[NOC] Life as a fresh grad — Ong Liwei

In this series, we talk to three NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) alumni on their first jobs fresh out of uni, including how they got there, what do they do, and how NOC has impacted their careers. #NOCBeyond #NOCAlumni #3000StrongCommunity

Image for post
Image for post
Liwei is currently a Software Engineer at Shopee Mobile App

NOC Silicon Valley and NUS Computing alumnus Ong Liwei has been with Shopee for about a year, and has already completed key projects on the Shopee app, spearheaded initiatives, and reinvented how software testing is done at Shopee. His year-long experience with NOC Silicon Valley has helped to hone his problem solving skills, and pitch solutions to vital stakeholders.

I wanted to join a start-up to keep in touch with the Singapore start-up scene, and I figured that a young company like Shopee with a flat hierarchy will allow for more growth and innovation opportunities.

Since joining Shopee, I have developed key features such as Shopee’s flash deals and brand sales pages. With over 10 million page views a day on just the flash sale page, and an ever-growing curation of products on sale, I have completed several performance enhancement projects to ensure that the page can be loaded as fast as possible, such that users can browse the products seamlessly.

Image for post
Image for post
Some of the key features on Shopee developed by Liwei

Apart from developing product features, I have also spearheaded several initiatives. For example, seeking to alleviate the workload of my engineering team, I built a bot to automate repetitive tasks and reminders for them. In addition, I have also built a testing framework for Shopee’s mobile app on React Native, reinventing the way software testing is done in Shopee.

NOC has taught me how to think out of the box when brainstorming ideas to improve the company’s product. For example, I have been able to identify gaps in the company’s development processes and come up with ways to fill them based on case studies and work experience during NOC. Apart from that, my NOC experience has also enabled me to better pitch my ideas to my colleagues and other stakeholders, while being equipped with a holistic understanding of the company’s business requirements and pain points.

“Liwei is willing and able to go beyond a task, exploring other possibilities and beating people’s expectations.” — Truong Quoc Thang Le, Software Engineer and direct supervisor to Liwei

As software engineers, it’s one thing for us to code and also another thing to witness our achievements and the fruits of our labour. At Shopee, changes get pushed out pretty quickly unlike conventional companies so I think what excites me the most is that of being able to build something and watch my creation impact other people positively. For example, it’s very heartening for me when my friends gush about new features on the app which I have been a part of building and improving.

Another thing that motivates me is also how I’m able to take ownership of my work at Shopee. While Shopee has been expanding very rapidly, it’s still a relatively young company where the hierarchy is rather flat. You are free to voice your suggestions for improvement, and you can expect your manager and the team to consider them seriously.

Apart from building features on the app for the consumers, I also work on internal tools to improve the work experience of my colleagues, for instance in terms of efficiency and productivity of the engineers. It is also very exciting for me when we receive positive feedback regarding such tools from our colleagues.

When some of my friends approach me to refer them into the company or ask whether Shopee is hiring. I think this is a good sign — it shows that the external impression of the company as a place to work in has improved over the past year, and that Shopee is going in the right direction. I feel proud as an employee, as someone who is contributing to the change.

Image for post
Image for post
Shopee Singapore Office

Someone who is entrepreneurial, ambitious and eager to make a difference should definitely consider joining Shopee. There is a lot of room to grow, and the similarity between working here and starting a company, for example, is that of the opportunity to take ownership of your work. There are many opportunities to propose new projects and make a large impact to Shopee’s current user base. I would say that it’s certainly not for someone who wants to join and maintain the status quo or make small changes.

Launched in 2015, Shopee is the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, providing customers with an easy, secure and fast online shopping experience through strong payment and fulfillment support. Shopee now has over 8,000 employees across the region, and with our rapid expansion, we’re constantly on the lookout for potential talents who have the passion to become part of a fast-moving and dynamic team.

For career opportunities with Shopee Singapore, visit https://careers.shopee.sg/

NOC recruitment now on!

NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) offers students the chance to work in the hottest start-up industries and study at renowned partner universities. Applications for the Jan 2020 intake will close on 30 Aug — Apply now at http://bit.ly/NOCApplyInfo

Written by

NUS Enterprise nurtures entrepreneurial talents with global mindsets, while advancing innovation and entrepreneurship at Asia’s leading university.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store