What is it like to work in an MNC?

MNC. A Multi-National Corporation.

Highly coveted places where fresh grads long to enter…

This week we speak to three local born and bred millennials – William, Andrea and Melissa – who shared about their experience of working in an MNC.

Firstly, William who is 31 years of age, has been with his company for two years as a function head. As it is a global role, he enjoys great flexibility in his work schedule where he attends meetings with his European counterparts in the afternoon and has night meetings when everyone from different timezones dial in.

As he glorifies in the flexibility that he wields due to his role, he adds that he enjoys the freedom he is given the most, as he has the room to decide how he would like to complete his work. In addition, he cites a strong global collaboration as the main culture within the company. He believes that the company is able to leverage capabilities globally and form teams that are more diverse. This has also taught him to look at things from a broader perspective.

He shared, “Given that everyone comes from different backgrounds and cultures, this combination of diversity offers well-rounded discussion which is beneficial when well-managed. I believe that my foreign colleagues were sent from the global HQ to help local operations. This enables us to brush up our capability to be ready for the global stage, and not just be confined to the Singapore market which is comparatively much smaller.”

Secondly, Andrea who is 26, has been working in a software as service (SAAS) company for 3 years. Her job scope includes preparing PR reports for her clients, which give them insights on their brands and products. She cited the vibrant company culture and strong cooperative team as her favourite aspects about working there. She said, “I enjoy the company of my team the most. They’re a pleasure to work with, and I learn a lot from my colleagues”. Working in an MNC has also allowed her to meet colleagues from different walks of life. She concluded that it had been a pleasure to be part of a diverse and inclusive team which had given rise to a culturally vibrant environment.

Last but not least, Melissa who is in a regional role for marketing communications and branding. A typical day for her mostly includes collaboration with her regional counterparts either through email, chat or a video conference call, to discuss their marketing initiatives and campaigns. Her main role is also to ensure that her company’s brand is utilised in a consistent and cohesive manner.

Melissa highlighted the diverse backgrounds that her colleagues come from as a key standout of the company culture which she enjoys. She said, “People come from very diverse backgrounds, from almost any imaginable nationality you can name, and this enables us to constantly have different perspectives on certain issues or how problems are being solved. Because of our diverse culture, everyone is more welcoming of constructive feedback and open-minded to different comments, as long as it isn’t malicious, of course.”

She said her interaction with foreign colleagues have been highly positive, as she believes that culture diversity enabled her “to develop a more rounded and balanced view of many issues”. She conceded that “it’s not always sunshine and daisies, and miscommunication due to cultural reasons may happen” but added that differences were always resolved through communication.

Especially as Singapore is becoming more connected globally, this is an important skillset that she has picked up from working with people from different cultures. She added that, “Having new perspectives and ways of looking at current or old issues are where we can be innovative and come up with better solutions. In fact, I feel that foreigners contribute much to the workplace by bringing in this element of diversity.”

It seems like there’s a common thread running through all three accounts of working in an MNC – flexibility, a vibrant and collaborative culture, and diversity. All three millennials have shared about the benefits of being part of such a diverse culture and being able to learn from one another, thus broadening one’s perspectives.

So now you know why it’s so difficult to get into an MNC, and why they have so many rounds of interviews with fun/interesting/downright peculiar questions (yep, looking at you, Airbnb 😉). It’s clear that they prioritise hiring those who are not only a cultural fit but can also enrich the current mix.

Lastly, the writer would like to thank our dear friends, William, Andrea and Melissa who made this piece possible 😊


If you’d like to contribute your story to us, drop us an email at [email protected] and we’ll review it. We read each submission that comes to us within two weeks of receiving it.

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