Making a career switch is no longer daunting thanks to the myriad of reskilling courses available.

Various factors influence one’s career choices. For Shermin, she wanted her hospitality skillsets to be applied in a business development role in the wholesale trade sector. So when she left Singapore Airlines as a cabin crew after she had her first child, she joined Zeemart as a business development executive.

Zeemart is a leading digital platform which provides F&B businesses with access to a wide range of suppliers and allows them to place and track their orders online. Her role is to raise awareness and educate these business owners on how the productivity solutions Zeemart offers can help them to be more efficient and reduce costs. It brings her great satisfaction in knowing that she is assisting businesses to transform and streamline their order management processes — from consolidating all their orders under one platform, to digitalising their invoices, and providing them with the big data they need for analysis so that they can make better purchasing decisions.

Shermin with Co-Founder of Riders Cafe

From left to right: Co-founder of Riders Cafe - Willa Wong, Zeemart team - Siow Jer Jian, Shermin Toh, Shahrul

Being new to the wholesale trade sector meant that there were many terms and processes pertaining to trade, supply chain and logistics that she needs to be familiar with. To address this, she juggles her work commitments alongside attending classes offered by the International Trading Institute (ITI@SMU) under its International Trading Professional Conversion Programme (PCP). This programme is specially designed to help mid-career professionals embark on new careers in the wholesale trade sector and it includes significant training grant and salary support provided by Workforce Singapore.

A particular module that stood out for Shermin was the topic on Supply Chain and Procurement. After developing a deeper understanding of the procurement processes as well as its associated risk, she is now able to better relate to the challenges faced by her clients and engage deeper with them on the benefits of digital procurement and aggregated logistics.

Included in the nine-month PCP is a capstone project which Shermin has to work on. Her topic on “How to increase the rate of Zeemart’s app adoption and use” is based on Zeemart’s aim to help digitalise and optimise both buyers’ and suppliers’ procurement processes through technology. Whilst a restaurant’s front-of-house is often stacked with technology such as Point-of-Sales (POS) systems, food delivery and reservation applications, the back-of-house—where procurement happens—is often neglected. To assist Shermin in scoping and developing a feasible business plan, she was assigned a mentor from ITI@SMU’s network of senior industry contacts who is a subject matter expert on the topic she had chosen.

There are still a couple of months before Shermin graduates from the programme but she has already found it an ease to transition into her new role in Zeemart with the help of the curriculum from the ITPCP and interaction with her course mates from multidisciplinary functions in different companies.

Companies like Zeemart have tapped on ITI@SMU’s ITPCP to hire and reskill mid-career Singaporeans to support their growth and cross border expansion plans. If you are interested in learning more about how our programmes can support your talent development needs, you may get in touch with us at iti [at] smu.edu.sg.