’t know what to expect from the internship, especially since the whole IR concept was unknown to many. But I found pleasure in uncertainty, and I knew I wanted to be part of change. Of course, my decision to accept the internship later turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.
I was a part of the pioneer Comms Team at MBS over the course of an extremely fulfilling 6 month internship. When I joined, the property was still being built. From treading on muddy construction grounds wearing hard hats, to ascending 55 stories up in the air in construction elevators, and eventually witnessing the “topping out” of the 3 magnificent hotel towers – it has been an incredible journey for me to play a part in the making of Singapore’s history.
What are some skills that you think that someone aspiring to be successful in your field should inculcate or develop?
NUS CNM taught me to view and appreciate matters from multiple perspectives, which is an acquired skill that is important and relevant in any industry. In the world of emails and instant text messengers, we often forget that all it takes is a phone call to best resolve a misunderstanding (or to avoid incurring someone’s wrath!) It is also critical to develop emotional intelligence – which is something that can be learnt the more you interact and tune in to others’ feelings. I would say, stay inquisitive, and look for opportunities to present your ideas or assignments because you will reap bountifully.
You interned during your studies and now, you supervise interns as part of your current job. What would you say to your juniors who are thinking of doing one or are already interning?
As an alumnus I’ve enjoyed working closely with NUS CNM to recruit interns over the last 3 years, and I have to say that our faculty undergraduates are some of the most outstanding individuals we’ve had. Some words to share with my juniors: Your internship is the best (and only) time you are allowed to experiment, so raise your hand and say YES to taking on challenges., no matter big or small. You would be surprised how much you learn about yourself. 1. Start somewhere, because anywhere is better than nowhere. 2. When you finish your work, don’t be afraid to ask for more. 3. Find a mentor you can count on to grow yourself.
What are some of the fondest memories of your days at CNM?
5 years on after graduating, I still find myself missing CNM and all the good people I met and still keep in touch with today. I miss the good old dusty AS7 back in the day where students would cram and turn in assignments last minute on IVLE, the canteen, the lively bazaars at the Central Forum, and even the stress that came whenever we have to bid for modules!