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Awa is the Vice President of Corporate Administration & Infrastructure Department at GIC’s San Francisco office, where she has spent the past two decades advancing her career. Her job entails collaborating across departments and offices to ensure the finest possible work environment for her co-workers, as well as defining new standards and trends in the design of modern workspaces.

When she’s not busy coaching and developing her teams or working out the floor and space plan for GIC’s next office in the city, she helps her community lead a healthier lifestyle by guiding them in losing weight.

Why did you decide to join GIC?

At the time, hearing about Singapore – its wealth, its mission as a small country that had only recently gained independence, and the prospect for advancement through the ability to interact with some of the smartest and most intelligent minds in the financial business – was very exciting to me.

I feel GIC has also done a fantastic job promoting diversity and inclusion by launching several programs, small and large, ranging from assisting diverse minority enterprises to bringing members from these organisations to speak to our regional teams.

What does your typical workday look like?

My typical morning starts with Self-Myofascial Release exercises – in other words, roller foams – a cup of bullet coffee, followed by some quality time with my dogs and then off to work which usually starts with meetings at home before I leave for the office to work with my colleagues.

Whenever I have free time, I enjoy checking out current events, or getting the latest industry news updates from publications like Wall Street Journal, Business Times and Harvard Business Review.

What do you like most about working here?

I enjoy collaborating across multiple departments and offices because carrying out a leadership role allows me to coach and develop teams to reach their full potential.

We’re about to move offices and I’m currently working on space planning for the new location. What distinguishes this project from previous ones is that this time, we are planning in a very fluid and uncertain landscape, so what has been true in the past may not necessarily translate to the future, so the challenge now is to develop and set new standards and trends.

How would you describe the learning & development culture at GIC?

I have had several mentors in the past. I have also spent some time mentoring our junior staff. In terms of personal professional development, I have also managed to acquire public speaking skills – which is still a work in progress.

What you should know before joining GIC

You should always be open and bright. More importantly, be yourself, especially around others.