Group GM of Bee Cheng Hiang manufacturing arm gets degree with honours from SUSS

Ms Jean Ang, who is in her early 50s, graduated from the Singapore University of Social Sciences with a bachelor's degree with honours in business on Oct 9, 2019. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - Ms Jean Ang had already found success in the food industry after more than 20 years of work experience.

But Ms Ang, who is in her early 50s, reached new heights on Wednesday (Oct 9) after graduating from the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) with a bachelor's degree with honours in business.

This followed the bachelor's degree she earned from the same university back in 2017, when it was known as SIM University or UniSIM.

She had always wanted to go to university, but said the career exposure and opportunities that came her way early in life had been too good to pass up.

She joined Chop Hup Chong Food Industries - known for its bak kwa or barbecued meat brand Bee Cheng Hiang - in 1992 as a management trainee, shortly after graduating from Singapore Polytechnic with a diploma in chemical process technology and a major in food science.

Ms Ang found many opportunities at the firm, including postings to China, and climbed the career ladder, becoming group general manager in 2004.

Today, she has around 1,200 people under her charge and oversees 100 or so Bee Cheng Hiang stores in China.

"Work was very intensive and I had no time to further my studies at that time," she said.

"Now that I am in the middle and top management, there are many more things to learn - management skills and digital skills like understanding websites and using social media to do online sales. All these have helped me communicate with my younger staff."

She added that while the skills are beneficial to her company, lifelong learning is also important in her "future planning".

"By 'future planning', I mean after I retire," said Ms Ang, who is not married.

"I might move into other regions other than business - perhaps a managing role in a volunteer association - so I think equipping myself with relevant qualifications is a plus."

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