The Ministry of National Development (MND) plays a key role in land use planning, public housing and infrastructure development in Singapore. In this issue, we talk to Zheng Fangxin who constantly strives to make a difference in the lives of the officers in MND.
Even before Fangxin graduated from Singapore Polytechnic, she already knew that she wanted to pursue a career with MND. As part of a department dedicated to ensure the well-being of MND officers, she shares what her job is about and what she finds fulfilling about her role.
Why did you choose to pursue a career with MND?
A job in the public sector provides me with a great sense of job security. In the one and a half years that I’ve been at MND, I’ve been given the opportunity to showcase my creativity in many ways, such as designing electronic direct mailers and posters. The flexible working environment also allows me to have work-life balance. I enjoy work satisfaction and know that I have made the right career choice.
Share with us more about your main responsibilities. How does it contribute to the organisation’s objectives?
Being part of the MND-HR’s Staff Well-being team, my role revolves around culture-building and managing the well-being of MND officers. As a team, we explore and develop initiatives to improve the well-being of our officers, as well as engaging them to build a great workplace. These include engagement gatherings in the form of MND’s Lunar New Year, Hari Raya and Deepavali celebrations, MND Family National Day Observance Ceremony, and work-life activities, such as the annual MND Appreciation Dinner and MND Dragonboat Race, and raising funds for our adopted charity through the MND Charity Bazaar.
On top of that, I am also involved in the implementation of engagement plans to strengthen partnerships with MND’s Statutory Boards. This is through initiatives such as our MND Family Day which was held at the Universal Studios Singapore recently.
Staff Well-Being Executive and
Personal Assistant to Director
“Having fun while working and good colleagues are reasons I enjoy my work.”
What do you find rewarding about your role?
I’ve always hoped for a job where I can have fun while working and I’m glad I get to live that out. I enjoy planning events and making sure our fellow colleagues are connected, happy and positive. My colleagues are also the reason I enjoy my work. “Frolleagues” is the word we use here, which refers to people who are both your friends and colleagues. I’m glad that I have made some “frolleagues” in MND.
How is the corporate and social culture like in MND?
Here at MND, everyone is helpful and approachable. All of us are working towards a common mission and vision. You feel a strong sense of belonging. The smiles you see around the office are visual testaments to the friendly working environment. There are many foodies among us too. So if you are one, like me, MND would be a great place for you to be.
Share with us one memorable experience you have had at MND.
While I have only been here for one and a half years, I have experienced a few memorable moments. One, in particular, stood out. I was involved in organising the National Day Awards Investiture in 2016. This is an annual milestone event which involves agencies from the MND Family, where the Minister will present the National Day Awards to recipients from the MND Family. Our team worked very hard as it was the first time the event was organised on a large scale – the turnout was expected to be twice that of the previous years. It was the biggest event I have ever organised and it turned out to be a great success! Despite the long hours and hard work, it was a gratifying experience for me and made even more memorable when we were commended by our senior management. I was presented with a token of appreciation by MND’s Work-Life Ambassador in recognition of my contributions as a member of MND’s Work Life Committee in the same year (picture below).
What are some of the learning opportunities you have enjoyed at MND?
MND offers career development opportunities for its officers through programmes such as job rotations and stretch assignments, to broaden our horizons and skill sets which are important for the early stages of our careers. I was given the opportunity after a year in MND to take on the role of Personal Assistant to the Director of Corporate Development on top of my current portfolio. The purpose is to level up my communication and organisational skills, and a chance to more directly support the achievement of the “bigger picture”. So, I could be working on operational issues and engaging staff on their well-being matters on the one hand, and supporting and adding value to the Director (Corporate Development) on the other. There is never a dull moment in MND! While the pace of work is fast, I am thankful for supportive colleagues and nurturing supervisors who have shown flexibility, especially given my challenging double portfolio.
Any advice for polytechnic graduates who are interested in joining MND?
If you want to make a difference to yourself and your loved ones, MND is the place for you!