18.35 Activism - Young Union Leaders
Service from the Heart, Serving with a Smile.

One part unionist, one part cat lover, one part dragon boater. Jillene certainly cuts an interesting figure. She is a youth representative of Young SUN (Staff of NTUC-ARU). While fairly new to working within the union, she is no stranger to attending the activities. Asked of her most memorable moment in the union, she smile and said, “I liked meeting new people and seeing everyone enjoying themselves after the events came to a close.”

A simple and humble person on a bright path in her career, her story is no doubt relatable and an encouragement to the everyday Singaporean wondering about work-life balance.

Having graduated from Temasek Polytechnic with a diploma in Information Technology, she currently works as web and graphic designer in the Membership Department in NTUC. Creating posters, banners, emailers and web graphics, regarding the latest privileges and events in store for union members, are part and parcel of what she does in her job.

When asked about her motivation for pursuing her line of work and plans for further studies, Jillene brightly added, “I’ve always wanted to be a web designer when I was younger. But after working in the industry, I want to further myself with other skills like Marketing. I am also currently studying part time for a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Media Studies.”

Jillene is no doubt a hard worker but she plays hard as well. She holds a great passion for dragon boating and trains with her team every Sunday. She enjoys the camaraderie between her team members and herself, and the culture of encouraging each other to push themselves to be excellent in what they do.

She doesn’t live an insular life either! Jillene enjoys the comfort of her family and friends, and caring for her adopted cat – affectionately named Ducky. “I love cats! People tend to think that cats are aloof and don’t reciprocate affection, but that’s actually not true. Cats can be very loving. They are clean and easy to take care of. They also full of fun, and you can even train them to do tricks!”

Most definitely a remarkable person, for a cat chooses its master.

The Union, Life and Lessons
Besides being a youth representative of Young NTUC Committee, Jillene is also actively involved in organising events to engage members. She assists in planning the activities for the union – some of which include movie screenings, overseas trips, donation drives and the annual Dinner and Dance. Through this, she hopes to encourage young workers to be more active outside of their working schedule.

“I enjoy helping others, and serving in the Union seemed like a natural choice to me. So when the opportunity came, I embraced it! When I first started my job as a designer, I had very little confidence in my work. But after some encouragement and advice from my colleague, I began to believe in myself and the work I do. I learnt not to give up so easily. Persevere a little more and learn from mistakes made.”

A team-player in her work and a leader in her hobby, Jillene has this to say about working in a team and leading one.
“I think it is important to hear everyone’s view. And most importantly, to be a good leader is not just about leading and delegating, but to work together harmoniously with the team and be able to walk the talk.”

On parting advice for fellow Singaporeans with budding careers, she shares, “Start from what you like to do or something that you are good at, so that you will want to learn more and grow in that aspect.”