Manila, Philippines (20 July 2022) – As work arrangements disrupt and new forms of businesses arise, talents need to keep up and remain well versed in hybrid engagements while maintaining a human-centered agenda. The Career Services Office (CSO) of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) held its second Future of Work panel webinar series for the Classes of 2022, moderated by Executive Director for the Ramon V. Del Rosario Sr. Center for Corporate Responsibility, and AIM Faculty Member, Prof. Dynah Basuil, PhD.
AIM President and Dean, Dr. Jikyeong Kang, PhD, welcomed participants and guests to the July 20 event. “We need to have a conversation about how the curriculum needs to change because the world is changing, expectations and needs of employers are changing, the requirement for soft skills, cognitive skills, creativity, and innovations are increasing exponentially.”
Executives from four different businesses located in the U.S.A., Singapore, United Kingdom, and Malaysia were tapped to share their unique perspectives on the demands to be made on the managers of tomorrow, their first-hand experience in addressing the impact of the pandemic on organizational requirements, and how to stay relevant given the current global socioeconomic environment.
Nico van der Walt, Vice President of Singaporean technology solutions consultancy Thakral One, shared his thoughts in the context of cloud and data analytics. “I cannot think of a better time to start your career than today in the Cloud. The Cloud is no longer an optional feature of your career; it is compulsory, it is here, and it is not going away.” Nico emphasized that the Cloud has brought many capabilities that were unimaginable in the not-too-distant past. It requires us to think differently about information technology, innovation, business risks and opportunities.
Chief Financial Officer Marc Matsumura shared how Pioneer Square Brands in Seattle thrived during the pandemic. As a designer of premium mobile technology bags and cases primarily for the K-12 market, Pioneer was able to pivot quickly to global remote work in early March 2022. The company’s success and learnings during the pandemic allowed for future growth. “Covid changed a lot of things essentially overnight: there are new social norms, new behavioral norms, and the prioritization of physical and mental health. How we operate as a company has also changed and what we look for in our team members has changed as a result. Be ready to plan and to pivot. With the challenges we face, there is always an opportunity on the other side that we can find success.”
Dong-Wook Lee, Employer Engagement Director of the Asia School of Business in Malaysia and Board Member of MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance, provided a career services viewpoint. He touched on the high-level economic outlook and hiring trends in key Asian cities, and the critical role of career centers in equipping MBA students with tailored market information for better decision-making in identifying career opportunities across Asian markets. He emphasized, “When you look at engagement, networking is an important factor in securing a job in this region. We invite our students to leverage their alumni base as a point of first contact, and LinkedIn is a very powerful tool in doing so. Attending related conferences in industries and functions you want to be in is also essential.” Beyond salaries, it is a lifestyle of choice. DW added, “You can be making a high salary in Singapore, but you’ll also be spending a lot in Singapore. It is the same in Hong Kong versus other parts of the world. It’s not necessarily where you are working but what kind of lifestyle choice you make.” He stressed that this is a very personal non-formulaic choice that is important in managing expectations.
MillerKnoll is a collective of furniture design brands committed to building a more sustainable world. Focused on research-based information, Bertie van Wyk, Insight Program Manager, shared his thoughts on the possible paradigm shifts and key elements one should be expecting due to the pandemic and beyond. “This is the exact conversation I am having with the biggest multinational organizations all around the world to understand and prepare for the future.” Bertie emphasized two major shifts in this context. The first is moving from forced acceptance to strategic advantage and the second is transitioning from substantial investment to competitive edge. Allowing equitable work experience and increased engagement among employees will spur increased productivity. Additionally, sustainability is at the top of the agenda everywhere in the world; everyone will be looking at this in the future.
AIM students learned about key job market trends, organizational issues and resilience, and additional insights from global leaders that will allow them to craft effective career strategies in fine tuning their approach in order to stay ahead of the game.
The CSO team will continue to create Future of Work sessions with thought leaders to afford AIM students the opportunity to partake in exhilarating discussions and meet captains of industry to widen their network.