Having commenced her career 15 years ago at Asia Infrastructure Solutions, Hong May Ling has evolved into a highly seasoned quantity surveyor, spearheading numerous notable projects in Singapore.

In the Spotlight

Interview with Hong May Ling, Associate Director

Q1. What’s the day-to-day of your role like?

My typical day starts with going through emails in the morning. I will list down the to-do list, prioritise the tasks, and plan my day and week. I used to be highly ambitious, diligently planning numerous tasks to accomplish each day. However, more often than not, achieving my goals was hindered by ad hoc meetings and urgent requests from clients/consultants. That is life isn’t it, not all things will go according to plan. I will, therefore, buffer time to address the important and urgent tasks at hand before tackling the rest.

Q2. How did you first learn about AIS?

I first got to know JUBM Sdn Bhd in Malaysia, a company incorporated in Kuala Lumpur in 1976 and affiliated with Davis Langdon & Seah International (DLSI). That was during my university days when they came to conduct a recruitment exercise. I requested for JUBM to help us get an interview with Davis Langdon & Seah in Singapore. I travelled to Singapore for the interview and successfully secured the job. Davis Langdon & Seah was later acquired by Arcadis and Arcadis Singapore was later rebranded as Asia Infrastructure Solutions.

Q3. What drew you to AIS originally? And how has AIS changed since?

This is my first job after I have graduated with a Degree in Quantity Surveying. I am thankful to be given an opportunity to work and grow together with the same company which is well known as one of the leading Quantity Surveying consultancy firms in Singapore. My journey started in 2008 as a young and fresh Quantity Surveyor, and I have witnessed how the company has evolved and changed from Davis Langdon & Seah to Langdon & Seah to Arcadis and now Asia Infrastructure Solutions. The company has undergone transformations in its working style to align with industry trends and global changes, ensuring that we maintain our competitive edge. We had transitioned from paper documentation to cloud/softcopies documentation, paper measurement to digital measurement, office-based work to the flexibility of a hybrid work model, and physical meetings to virtual meetings. The changes are mainly driven by the digital transformation that the whole world is adopting and sped up due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q4. What’s the most unique part about working here?

Flexibility. With a good laptop provided, we are able to basically work from any location.

Q5. Which benefits are your favourite and why?

I like how the company has provided a cosy working space with our welfare in mind. The new office has re-located to a strategic location just above the Bugis MRT station where there are abundant food choices. The office is also equipped with two OSIM massage chairs for us to rest and relax. Every day, the pantry is stocked with fruits and snacks for us to enjoy, and there are beverage machines available for dispensing.

Q6. How have you grown professionally while at AIS?

I still remember vividly how I started off as a fresh graduate with the Company 15 years ago, joining a team of eight to ten, working on an SGD$500 million mixed development project which was at the post-contract stage. I spent my first five years at the company working on this project while my other peers had completed a full cycle of several other projects. The exposure from this project has provided me with valuable knowledge on technical aspects, contracts and procurement, arbitration, and soft skills such as how to compose effective email communications, present information, manage and keep track of project timelines and due dates, and manage expectations with internal and external stakeholders. This project has helped me build a solid foundation for me to front subsequent projects.

Q7. What has been your favourite project or biggest accomplishment at AIS?

My favourite project is the Redevelopment of Funan. Through close collaboration and strong working relationships with our client and consultants, all contract packages were awarded within budget and backed by effective cost estimates. All disputes were resolved amicably through clear contract provisions and the project was delivered ahead of schedule. This project has won the Arcadis Asia Excellence Awards (Cost & Commercials Management) 2019 and RICS 2020 South East Asia Quantity Surveying Team of the year. Project Funan is the first project from our office to apply for BCA Productivity Innovation Project (PIP) Funding by adopting Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Virtual Design and Construct (VDC) as part of the productivity and innovation initiative. We had also successfully assisted our client to obtain reimbursement from the government arising from the construction of the Underground Pedestrian Linkway connecting Funan to Raffles MRT and Adelphi.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our project team who had worked alongside and provided dedicated support to achieve the above. Thank you to Josephine Lee, Guang Su Wei, Eunise Yeow Huai Ying and Sucheera Chatpichit.

Q8. What advice do you have for prospective AIS’s candidates?

Teamwork, communication, and relationship-building skills are essential in our line of work. It is important to maintain the good relationships with all stakeholders (Client, Consultants and Contractors) to enable us to manage the projects smoothly and successfully.

I appreciate the company’s consideration for our well-being by providing a cosy working environment. I am also grateful for the flexibility of the hybrid work model.
Hong May Ling has more than 15 years of experience in the construction industry. She has spearheaded cost management projects across various sectors, such as healthcare, commercial buildings, and residential properties. Her notable contributions in Singapore include the Redevelopment of Funan and the Marina Bay Financial Centre projects. May Ling is an adaptable, resourceful, reliable and result-driven quantity surveyor who has effectively managed all costs relating to building projects.

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