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Old 13-04-2016, 12:02 AM
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Default Sats gap

Have an offer from SATS Graduate Assimilation Program

Does anyone here work in SATS? Would like to hear about the daily life of someone working as an executive. There was not much information given as HR stressed that job scopes varies from business units. But I would expect that they are generally operations based.

If you work in SATS, would you recommend your company as a great place to work at?

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Old 13-04-2016, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by blitzkriegg View Post
Have an offer from SATS Graduate Assimilation Program

Does anyone here work in SATS? Would like to hear about the daily life of someone working as an executive. There was not much information given as HR stressed that job scopes varies from business units. But I would expect that they are generally operations based.

If you work in SATS, would you recommend your company as a great place to work at?
SATS is one of those 2nd tier GLC, so my advice is not to take fancy marketing terms like "Graduate Assimilation Program" seriously.

Yes it is mostly operations based and culture very old school and bureaucratic. Most of the middle managers there are old timers around for 10/20 years, reminds me of some stat boards.

If you can even get in a proper MNC as a normal exec my advice is to go for it first as they usually have better development and exposure.

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Old 13-04-2016, 12:29 AM
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SATS is one of those 2nd tier GLC, so my advice is not to take fancy marketing terms like "Graduate Assimilation Program" seriously.

Yes it is mostly operations based and culture very old school and bureaucratic. Most of the middle managers there are old timers around for 10/20 years, reminds me of some stat boards.

If you can even get in a proper MNC as a normal exec my advice is to go for it first as they usually have better development and exposure.
Oh actually I know that the GAP thing is just marketing language.

Is the culture like SAF? I know that a lot of senior staff there work at SATS their entire life. Interested to know if they have continuous improvement projects or the job scope is quite monotonous?

I actually do have an offer from a Fortune 500 for an executive role. I'm just worried whether I will learn more there and have challenging work to do. In comparison SATS promises a rotation every 3 years and Singaporeans have the opportunity of overseas postings.

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Old 13-04-2016, 01:11 AM
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Oh actually I know that the GAP thing is just marketing language.

Is the culture like SAF? I know that a lot of senior staff there work at SATS their entire life. Interested to know if they have continuous improvement projects or the job scope is quite monotonous?

I actually do have an offer from a Fortune 500 for an executive role. I'm just worried whether I will learn more there and have challenging work to do. In comparison SATS promises a rotation every 3 years and Singaporeans have the opportunity of overseas postings.
My take is to go for the F500 role. Bigger companies always have more options, besides once you get a good brand name in the CV can always jump within MNC space. The same can't be said for SATS though.

Job rotation is just another fancy gimmick, most mncs have either formal or informal job rotation anyway. Unless you really CMI, nowadays nobody works in the same job for long years and never change. As for overseas opportunity that one is mostly BS.

SATS main business is in Singapore. With Daniels sold off, their only significant overseas subsidiary is in Japan and AFAIK only a few senior managers are seconded there and maybe a few junior ones on short term stays, the rest of the staff is all Japanese. The other countries are all JVs or minor stakes, at most send 1 or 2 reps there to jaga the place.

Also MNC easy to move to GLC when you reach mid career, GLC is very hard to move to MNC once you stay too long. If you die die insist on joining GLC, at least join those 1st tier types like DBS, Capitaland, Keppel, Singtel etc.
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Old 13-04-2016, 09:03 AM
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I joined SATS in 2005 when it was still part of the SIA group and into the early years when we were hived off into a separate entity. We shared the same culture back then as the rest of the group.

SATS has a few divisions - ground handling, catering, security, cruise... As a "generalist AO" (what you described) you can be placed in any function in any division from ops to marketing to account mgmt to HR to Admin etc and rotated every 2-3 years.

The learning curve was steep as you, a freshie, are immediately placed in a junior mgmt position and you have to manage these unionized staff who are old enough to be your parents. Most training was done on the job and those who lasted came out a more hardened bunch than millennials who now expect a structured training program. It forced a freshie like me to "grow up" and instill most of the work discipline that I have even until this day.

A new Brit GCEO (previously CEO of HSBC Singapore) took over a few years back and I heard that he brought some of his banking culture over. I'm not sure how it is like nowadays but my peers back then (now in their mid 30s) who stayed on are now Managers and Senior Managers.

Most importantly for millennials is that progression was slow then. You start off as an Exec and most make AM in 10 years (some not!), and a high flyer would do it in 5 years. This was accepted back then...
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Old 13-04-2016, 09:13 AM
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My take is to go for the F500 role. Bigger companies always have more options, besides once you get a good brand name in the CV can always jump within MNC space. The same can't be said for SATS though.

Job rotation is just another fancy gimmick, most mncs have either formal or informal job rotation anyway. Unless you really CMI, nowadays nobody works in the same job for long years and never change. As for overseas opportunity that one is mostly BS.

SATS main business is in Singapore. With Daniels sold off, their only significant overseas subsidiary is in Japan and AFAIK only a few senior managers are seconded there and maybe a few junior ones on short term stays, the rest of the staff is all Japanese. The other countries are all JVs or minor stakes, at most send 1 or 2 reps there to jaga the place.

Also MNC easy to move to GLC when you reach mid career, GLC is very hard to move to MNC once you stay too long. If you die die insist on joining GLC, at least join those 1st tier types like DBS, Capitaland, Keppel, Singtel etc.
I'm the previous poster. You can easily find out where SATS JVs are located on their website besides Japan. This poster is not exposed to international biz enough to know that most JVs use local staff for various reasons other than cost with the parent company usually seconding just a GM/Dy GM or Finance Head over. The size of the JV usually means that a promising young exec could get the chance to take on a GM role overseas. The experience is invaluable, not to mention getting an expat package.
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Old 13-04-2016, 09:17 AM
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As for overseas opportunity that one is mostly BS.
Before I tendered my resignation for an overseas job I had a chat with my boss and he offered me to take up a GM role in the JV in Maldives. I was about 4 years in the co then, so definitely not BS.

Certain postings such as India and Pakistan were shitty and mgmt was always looking out for volunteers!
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Old 13-04-2016, 11:38 AM
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I'm the previous poster. You can easily find out where SATS JVs are located on their website besides Japan. This poster is not exposed to international biz enough to know that most JVs use local staff for various reasons other than cost with the parent company usually seconding just a GM/Dy GM or Finance Head over. The size of the JV usually means that a promising young exec could get the chance to take on a GM role overseas. The experience is invaluable, not to mention getting an expat package.
Excuse me, I was from SATS just up to a few months ago. I know how things work.

There has never been a case of a "promising" junior exec being seconded to a JV as a GM. This is highly misleading. Most JV GM positions are M4+. A junior exec is only E5/6, that's like 4-5 levels below even the smallest GM.

And SATS does NOT practice expatriation package unless you are a senior executive. A mid level manager who gets seconded to GM gets a package comparable to what he is drawing in Singapore plus a few additional allowances and basic perks. This is far from what is commonly know as "expat package".
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Old 13-04-2016, 02:27 PM
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Excuse me, I was from SATS just up to a few months ago. I know how things work.

There has never been a case of a "promising" junior exec being seconded to a JV as a GM. This is highly misleading. Most JV GM positions are M4+. A junior exec is only E5/6, that's like 4-5 levels below even the smallest GM.

And SATS does NOT practice expatriation package unless you are a senior executive. A mid level manager who gets seconded to GM gets a package comparable to what he is drawing in Singapore plus a few additional allowances and basic perks. This is far from what is commonly know as "expat package".
Haha you must be 1 of those long serving uncles still stuck in SIA days. Things have change a lot in the last 2 years.

Nowadays esp after Hungate join job titles already follow banking industry ie. inflated like mad. Even hire degree grads also don't want to do it properly, come out with what 'assimilation program'.

A junior ops or station manager now seconded to jv can become GM; even a finance assistant manager or accountant is called CFO or DyGM in a jv.

Last time you need 8-10 yrs to reach manager and 20 to snr mgr now they just throw managerial titles to any deg grad with 2 years exp.

I once talk to the HR before, they tell me 2 reason for doing this - first is like another poster say to psycho youngsters to go **** places and tell them is progression. Also because now gen y/z want to promote once every year or so, so they just invent more & more job titles to simulate promotion.

Secondly also to please the jv partners that we value the relationship by sending 'snr managers/GM' to impart best practice and create synergy.

The only part which is still valid is no expat package. Just very basic additions to live there, but don't expect to live like a king like some other MNC expat.
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Old 13-04-2016, 03:18 PM
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Excuse me, I was from SATS just up to a few months ago. I know how things work.

There has never been a case of a "promising" junior exec being seconded to a JV as a GM. This is highly misleading. Most JV GM positions are M4+. A junior exec is only E5/6, that's like 4-5 levels below even the smallest GM.

And SATS does NOT practice expatriation package unless you are a senior executive. A mid level manager who gets seconded to GM gets a package comparable to what he is drawing in Singapore plus a few additional allowances and basic perks. This is far from what is commonly know as "expat package".
I'm the poster you are replying too. I am speaking from my experience back then, and stand by what I said for the GM and expat package (not as generous as an MNC expat package, but still an expat package nonetheless). I guess things are different now.
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