SINGAPORE - He graduated with a Higher Nitec in accounting in 2017 but after an internship, he decided that an accounting career was not for him.
Mr Muhammad Zulkhairi Zailani, 26, told The Sunday Times: "I like numbers... and that led me to study accountancy at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE). However, I realised that I am not the type to be desk-bound at a job."
So when his friend told him about the SGUnited Traineeships Programme in September 2020, he leapt at the chance to explore career opportunities that were not necessarily related to accountancy.
Mr Zulkhairi signed up for a traineeship at Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities the following month and was assigned to the seniors activity centre in Ang Mo Kio, where he planned and executed programmes for the elderly residents.
"Programme planning has been my forte even before I entered ITE as I used to plan and organise activities for the elderly cleaners in my school," said Mr Zulkhairi, who completed his national service in May 2019.
Recounting his experience as a trainee, Mr Zulkhairi said: "The best part of the traineeship was seeing the smiles on the faces of the elderly clients whenever I meet them and their active participation in active-ageing programmes we planned for them."
He became a full-time employee in May last year after a successful traineeship stint and is now a programme assistant at the non-profit organisation.
"Upon conversion, I was given additional responsibilities and took charge of new projects for the seniors. I plan to attend relevant courses to learn new skills and upgrade my service delivery to the elderly," said Mr Zulkhairi.
He added: "The traineeship was instrumental in leading me to paths that I would not have otherwise ventured into. Being a trainee also helped me to experience all levels of operations and better understand the job scope and the challenges that come with it."