Tell us about your job in the Financial Technology industry. Have you always been working in finance?
I work for the Singapore FinTech Association (SFA), which is a semi-government body. My job is to bring together stakeholders in the ecosystem and foster collaborations and partnerships within the industry.
My career actually started in advertising, so I always assumed that that would be the path I would go down for the rest of my career. But interests change and plans get modified according to opportunities that come our way, right? I eventually became an educator and conducted financial literacy workshops in public schools for 12 years before moving on to SFA just last year.
I do miss teaching sometimes, but the job I’m in now is also super exciting! It’s in a sense a continuation of what I was doing in community development, but with a different target audience.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
I’m a single mum of two teenagers aged 14 and 19, so a lot of my time is spent looking after their needs. They may be older now but parenting is a never-ending process no matter what age our kids are at.
Now that my son is serving his National Service, he’s becoming more independent with a life of his own. The time I get to spend with my kids is progressively decreasing over the years, so I’m not as connected to them physically as I used to be. But I think it’s a very organic process of growing up. When we do spend time together though, we like to go out for meals or go trekking.
As for myself, I enjoy travelling, cooking, painting, and writing.
What have you been painting of late?
I used to do a lot of landscape paintings of beaches, but I’ve recently been moving on to figures and forms. So far I’ve painted Hindu deities such as Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva, and even women of different cultures.
After I’m done, I like to hang them up all over my walls.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt since having children?
Patience, tolerance, and flexibility. As high achievers themselves, my children have also taught me to keep persevering and never settle for less.
In fact, my daughter is receiving an award for her academic performance as we speak! Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend the ceremony because of work, but it’s so nice to see my children developing good traits like that.
Share with us the meaning behind your tattoos.
I have four tattoos, one of which is a Unalome, a symbol used in Buddhism to depict the journey of life. As you can see, the spiral represents the start of life after birth, moving without direction. As one progresses through the years, life presents itself in a zig-zagged fashion, with lots of ups and down. As we grow older, we’ll find stability and eventually meet our end, as shown by the dot.