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4 minute read

Starting Your Career: Why You Should Consider SMEs as a Fresh Grad

Listing an MNC on your resume may be “sexy”, but experience at an SME could greatly elevate your market value and future salary.

As a fresh graduate, you probably have big ambitions – a career you’re passionate about, in an industry you love, surrounded by people who share a similar mission, and working at a renowned multinational corporation (MNC) that can add sparkle to your resume.

But a global pandemic had to ruin everything… especially your chances of landing a job at an MNC.

Or has it? 

The reality of working for a large corporation

It’s certainly true that a job at an MNC has its advantages, such as a broad range of benefits and a sexy name to attach to your resume. 

But no matter where you work – an MNC or small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) – your first drawn pay will be limited by your experience (or lack of it). And your job title likely will be more “modest” than “sexy”. 

Still, your first job is your stepping stone towards a successful career – and when it comes to acquiring skills, making a genuine impact on the business and building your professional network, there are few experiences that can raise your value, more than working at an SME. 

Discover career opportunities in SMEs at MyCareersFuture. We have over 80,000 job opportunities daily for you.

You’ll learn to make decisions and get things done, quickly

At SMEs, speed of execution is generally more important than “not making mistakes”. You’re unlikely to see decisions requiring multiple levels of approvals (or taking days) to go through.

When something needs to be done, you’re usually only an email or face-to-face chat (or a Zoom call!) away from making things happen. 

This means that your decisions, and your actions, matter — and you can expect your decision-making abilities and speed of execution, to level up quickly when you’re at an SME.

You will work hand-in-hand with management

According to the report “How Millennials Want to Work and Live” by Gallup, millennials “care about having managers who can coach them, who value them as both people and employees, and who help them understand and build their strengths”. 

If this close-knit relationship with management is important to you, you’ll be glad to know that this is the relationship and management structure, that many SMEs practise.

Read Also: Impressing Your Boss: Tips to Get Noticed for the Right Reasons

This means you’ll frequently be in close proximity with senior management, often joining in meetings with senior colleagues and management.

These are invaluable opportunities to experience for yourself how strategic decisions are made – opportunities that your friends at MNCs may only experience once or twice a year, if at all. 

Attend walk-in interviews, virtual career fairs, workshops and more! Explore Career GRIT and find events and other resources best suited to your career journey. Check it out now.

You have a genuine role in the business

Proximity to senior management also means that your ideas will genuinely be heard. And in a flattened office structure (where management and staff are close to each other), you could play important roles in projects and pitches, even with your “fresh graduate” status. 

In terms of personal and professional development, this presents a huge opportunity for you to contribute and grow — which, according to research from the professional network PricewaterhouseCoopers, is the number one factor that influences millennials when choosing a job. 

A role at an SME can be incredibly valuable for your career

What does all this mean for you? 

Imagine having a wealth of “management room” experience, after only being with a company for one to two years.

Read Also: Job Searching: How and Why You Should Consider Applying at SMEs

Also, think about how you’ll stand out in future interviews when you showcase how you consistently make meaningful decisions, demonstrate leadership, interact with senior management, and more. 

These experiences will certainly work in your favour, when looking for your next job or negotiating for improved remuneration and benefits.

Want to increase your chances of nailing the job interview? Our virtual seminars can teach you effective job search strategies, enhance your personal brand, and more. Explore Career GRIT to learn more!

Get started with an exceptional SME with the SGUnited Traineeships Programme

The job market may have slowed down due to the ongoing pandemic, but there are many fantastic SMEs that are looking for suitable talents to drive their businesses – and you could fit the bill. 

Now, you can find a position that matches your qualifications with the SGUnited Traineeships Programme. This programme supports all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents who graduated in 2019 or 2020, and also those who graduated earlier and completed their National Service in 2019 or 2020. 

This is a fantastic opportunity to learn valuable skills, gain experience that will further your career and build an impressive resume.

Your traineeship experience is an ideal stepping stone towards your dream career, as it strengthens your foothold in a competitive job market and gives you a distinct advantage over your peers.


Simply visit MyCareersFuture and search for traineeship opportunities under the hashtag #SGUnitedTraineeships. 

*The SGUnited Traineeships (SGUT) will cease by 31 March 2022.

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