On the 12th of December 2018, a group of 16 Big Brother Big Sister (BBBS) students and mentors from Shuqun Secondary School, Bedok View Secondary School, Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) had the opportunity to visit an energy company: BP Singapore – at Marina One.
Our hosts started the session by sharing a video of BP in 2018 giving us an insight into their global business, but not before going through the emergency evacuation procedures, as safety one of their topmost priority.
It was a very informative session; BP divided the students into 4 groups and assigned 2 executives, including Mr. Terence Yuen, the Country President of BP Singapore, to share their experiences.
BP office tour
Mr. Yuen was very candid when he shared his life journey of growing up in Hong Kong to becoming the Country Head of BP Singapore. Terence said: “When I was 4 years old, I did not go to pre-school because my dad felt it was not necessary. However, a teacher found me playing on the streets, spoke to my mum and insisted that I attend primary school early. I didn’t like to go to school, it was hard for me having to compete with older kids who were 5 and 6 years old and I felt that they were much smarter.” To overcome this, Terence shared how he set himself a goal to be within the top 50% of his class and when he achieved his goal, he then aimed to be in the top 50% of that smaller group, and so on.
Terence applied this strategy not only in his studies but also in his career. He said: ”By aiming to keep moving up into the top 50% and so on, you will not feel the pressure of having a big goal. Then, you can supplement yourself with skills and knowledge to move forward”.
Second, our very own Uncle Jevan shared his life experiences including the objective of BBBS; to use sailing as a platform to create change in youth. He also shared our 9 key values. During the breakout session, each group was assigned with 2 BBBS values for discussion. Our mentees had the opportunity to interact with BP executives who shared their life journeys and what they do in BP.
Big Brother Big Sister values:
- Effort is more than 50% of success
- Dare to Dream
- Step out of your comfort zone
- Life is a journey
- TEAM (Together Everybody Achieves More
- Keep calm And Carry On
- Education creates possibilities
- Resilience and Patience is essential
- Do not believe in impossible, but in I M POSSIBLE
From left: Lokesh, Sabrina, Shahadah, and Xi Ying BBBS student mentors with BP’s Terence Yuen, Country President and Lynda Goh, communications executive
As the last activity in the session, students had to present what they learned from the discussion. For example, one of the participants Shahadah said: “Terence and Lynda shared with us that the journey will not be easy, it is a struggle. Sometimes we will fail and it is about picking ourselves up and trying again. So, find something that you could get crazy about”.
It was a two-way interaction where the students made some realizations for themselves too. Shahadah shared, “I realized that ‘connections’ or people are important in life. I wanted to switch from being a national player in tchoukball to sailing, and I was able to do so because of uncle Jevan”.
Joseph from SUSS said: “Putting in the effort to make plans, be it short-term or long term, is important. It means that half the battle is won!”
Other than the values discussed, the discussions about their life journeys were enlightening, Lokesh shared, “I realized when Terence was talking to us, he listened and connected with us. For example, I shared how I liked watching Netflix and he took it to connect with me in a conversation. It made me feel like that he was listening to me and so I had to listen to him”.
To demonstrate the importance of values and to inspire the students, BP shared about their ongoing partnership with the International Paralympics Committee (IPC), including their experience with the BP Ambassador Paralympians at the 2016 RIO Paralympics, and how it resonates with BBBS values of making the impossible possible. You simply need to “believe to achieve”.
The students felt that the experience was fun, and BP executives were friendly and approachable. They look forward to future industrial visits.