Berlinda Lim is a Production Scheduler in Shell’s Lubricant Supply Chain. As a teenager on a school trip to a Cambodian orphanage, Berlinda helped build part of the school and playground, and conducted immersive experimental science lessons for the underprivileged students there. The experience of living away from home, in a place with restrictions to basic necessities such as water, made her realise she cannot take anything for granted. She returned to Singapore with a determination to help the more vulnerable in her own country.
Driven by her passion to work alongside youth, Berlinda joined the organising team for the 2020 edition of Shell’s annual mentoring programme with ITE West. Now into its fourth year, the programme aims to develop soft skills, such as critical thinking, public speaking, as well as self-confidence using both project-based and small-group mentoring techniques. In 2020, over thirty ITE West students joined the programme, despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Berlinda, the challenges were an opportunity in disguise. A keen strategic thinker, she and her team started the planning process by understanding what motivated their potential volunteer mentors, and what roadblocks they were facing when participating in a three-month volunteering programme. The team then went on to collect feedback on what students themselves wanted, before tackling issues, such as defining real-world problem statements for the project and how to build inter-personal connections virtually.
“Sitting in on the various mentoring sessions, I saw many inspiring and meaningful moments. For instance when mentors and mentees connected on topics beyond the programme, it really reflected the bonds that they forged,” Berlinda said.
One of the biggest moments for both the mentors and the organising committee was when they realised just how much of a journey the students had taken between their first and last phone calls in the programme. While still shy or uncertain, many stepped out of their comfort zones and have grown as individuals in the safe space of the mentoring groups. Having been involved this year, Berlinda has been inspired to join the ShellxITE Mentorship next year as a mentor!
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