Jun 16, 2016 11:25

An interview with Mr Rick Yeo, Surbana Jurong’s Senior Principal Architectural Associate

An interview with Mr Rick Yeo, Surbana Jurong's Senior Principal Architectural Associate
In the spotlight: An interview with Mr Rick Yeo on working overseas

It takes attitude, aptitude and adaptability to undertake an overseas work assignment. Sharing stories of personal experience and challenges, Mr Rick Yeo, from BCS Architecture Studio 1, explains why.

Working on international projects, it is necessary to travel for client meetings, presentations and to better understand the country and its operating environment. For Rick, the opportunity for an overseas job posting was initially borne out of necessity. “I have been working on projects in China for the longest time. I was travelling so much for business that I’d figure it was the right time for me to be posted there. Too many red-eye flights to China and the hotel nights do wear you down.”

Rick, who was posted to China in 2013 and has since returned to Singapore, shares: “When working overseas, I had the opportunity to pick up in-depth market knowledge and cultivate networks. The experience opened my mind and heart to other specialisations outside of architecture as I was involved in other aspects of business operations including management and business development, all of which are valuable exposure for career and personal development.”

Working in a foreign land, it is important to have the right attitude. It also helps to have a strong network of teammates who provide strength and support. Rick shares, “Throughout my two years in China, I am very grateful for colleagues and teammates who always stand ready to lend support. I am thankful for the collaborative work culture in SJ. A special shout-out for my band of dedicated brothers & sisters in SJ China Ops.” Working abroad is certainly challenging and exciting at the same time. He adds, “For colleagues who are presented with the opportunity to work overseas, my advice is to keep an open mind and go for it. After all, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.”


  • Shanghai is the largest and wealthiest city in China
  • China only has 1 time zone — even though it’s about the same size as the US
  • A developer in China built a complete 57-story skyscraper in just 19 days
  • The Shanghai Tower is the 2nd tallest building in the world at 2,073 ft, nearly twice the height of the Eiffel Tower
  • Shanghai has the longest metro system in the world with 548km of track