Like most people, Tracy Pham felt uncertain as she stood at her first career crossroad after receiving her certificate from the National University of Singapore. Armed with a good degree in Business Administration, the world was her oyster. But faced with a surfeit of choices, she could not even begin to piece together what she wanted from her career and life.
Her first few years were spent exploring. Hailing from Vietnam and having studied in Singapore for 3 years, she was equally comfortable in both countries and tried out jobs in Hanoi as well as Singapore.
She honed her business and finance acumen with McKinsey and ANZ in analyst roles. She pursued her passion for the environment with the British Embassy in Hanoi as an economist and climate change officer. In each job, she experienced a different aspect of work that she loved.
Then, everything clicked together when she joined Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation as a strategic development executive in 2011. In her current role, she feels challenged with the business development and corporate reporting functions that she deals with every day. At the same time, she takes on her corporate social responsibility portfolio with gusto as she feels strongly about the environment.
"I am deeply passionate about the environment and sustainable urbanisation," Tracy shared. "Having visited various cities around the world, I can see the huge differences made to people's quality of living when cities plan and grow with the environment in mind. After staying in Singapore and working in Keppel for some years, I can now appreciate the importance of having sustainability feature strongly in long term visions, and I think we ought to continue raising awareness levels so that we can preserve our world for future generations."
Tracy applies the green mindset not only at work, but with her family as well. "On weekends, you'll find me with my husband and our one-year old daughter at the Singapore Botanical Gardens, the zoo, the bird park - any place with a natural outdoor setting," she beamed. "We love the nature, and we think it's very important to inculcate the same love in our daughter from young. In fact, we have already seen our efforts pay off, because the first pictures that our daughter has started to recognise in books are those of animals!"
At home, she is also a champion for green practices. "My husband has been ticked off by me many times - whenever he forgets to turn off the lights or recycle plastic bags," she joked.
Tracy credits her overseas experience for broadening her perspectives. "If I hadn't worked in different places, I may still be functioning with the narrow view of short term economic gain," she said. But she acknowledged the difficulty of having to uproot herself to work in another country. "I miss my family and friends back in Vietnam. I miss the taste of my hometown food. And I cannot find Vietnamese snail soup anywhere in Singapore!
"But fortunately I have my husband and daughter here with me, and I get to work for a cause that I believe in. I am glad that these big pieces of the complex puzzle of life are already in place for me. The other smaller pieces will sort themselves out."
Passionate about sustainability and the environment, Tracy is inculcating the same love for nature in her young daughter, Pippi, with regular visits to parks such as the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden at the Singapore Botanical Gardens