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Stay Faithful. Move On. Aim High.

Kathleen Sim
JAPAC Employer Branding Lead

My journey with Oracle started in 2000 when I joined as a Business Analyst for Prime Sourcing.  It has been a long and varied trip, with lots of different roles, assignments, and achievements along the way. I have worked on various projects in varied roles, from Product Management to Functional Lead to Project Lead to Test Manager to Functional Project Manager, across domains that ranged from private and corporate banking to pricing and billing.

In my current role as a Director of Product Management for Oracle Banking Platform, I manage a team of 8 functional people. Together we decide what goes into each release for our respective modules. We are responsible for delivering the functional specifications, involving all stakeholders in the solution design. We do get the opportunity to engage with our customers—and at times prospects—to know what they are thinking and what the market expects from us.

From excellent supervisors and managers—from whom I have learnt a lot—to helpful colleagues and team members; from very demanding customers—who’ve wanted everything to be delivered as per their wishes—to very considerate and rational customers, I have had it all.

Learnings that guide me throughout my career

There have been some fabulous learning experiences. Some of the important things I have learnt and used in my work are:

  • There are no shortcuts to success. You have to do whatever it takes to deliver whatever is required. Hard work is of the essence.
  • It takes a long time to earn someone’s trust, be it within the organization or with customers. However, you risk losing it in seconds for a bad mistake or a misjudgment. Be careful at all times.
  • Nothing succeeds like success. You will be judged by the end-result; if you have succeeded or failed. No one really bothers if you have put in a lot of hard work, yet missed the finish line by a whisker.
  • Lateral thinking is not only a jargon; you can develop this as a habit and implement it in the way you work.
  • Innovation is not a keyword reserved for fancy startups and incubators. Innovation, however small and in whatever field, is a continuous process. Thinking and doing things differently, trying out what is new, and a firm focus on delivering value are what innovation is all about.
  • Stay abreast of the latest advancement in your field of work. This point cannot be emphasized enough!

Embrace changes

What has helped me in my journey in Oracle is my ability to embrace different roles. When in Services, I moved to non-project roles for a while, mainly due to a lack of suitable roles for my line of work. When the right opportunity came, I moved back to a functional role. When I made the move from Services to Products, it was about embracing the new and going with the flow. Product Management gives you a large canvas to work with; it depends on how much of it you want to fill with your ideas. Customers will have a long list of demands; what works best for the product, what delivers value to the customers, and anticipating product uplift, even before it comes as a customer requirement, is the key.

In all my projects and assignments at Oracle, there has always been equal opportunity for all, with recognition based on merit. Being a woman at Oracle is not a disadvantage or an advantage. You need to prove your value and carve out a space for yourself.

As a working woman and mother, there are challenges—plus the nagging feeling of not being able to do justice to both. However, if your convictions are strong enough and you have the belief that you can give your best to both, nothing is impossible. You may need to reach out to others and your support system, but that is part of the journey.

My advice to you: stay faithful, move on, and aim high!

Come create the future with us. Explore Oracle’s various opportunities at our Careers site.
 

Barnita D.
Product Management Director

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