A three-time SEA Games medallist, Team Singapore Taekwondo Exponent Chelsea Ann Sim stands as testimony to how the spexBusiness initiative benefits both student-athletes and athlete-employees. Having been on both ends of the coin, she is now on her second internship placement via the initiative, her first having been with the Corporate Business division in OSIM International. Currently, Chelsea is interning with the Clients and Markets Department in Deloitte, in view towards full-time conversion.
Fully cognisant of the greater flexibility experienced by student-athletes, Chelsea was slightly apprehensive about transitioning to an athlete-employee fearing that the hours and rigour of a regular office job would cut into her training time and competition opportunities.
Deloitte showed Chelsea that these worries were unfounded through the provision of:
- Understanding partners that provided Chelsea the support she needed to balance work and her sport
- Flexible working hours that allowed her to head to training straight after work
- A competition-friendly leave scheme that catered different tiers of leave according to the level of the competition, including fully-paid special leave for major competitions
Chelsea had previously expressed fears of entering the workforce with the lack of work experience putting her at a disadvantage at hiring. However, both internships have since assured Chelsea of a pathway of continuity and transition post-sports. Without the stress and anxiety of having to search for a job that would accommodate her hectic schedule, Chelsea was thus able to turn her complete focus to her sport, proudly flying the Singapore flag and mounting the podium across two consecutive SEA Games claiming a Gold and a Bronze to her name.
“I got my internships through spexBusiness. I’m very appreciative of such an initiative, as it has supported me both in my sporting endeavours and career development. It has shown me that there are ways for athletes to plan a life after sport, and we have a future beyond our sporting careers. I’m very grateful to both spexBusiness and Deloitte for providing me with the opportunity to pursue excellence in my sport, and at the same time, pave the road for my future career.”
– Chelsea Ann Sim
Khairul Anwar, Captain of Team Singapore Cerebral Palsy Football
Intern, Singapore Sports Institute – Coaching Development Department
At the 8th ASEAN Para Games (APG), Khairul punched above his weight in his role as Team Captain, bringing his team to achieve a bronze medal. He also became the first Singaporean to score a hat-trick at the new National Stadium, thereby cementing his reputation for scoring long-range stunners from all angles. Most importantly, he and his team won the hearts of Singaporeans through their display of teamwork, courage and determination.
Khairul is currently a student-athlete, pursuing his Diploma studies in Health Management and Promotion with the Republic Polytechnic. In the lead up to the APG, Khairul approached SSI to seek assistance in planning for his future career, specifically in sourcing for an ‘Internship’ as part of his course requirements. SSI and spexCareer has supported Khairul in his holistic athlete life development, by providing:
- Proactive career counselling to help Khairul identify suitable internship experience that is aligned to his future career aspirations
- Matched successfully to SSI – Coaching Development Department, as one of his ambitions is to become a professional coach or sports science specialist to nurture next generations of sportsmen.
- Secured 5-months internship, started work on 28 March 2016
“I’m really enjoying my job and thankful for the experience. So far, I have helped coaches in the renewal of their licences and also gave them updates of ongoing and upcoming programmes. Coaching is one of my biggest passions and I hope to learn plenty about the basics of being a coach during this internship.”
-Khairul Anwar, Captain, Team Singapore Cerebral Palsy Football Athlete and Team Captain
Derek Wong (Team Singapore Athlete, Badminton)
Research Specialist with Deloitte Singapore
Derek joined Deloitte in July 2014 as a Research Specialist in the Clients & Markets Department. He performs research on specific companies and industries in order to support the work teams serving clients from these specific industries. This involves benchmarking studies, conducting economic research or research on the strategic directions of the organization or development trends.
Deloitte has supported Derek in allowing him to train and compete full-time through providing:
- A customised work schedule of approximate 15 hours a week that revolves around his training schedule
- Flexi-work arrangements of working from home in the evenings and on weekends after his training
- Special work leave to compete in Major Games and tournaments, including representing Singapore at the Commonwealth Games 2014, Asian Games 2014 & SEA Games 2015
Beyond this short-term work opportunity, Deloitte is also ready to offer a full-time job to Derek upon retirement from his competitive sports career.
“At Deloitte, we strongly believe in the strength of employee diversity and aim to deliver a unique Deloitte experience to all our employees. Having national athletes as employees adds to this diversity, allowing employees who are athletes and non-athletes alike to interact and share with each other different unique skills, mindsets and experiences that are mutually enriching.
The atmosphere in the firm gets a boost as well – to get a chance to work, and sometimes even train, alongside someone like Derek Wong, the current Singapore number 1 badminton player, is a great experience”.
-Ms Seah Gek Choo, Talent Partner, Deloitte Singapore.
“I am thankful to Deloitte’s tremendous support in arranging a customised work schedule that allows me to work flexibly from home around my training schedule. This support will ensure that my sporting focus is not compromised in any way. I am also able to grow as a person, in gaining valuable life skills and insights into the corporate world. Full time athletes like me will be able to bring 100% to the sporting field when we know that companies are extending their arms out so that we will not need to worry over our future career plans.”
-Derek Wong, Team Singapore Athlete (Badminton)
Micky Lin (Team Singapore Athlete and Captain, Netball)
Clients and Markets Assistant Manager, Deloitte Singapore
Through the career support services under the spexBusiness Network, Micky joined the Marketing Department at professional services firm Deloitte Singapore in September 2014. At Deloitte, Micky received a suite of workplace support that allowed her to pursue her sporting goals. The company provided:
- Special leave to compete in the Asian Championships (September 2014) and Nations Cup (December 2014)
- Special leave to travel overseas for training camp at Fiji in April 2015, for the team’s preparation in the lead up to the 28th SEA Games
- Special paid leave to compete at the recent SEA Games 2015
- Time-off for medical consultations / treatments at the SSI Medical Centre
“It’s a lot easier for us knowing we have the support of the company so that I can earn my keep and still do what I like. I think it also important that while we enjoy certain benefits from the company, we do as much as possible to return the favour back to them. That, to me, is a priority, and is important”.
- Micky Lin, Team Singapore Athlete and Team Captain (Netball)