Metta School is a special education school that caters to students with mild intellectual disability and / or mild autism spectrum disorders, between 7 to 21 years old. A diverse range of school programmes include broad-based foundational years and basic education in functional skills as well as specialized vocational training leading to national certification.
But what lies beyond graduation from Metta School? We follow ex-Metta School student, Lai Bo Cheng, as he shares with us his journey and aspirations upon graduation.
Life After School (Part 1)
The Beginning and The Journey:
I first joined Mandarin Orchard Singapore in 2011 as a front office trainee under the School to Work Programme (STWP) that Metta School has. Under the STWP programme, I would go to school in the morning, then report to Mandarin Orchard Singapore for work in the afternoon. It was in 2014 when I finally joined full time as a Driveway Ambassador.
What I Do at Mandarin Orchard:
My duties as a Driveway Ambassador/Doorman is to open the doors and greet guests as they first step into the hotel, making the first and last impression of every guest’s journey. I also help assist guests with their luggage or answer their questions.
My favourite moment is when I get to welcome every guest at the door with a unique and personal greeting such as “Have a fantastic, glorious and magnificent day!” Guests will smile and share a greeting in return. That really makes me happy!
I love my job as it gives me the opportunity to meet new people daily and make their day with my smile.
My Memorable Experiences at Mandarin Orchard:
During my time here at Mandarin Orchard Singapore, I had many memorable experiences such as winning Employee of the Year, meeting various ministers and celebrities. However, the most memorable would be that I got to meet President Halimah Yacob in person at the 2017 Christmas on a Great Street Light-up Ceremony. I also remember taking photos with Minister Chan Chun Sing.
The guests are also what makes my time here at Mandarin Orchard Singapore memorable. They will mention my name when reviewing our hotel on TripAdvisor to say that they enjoy my signature greetings. For example, during the time when my greetings had the word “tantalising” in them, such as “have a tantalising day”, I was nicknamed “Mr. Tantalising” by many of our guests!
What I Love About Working at Mandarin Orchard:
Working in Mandarin Orchard Singapore has been very enjoyable thus far. When I first started as a Driveway Ambassador, I did face some of the usual challenges that most ambassadors would face. Hotel lobbies are usually buzzing with activity and part of my job is to greet guests, help assist them with their luggage or answer their questions. When there are too many guests that require my assistance at the same time, I was able to approach my Duty Manager or colleagues for assistance. They have been very supportive and are always by my side. They are like my family, and that is what I love about working here.
The Skills That Metta School Taught Me Which I Can Use At My Job:
My teachers were very helpful and guided me in my studies. They also encouraged me to take part in various extracurricular activities such as badminton and bowling to help build my confidence. From those activities, I also learnt the importance of teamwork and camaraderie.
To continue to interact with guests and make them happy in my own way.
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