Colearner Catch-ups: Donna Tan, Singapore Community

August 2, 2019
Balancing multiple interests, Donna talks about how everything she learns adds to her thinking.

Tell us about yourself

I am Donna Tan. I am currently in global mobility consulting at Mercer. After working in cross-cultural communications and mobility for 7 years, I took the rather scary step of attending graduate school in the UK and have recently relocated back to Singapore.

Having had the privilege to travel to almost 40 countries and live in a few, I apply what I have observed and learnt to cross-cultural training and consulting. I am fascinated by how cultural identities evolve, yet remain distinct.

I write when I can, possibly read too much about the Korean Peninsula (and crime, but not necessarily crime in the Koreas), eat and cook with my family, and work on projects connecting culture and tech.

What motivates you to be a lifelong learner?

The spirit of the quote “The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know” guides what I think about lifelong learning. I simply enjoy learning, because I feel even if something isn’t relevant at the moment, what I learnt adds to my thinking.

This may or may not explain why I am pretty decent at trivia.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

As arduous as it may seem, I would love to get into academia — the thought of combining research and teaching excites me! In my experience growing up in Singapore, sociology remains the poor unloved social science sibling and I would love nothing more than to champion how relevant and crucial sociological perspectives can be for work and employers today.

What’s a new thing that you learnt this week? It could be a blog post, a book, an idea, podcast or anything! Do share a link, if there is one.

I have never been much of a journal keeper, so I have been trying to incorporate a weekly reflection. A recent article by True Black, which incorporates learning and mindfulness as well.

What’s the next thing you want to learn more about?

Off the top of my head, it will be data analytics and storytelling for now.

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