Mr Ang Kun Rong belongs to the pioneer batch alumni of Diploma in Integrated Events Management (DIEM) is now a Director of Weekends Pte Ltd.
“Whenever there are new things that I learned, I will try to find ways to apply it.” Says Ang Kun Rong, pioneer batch alumni of Diploma in Integrated Events Management (DIEM). At a mere age of 30, he owns part of the company - Weekends Pte Ltd, as the Director. The company focuses on providing event carnival services that include balloon sculpting, face painting, and performing magic tricks.
Q: How did you get started as an entrepreneur at such a young age?
I discovered the company back in my early years in university, I was looking for a part-time job and wanted to take up events-related job since I have an event-related Diploma (DIEM). I later joined Weekends Pte Ltd and even got the opportunity to do my internship there. That’s where it all started. I was exposed to a broad range of job scopes: Events, sales, operations and even help with recruitment.
During which, I realised there was much more potential of what the company can do, more than just a logistics provider. I decided to put my hobby of sculpting balloons and performing magic tricks to good use. I began to implement these activities in the company. We started recruiting people and held training for them. I was then invited to be the Director of the company after graduating from university.
Q: Is this your initial career plan from the beginning?
Not really. I did not know much about events management before joining the Diploma. Back then after the O-levels, I have no clue where I should go to. I chanced upon this very long Diploma name – Integrated Events Management. I thought it seems interesting and entered in it. During the first year, only core business modules were taught, so to know more about events, I joined event-based CCAs. That makes me understand more about the events industry and I grew to like DIEM more.
I then further my studies after my Diploma, to take on a business degree at Singapore Management University. So with both my Diploma in events management and a more generic Degree, I was able to apply the knowledge and skills I learnt into my current business.
Q: How has School of Hospitality equipped you for the real world?
I am not the “go-by-the-book” kind of person, that’s why I like about RP, about their Problem Based Learning (PBL) methodology in teaching - to give me a new challenge every day, to do your own research and give solutions. I like that we have frequent presentations that allow you to speak in public which helps in building self-confidence and these are important for job interview and pitching.
As the first batch of students for DIEM, there are many trials and errors going on but in general, modules like financial planning, marketing, budgeting and project management are relatable especially for me as a business owner. The facilitators also don't restrict our thinking and let us explore on our own.
Q: Do you see any changes when you were in SOH and now?
Yes! There are much more learning opportunities for the current students. I was here for the open house, and I saw the new facilities – the Hotel lab, SPA lab and culinary lab. As compared to my batch who needs to google to find out more, the students get to experience working in these real-life industrial-like facilities. Even the exams include these practical work.
Q: Compared to the majority, you took on the unconventional route in your career e.g. to work on weekends more than weekdays. What encourages you to do so?
I knew from the start that I dislike office work. It feels like you are just waiting for time to pass and work are fixed. I like doing sales, meeting new people and solving problems. In my current job, there are new issues every day and most must be solved on the day itself.
Of course, having to do sales for a new company has its own difficulties. There are low and peak seasons of sales. We also need to know how to stay competitive and retain your clients.
Q: Who inspires you?
No one in particular, but I do follow some entrepreneurs’ sayings. For instance, “Connecting the Dots” by Steve Jobs. Whenever I learn something new, I tell myself where I apply can it to or to my business. Or when I meet a new person, I think of how I can link bridges between people – like connecting the dots.