A blog about the adventures of Jeannel Mah

Working with a Global Team

An edited version of this appears on my LinkedIn. I wrote this while still in Capgemini for their Gradathon event. This is the unedited version of my write-up. 

Hello! My name is Jeannel. I just graduated from the Capgemini graduate programme in May. I’ve been working with Capgemini since May 2016.

My very first project with Capgemini was doing a Business Process Reengineering and Functional Requirements Study with a Government Ministry. On the project, I got to work with a very global team. We had industry experts come in from America, New Zealand and Germany who had experience in different areas of the project. These areas were the technology we were proposing to the client, the sector we were working on, and the methods of going about the project.

In addition to all the people we brought in, even within the local team we had diversity. Apart from the Singaporean locals and Malaysians, we also had teammates from India, Indonesia and Estonia.

Each project member brought a different identity into the project, not just from their industry knowledge, but the different characters and cultural differences made the project extremely interesting to work on. There was also a large range in terms of age, so that added in even more flavour.

There were definitely many different working styles in the team, and occasionally there were issues because of this, so at many points there needed to be constant mediation between the smaller working teams. As a graduate we didn’t really have the power to contribute in the mediation, but observing them and getting to know the different sides adds to our own personal database on “How To Handle Different People And Situations”

Outside the project, I spent a lot of time with members of the team. The American lady who became my mentor and close personal friend, the Turkish-Korean German with whom hanging out with was always fun, the Indonesian-German who gave me great working advice, the extremely multilingual German who was so open to trying our food and culture, the hard-working and quiet Estonian with whom many a late-night was shared, the ever supportive and caring Indian teammate who is quiet at first, but becomes extremely sassy when you get to know him better, and of course, the awesomely sporting fellow Singaporeans who helped me recommend and bring them around to try different aspects of our culture.

Some notable activities I recall from spending after-work time with them. Well, there was having meals al-fresco in the hot Singaporean weather which the non-Singaporeans loved, and which they loved to make fun of us Singaporeans for complaining about the heat. Bringing them to sing karaoke at Teo Heng and seeing their surprised looks that we had a personal room and no alcohol there. Almost weekly drinks and dance at a Mexican bar that had Salsa classes every Wednesday. Supper time at the extremely local, late-night dim sum place, Swee Choon, after having the Singapore Sling at the extremely posh, extremely touristy Raffles Hotel. Bringing them for a Hot-Pot lunch and seeing their amusement at how Singaporeans can scoff down a meaty buffet. Watching the hilarity of them getting into funny positions (think Asian-Squat) to take the best pictures on the River Bum Boat ride.

They were here for ranges of 3-8 months, so it would be impossible to capture everything that happened in that time into one blog post. But what I can definitely say is that it was a pleasure to meet and work with every single one of them. They taught me not only things that will advance my career in this increasingly global economy, but also fun and friendship across country and cultural boundaries.