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May 31, 2019

Alina: Onboarding our new HR colleague in Singapore

My name is Alina and I work in the HR team of our Munich office. The last two weeks I was in our Singapore office to support with the onboarding of our new local HR colleague. As a guest blogger I will share with you my experiences in the local office as well as in the beautiful city of Singapore.

But before I dive into my story, I quickly want to tell you about my job at Roland Berger. I joined our HR team over 3 years ago. My main responsibility is the recruiting of our Non-Consulting staff in Germany. I find suitable candidates for our various Backoffice departments like Marketing, Finance or HR and I also recruit from graduate hires to senior management level. For us Non-Consultants, travelling internationally for work is usually not a day-to-day habit, but if we mention an interest in working abroad or travelling to other offices temporarily, the management will try to make it happen. I was happy to get the opportunity to support with the onboarding of Hans, our new colleague in the Singapore office. His main responsibilities are going to be recruiting and onboarding in Southeast-Asia. The goal for my 2 weeks in Singapore was to show him our German standards with regards to recruiting and give him suggestions on how to further improve their local processes.

I arrived in Singapore on a Saturday to get used to the time difference and get settled in before starting work on Monday. Of course, I used this extra day to start my sightseeing program right away. I visited the botanical gardens and the Singapore Zoo. I noticed right away that spending a day outside in Singapore is rather exhausting due to the heat and humidity. My first day in the office was filled with getting to know all colleagues and diving into my first session with Hans. For lunch, all of the services colleagues took me to a food court close to the office where they told me about a famous local dish called "Thunder Tea Rice". I finally got to try Thunder Tea Rice in my last week. It's a very interesting and delicious dish made with rice, vegetables, peanuts and a sauce made of green tea, coriander and mint.

After a few days, I finally acclimated with the local time and started using every evening for sightseeing. Singapore is an amazing city and I enjoyed every sight a lot. If I had to pick favorites I would name the rooftop bar at the top of Marina Bay Sands Hotel, because of the amazing view over the city and the beautiful bay area. Furthermore, I was lucky to have been in Singapore during Ramadan. Which meant there was a Ramadan Bazaar every evening at Geylang Road. I went there once after work and was amazed to see so many people come together to indulge in delicious food from all the different cultures you can find in Singapore. On the weekend I took a break from busy Singapore and relaxed under palm trees at the beach on Sentosa Island.

For the 2 weeks that I was there I had a training session with Hans every morning and in the afternoon, I caught up with my daily tasks from Germany. What I enjoyed the most about being in another office, was the exchange between me and the local colleagues and to see similarities and differences. We looked at their processes and I supported on further improving them by giving best practice examples and a view from outside.

Being back in Germany now I look back to my time in Singapore very grateful for the experience I had and the people I have met. The only thing I won't miss is the air-conditioning in the office which was freezing ??.

Take care!


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