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Incorporated on 1 June 2005 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, Certis Group has always been recognised as CISCO, the leading physical security provider in Singapore that secures key installations and the key player in Singapore’s cash ecosystem. As a member of the global security community, Certis CISCO has been admitted into the International Security Ligue since 2008.
Certis CISCO’s manpower security services were redesigned with service excellence frameworks and smart operations-technology powered by Certis Technology’s patented solutions that allow them to consistently deliver exceptional services and delight their customers.
With advancing technology and evolving security threats, Certis Group has transformed into an innovative operations-technology centric partner that offers complete end-to-end security services, from physical security to cyber security. All of these are made possible with a strong security technology that harnesses and improves the capabilities of the operations.
During the 16-week attachment from 4 April to 20 July 2018, two members from the 4-person project team was on-site, attached at Certis Technology’s Polcam project Department to analyse and compile necessary data for the project. The other two members of the team stayed in the Certis Office (Commonwealth) to assist In office work. During the attachment period, the reporting office was at Certis Cisco’s West Hub training academy along science centre road.
As the nature of the job requires personals to be onsite to do physical checking as compared to a regular desk job, it is expected of me to travel from site to site. Sites differs as I am usually posted out to HDB( Housing Development Board) linkways and Hawker Centres. A company vehicle is used for transportation, and the team usually consists of up to 3 people. I am joined with the other intern (my classmate -Malcom) and a colleague. My colleague drives the vehicle and supervises us on the job that needs to be done at different sites. When we are not teamed up for the precheck, I am separated from my classmate, and we both follow other colleagues to conduct BAT (police officer joins us to different sites to pass site’s cameras).
In the Polcam (police camera in short) project, there are many teams. Teams such as site survey team, office administration team, testing and commissioning team, installation team, etc. For the full 16 weeks of the internship program, I was posted out to the testing and commissioning team. The team is also known commonly as the precheck team. The precheck team is responsible for helping to spot for any faults/ errors before the police officer(client) does their check. The Police officer will counter check with the checklist and see if the site has passed its “test”. Some problems faced can be wrong configuration of video loss settings, camera’s focus are not clear, video footage shows skipping of frame. The team is issued with a checklist form, the checklist form helps to check for faults in a very systematic manner. The personnel conducting the precheck will counter check with the checklist to spot for errors. If the error is simple to fix, the precheck team will go ahead and fix the issue. Issues include: refocusing of camera’s focus point, changing frame rate of which the camera records in, the use of motion detection software or not, video loss settings, NVR settings, etc.
If the site has been checked thoroughly by the precheck team, the police officer will be next to review the site. This check conducted by the police officer is known as the BAT. If the police officer has checked the site and passed it, the site is considered done. However, if the site fails to meet all the required quality provided in the checklist, the officer will “fail” the site and get the precheck team/ initial installer to revisit the site to fix the issues.
The checklist is a very important part of the entire system as it has cut out a lot of lead time for the polcam project. Though it may be argued that it actually only saves 3-5days of lead time for approval, however when its spanned over close to 5800 sites, there is actually quite a significant amount of time saved. Attached in appendices A/B shows how the entire polcam’s testing and commissioning team works, and how the use of the checklist help in saving valuable time.
When not assigned to precheck team, I am assigned to go back to the office at Certis Cisco West Hub training academy. Over in the office, I am assigned different work by the other colleagues in the office. Some office work includes initializing of hard disks, changing NVR settings and configuring IP address for the NVR.
I will like to reflect on how I coped with emotions and stress. There were many life skills learnt over the couple of weeks during the internship program. Although the internship was overall a great experience and big eye opener for me, certainly there are many aspects of the job scope that were not as exciting.
As I am always required on site, there are many times the site location is very far away from my residential address. Whilst I am generally open to travelling, however it is very difficult to meet on time early in the morning. For example, there may be times where I am supposed to meet the team over at Choa Chu Kang at 9 in the morning. As I live in Hougang, the traveling time to get to site is very long. So I had to wake up early in the morning to start my commute early so I can reach there on time. More often than not, the sites are quite far away from the MRT stations/ Bus stops. So I have to spend some time looking through the internet to look for the best traveling option to get to site. Coping the constant stress of trying to reach the site on time while travelling in a packed MRT/Bus during the morning peak hours is very difficult. So as to cope with the stress, I realized it was unrealistic to be on time everyday. I spoke to the team mates to give me some time allowance if the site is far away from the MRT station.
I believe that although its very troublesome to wake up early each morning to find where the site is, I am sure there is a little takeaway from this experience as well. From the constant travelling, I have gotten to places that I would have usually not have stepped foot on. One big takeaway is when my colleague introduces me to the famous food stalls around the neighbourhood during lunchtime. That said, I got to try different types of food available at every part of Singapore.
The workload during the job may be very tiring. In addition to the constant travelling from sites to sites, I am also required to do some labour intensive tasks. This includes carrying of monitor screen, ladders and tools. When adjusting camera’s focus, I am also needed to climb the ladder to higher heights so I can move the focus lever to change the focus point. Many times, I will be perspiring under the warm temperature.
Overall, although it was tiring and taxing on the body, I felt that the it is something of value. Considering the cameras are part of national security, I am glad I have played a part in this operation.
I have also grown some form of empathy, I understand that the polcams play a very big part in ensuring the safety of residence in the area. While going to different sites, I met many members of the public. They talked to me about how the polcam will play a big role in making sure the neighbourhood is safe. With the recent increase in the use of e-scooters, many residents feel unsafe while walking on pavements from their HDB to the bus stop. The polcam will be able to catch footage of any accidents/crimes in an unfortunate event, so for that reason I have grown to show some empathy for the residents.
Work ethic is not defined by passion, but instead by consistency. It’s been shown that people who don’t like their work tend to slack off more. It’s difficult to act any differently, especially when the material doesn’t interest the individual, but someone with a great work ethic will do the job fully despite their lack of passion. In a career, just as in life, there will be plenty of things that won’t be perfect. Being and staying positive is key to making the most out of any situation. The best thing about my internship was the nature of the work and the great, versatile, and diverse employees that I got to know. As an intern, there was a more relaxed nature to the work and work environment. I was able to use this to my advantage; I could communicate with colleagues effectively without having to worry about normal business jargon.
When it comes to this job, there are many technical knowledge and skills that are needed. As the tasks are all executed on a computer, IT knowledge is a plus. Although I am not taught for changing IP addresses, changing NVR configurations, my colleagues were very patient and tried their best to teach me how to work about the IT problems that I encounter.
Apart from going out to sites with the precheck team, there were days that I spent in the West Hub Cisco office. In the office, I learnt how to initialize hard disks and change the NVR IP addresses. Although they were not hard to do, however because there were so many of them, I had to sit at the desk to do the same thing repeatedly for the entire day. It is very “boring” as the steps are all the same and there is little variation to each steps. However I felt like this was also another important aspect of the polcam project as this could impact the entire project a lot. In a sense, clearing hard disks means providing more hard disks that are available for swopping out faulty hard disks at sites. Configuring NVR’s Ip addresses helps to cut down the time for installers when they are on site so they don’t have to spend precious time configuring IP addresses when they can spend their time going to other sites to fulfill more installations.
Apart from technical knowledge and skills, there are also soft skills that I picked up. Adaptability is another skill that I am glad I can add to my resume. Adapting to different environments is an essential characteristic that most jobs want while looking for a candidate. Adapting is a skill that deals with openness to new ideas and concepts, to working independently or as part of a team, and to carry out multiple tasks or projects. Interning in Certis’s facility was very overwhelming with all the information I was given, but with time I was glad I was able to adapt to the workflow and gain that as a resume builder and personal skill.
Together with adaptability, I learnt how to solve problems as well. When faced with struggles/ problems during working hours, I will have to solve it, even if it means stepping out of my comfort zone. Some ways I solved problems were when I had to fix a NVR that was placed really high, usually the team will leave the site and proceed on with another site. However, I will try to find other things that I can stand on to reach the NVR. For example, I will ask hawker stall owners if I can borrow their ladder so I can climb up to configure the NVR.
Throughout the past 16 weeks, I have discovered new strengths and weaknesses that I feel I have never even knew about myself.
I believe that my personal strengths are mainly in my enjoyment of listening to others and to be considerate and kind when forming relationships with other people. I also take responsibility for my actions and welcome feedback from others. Being a great listener will help me to be very receptive towards clients’ concerns. In this way I could be a better business process and system engineering student who can learn not only from lectures but also from the real life situations and concerns that others will express. In addition, my strength in accepting input from others can help me greatly with interpersonal communication because this would be more conducive to successful teamwork in the future.
I discovered that I am someone who is very resilient. When faced with new problems, I will try my best to solve it. However because I do not give up easily, it may take a little longer to complete a task as if it was completed by someone else with prior knowledge. However I feel that there is no harm in learning something new and trying out till I finally grasp how its done.
Based on remarks by my team mates, they all commented that I am not a very tidy person. I am someone who is very messy and quite careless. When handling data that are required to be very precise, I am not able to finish effectively as I am not meticulous with my work.
So how can I compensate for my weaknesses? I agree with the others that I should try to be more meticulous with how I handle data sensitive documents. I know that I may make careless mistakes when filling up a form, so I should pay extra attention.
There are a couple of things that I do feel I lack the confidence and skill to perform, and that is what I hope to gain from real work experience. I am not as scared as I used to be at the beginning of this year due to this internship. It has given me a boost in my self-esteem and confidence. I believe people have a strong tendency to trust others who are confident in themselves, and I believe that I will be taken more seriously in the future if I carry myself more confidently.
After finishing this 16-week period of internship, I have a better understanding of the two types of job. One is on site job, another is an office desk job. Although I feel that it is commonly misjudged by many that they are extremely different, however I feel that they share a lot of similarities.
Similarities between an on-site job and desk job is that there are many people that you will have to communicate with. On site employees will face clients/colleagues on a face to face basis, while employees that are in offices communicate with clients through the phone.
Not only do I learn about how the government works with information before it gets to the public, but also personal characteristics. I got exposed to real world professionalism from the dress code all the way to getting the work done. A person who keeps their word, demonstrates loyalty, and exceeds expectations is demonstrating professionalism. As an intern, I was able to meet new faces everyday with different qualifications. I mainly observed the way how people interacted with each other. It gave me a chance to expand my knowledge and observe how I should treat them and how I should carry myself.
If I am to be asked what kind of job type I would prefer, I can say with confidence that I like being part of the onsite team. I like the “out and about” part of the job. I like going out and meeting new people every day, traveling around exploring different sites. I do not wish to be stuck to a desk and be cramped with work.
However despite all that, I am sure the onsite team can only go about doing their job if there is a reliable off site team working hard to provide the necessary items for the onsite team. This includes (for this case), HDB floor plan, planning for site installations, procurement of materials, giving the team the necessary tech support if needed and most importantly, liaising with clients. That said, of course everyone must play their part, to be an effective team. Through this internship, I realized that the PolCam shows me how an effective team can help speed up the processes, and make everyone satisfied with what they are doing.
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