On the 6th of August, a group of Beatty Secondary School students and the Big Brother Big Sister mentors had the opportunity to visit the office which homed the Sovereign Shipping Global company, one of the key players of the maritime industry based in Singapore. Sovereign Shipping Global was founded by three friends who bagged over 40 years of experience in the shipbroking, marine engineering and maritime financing sector.
The team had the pleasure of conversing with Mr Wong Hong Lee (Managing Director of Sovereign Shipping Global) about the company and was guided by Ms Nicole Moss (Chief Strategy Officer for International Trade and Development at Sandbox International Holdings Pte Ltd). The students were introduced to the maritime industry and the different slew of jobs it offers. Evidently, many were interested in knowing more about this sector as they hurled inquisitive questions for Mr Wong and Ms Moss to answer.
It was a fulfilling afternoon as both Mr Wong and the students exchanged their learning experiences thus far. The students resonated well with Mr Wong knowing that he too was from a local secondary school, justifying a shared experience both Mr Wong and the students had. Mr Wong shared a story about how he was from First Toa Payoh Secondary School before moving on to pursue marine engineering in polytechnic and worked his way up to study in the UK which eventually earned him a degree in the same field. Unlike many students today, Mr Wong was not as fortunate to be offered financial aids to tide him through school back in the days. Instead, he is a living example of how hard work trumps talent and luck. It is indeed possible for one to be successful if he or she is willing to work for it.
With an impressive achievement under her belt, Ms Moss shared with the students a valuable lesson no lesser than that of Mr Wong’s. With the closure of her family’s business in the early years, Ms Moss needed to work at 10 years old to sustain herself and pay her way through school. Despite the challenging beginning, Ms Moss never admitted defeat and those hours put into practicing Mathematics to sharpen her theoretical skills in school paid off given how successful she is today. In her words, “Nothing is difficult if you put in the effort. Your educational level merely sets the foundation for you, but where you end up is essentially up to you and how much you are willing to learn.” Ms Moss highlighted the importance of teamwork, socializing with the correct company and having confidence in oneself as the key factors which made great contributions to her victory today.
Mr Wong and Ms Moss also made it clear that it takes more than just technical skills and educational certificates for one to earn a favorable outcome. It takes commitment for one to devote him/herself to the job, resilience for one to continue working hard despite setbacks and the willingness to learn for one to grasp the most effective way of doing something. Mr Wong gave the example on how the staff of the company sacrificed their fixed expenditure in hopes to keep the company afloat when the economy went into recession and the company was not doing well. The company has been blooming ever since then and this goes to show how a small sacrifice in the name of being committed and resilient will bring the someone far. It is just a matter of one having the courage to pull through those tough times.
Given that the platform is a two-way learning street, the students also had the chance to present their lesson takeaways from the SSP Phase 1 camp. Emphasizing the keywords which were taught to them throughout the 3-day camp, it is apparent how the application of these values into their lives have shaped them into better beings. We believe that the little guidance they’ve received will bring these students a long way in the vast future ahead of them.
As a team, we’d like to extend our warmest gratitude and appreciation to Sovereign Shipping Global, Mr Wong and Ms Moss for spending the afternoon with us. The valuable wisdom imparted on the students is something that cannot be bought. We look forward to the future office visits with the Sailing & Sustainability Program 2018 Phase 2. 🙂
Article written by Lyanna