Graduate profile: Adele Lim

Adele LimSubject of study: MSc Information Management & Financefalse
Year of graduation: 2003
Name of company/employer: Prudential plc
Your current position/job title: Senior Resourcing & Development Consultant

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE WESTMINSTER BUSINESS SCHOOL FOR YOUR STUDIES?

The University’s International Representative Office was stationed close to where I lived in Malaysia. I had the opportunity to spend some time with a visiting officer at the time, and was impressed by the support the university provides to international students. As I discussed what I want my studies to give me, I became attracted to the MSc in Information Management and Finance programme. It is a course that bridged my IT undergraduate study and a business finance postgraduate course to land me a job in business and finance.

HOW HAS YOUR CAREER DEVELOPED SINCE GRADUATING?

After my MSc, I got accepted to join a graduate development programme with General Electric called the FMP (Financial Management Programme). I held various Finance roles in my first year, and in the second year, I held cross-functional roles in HR and Operations. I obtained international work exposure through my work, juggling it with exams and assignments, and I learnt a lot. Upon graduating from the programme, I got a job in the UK, as the EMEA Financial Planning and Analysis Manager for GE Sensing based in Leicester. While I enjoyed working with the business, it became clearer to me that I was more passionate about working with people than with numbers. I decided to take a study sabbatical to get my CIPD qualification and make a formal career switch. My first formal HR role in the UK was with Standard Chartered Bank, working in Talent and HR Transformation. I then moved to HSBC and RSA, working in Organisation Development and Organisation Effectiveness respectively.

WHAT DOES YOUR CURRENT ROLE INVOLVE?

There are a variety of projects and programmes within Resourcing and Development globally. I manage the raw talent assessment and development programme, which is a programme that helps the company identify a pipeline of future successors to the Group Leadership Team, and supports individuals in their professional development. I also lead on projects aimed at converting the capabilities of the individuals identified into performance. More broadly, I also drive initiatives that shape the culture of the company in the desired direction.

WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY FOR YOU?

There are no really 'typical' days because it is dependent on my focus at any particular time. I suppose I could say my typical day starts early some reflective conversations. I will work through my inbox and then continue my day according to what is scheduled in my organiser. I could be in meetings with internal or external parties, writing papers or decks for stakeholder communications, coordinating programmes, assessing candidates or planning for the medium term.

HAVE EXPERIENCED ANY CHALLENGES ALONG THE WAY?

Challenges are aplenty, but challenges are, really, opportunities to be creative and to respond differently. I find taking a step back to see the bigger picture very helpful in overcoming challenges.

HOW HAS YOUR EXPERIENCE AT WBS HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?

My experience at WBS was holistic in the sense that in one short year, I felt I was living in the world. It was a highly international environment and as a student, I experienced a balance between study and assignments, and between travel and part-time work. Fellow students were diverse in interest and values, and this rich mix served as a reminder to me that there is so much we can learn outside of lectures and books and that there is a bigger purpose in going to a foreign university than simply to study. It is the balanced and blended approach to university studies that helped me open my eyes and heart to the world, and to be passionate about my personal and professional growth in a holistic way. It also got me into a premier financial management programme. All these, combined with my energy and drive to learn as much as I can, as quickly as I can in my early working years, will continue to pay off in my lifetime.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER OR PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE?

The awards and recognition I received from my work, and my big career moves and life changes that result from it, are my highlights. If I had to name one, it would be when I made a formal career switch to work in HR. I pursued it like one would when there is a calling. I condensed three years of study into one, and then transitioned across function, and I have progressed swiftly since. I am one of the fortunate few who can truly say that I love what I do for a living.

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