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      January 12, 2017

      How to Have a Good Work-life Balance?

      I get satisfaction from making a meaningful contribution to my work at Continental Automotive
      Singapore and balancing family life. How that works?

      Singapore is a research and development hub for Continental, testing technologies such as radio, navigation, user interfaces, displays, entertainment and controls, with about 1,100 employees. In this innovative environment I am always trying to find opportunities for career advancement and suitably challenging work.

      Striving for improvement

      I graduating from Nanyang Polytechnic with a Diploma in Electronics, Computer and Communications in 2004. I began my career with Continental as a software system test associate engineer. Rigorous testing is one of the key factors in providing a high quality and highly reliabile product.

      All employees at Continental undergo an annual learning needs assessment to identify gaps in their knowledge. We then look for training courses that can bridge these gaps or improve our productivity.

      I was sent for software testing training to become a certified tester by the International Software Testing Qualification Board, to gain the ability to integrate and improve testing design techniques, streamline testing lifecycle and ensure testing quality.

      Promoted to engineer after a year with an enlarged responsibility as test lead to ensure software quality, I was later recongised as an expert within the organisation on testing Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) products.

      I was given a chance to be based overseas for six weeks. My station was at a customer’s office in Britain to conduct functional testing on a four-wheel-drive vehicle that was yet to be launched at that time.

      Within four years, I was given managerial responsibility, placed in charge of a team of 11 test engineers, where I plan resource and budget allocation, product-testing strategy and risk management. As a principal engineer, I work closely with my team to ensure all testing projects are done correctly and on time, tackling any technical challenges together with them.

      Given my expertise in functional testing, I am also involved, at the organisation level, in the discussion on worldwide test processes, methodologies and tool improvements.

      Team building

      As the group leader, I am a mentor to junior test managers and technical specialists, and coach my team on specific technical topics in the testing domain. I am charged with helping her engineers realise their career aspirations, being sure they are adequately challenged and motivated in their work and grooming the best suitable to be techical experts, specialists or managers.

      I want to advance my management expertise at Continental, and build a team of highly motivated and competent test engineers, tester managers technical specialists and experts. We need the best people, to uphold our standards, to meet our customers’ expectations and to create an innovative environment to inspire our engineers’ creativity.

      In the 10 years I have been with Continental, I have seen many products that have passing through my hands now in cars playing the roads in Singapore. To play a part in the successful launch of our products and see it in use by cars and drivers here gives me a great sense of satisfaction.

      Flexibility at work

      Despite my responsibilities in the office, I am a mother of two girls aged six and four. I always make time for my family. Continental has provided a good balanced environment for a working mum. The lactation room on our premises was a conducive and convenient place for my breastfeeding needs after I returned from maternity leave for example. After work, I’m able to spend time with my kids and family. I always look forward to cooking a sumptuous meal for my family and weekly family outings. These foster family bonding and rejuvenate me.

      Continental has policies in place encouraging its business leaders to allow flexibility at work so that we can achieve better work-life balance. We are encouraged to involve our families in company-organised activities such as Family Day, Give-a-Gift with the Boys Brigade, Bowling Day and other sports events including basketball, soccer and running competitions.

      In 2014, we held our first Innovation Day in Singapore. Opened to the public, it was also an opportunity for us to bring our friends and families to the R&D facilities to gain insight into our work building cutting-edge automotive technologies.

       

      This article was written by our employee.

      Mei Fen Ng

      Group Leader, ID Functional Test, Singapore

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