Being relatively new to the business world, a dream of mine has always been to travel for a “business trip”. The idea of it sounded so professional, and when I was told that the Australia team will be visiting Singapore for a week, I couldn’t wait to tell everyone!
It’s been nearly two years since I joined TEAM LEWIS, starting out in the RISE Academy programme in late 2021. I’ve forged some close friendships with colleagues in APAC and as the trip drew nearer, I found myself eagerly reaching out to colleagues in the Singapore team, constantly messaging them all in anticipation.
Finally, on a chilly Sunday morning (a weather I would end up missing by the trip’s end) I headed to Sydney Airport, to meet with the Australia team for some pre-flight drinks, setting the tone for our upcoming journey.
An experience that could not be replicated through a screen
In preparation for our upcoming new financial year, our schedule whilst in Singapore was filled with presentations, insightful discussions and engaging workshops, led by experts from the APAC region. But to kick the week off we enjoyed a delightful Singapore breakfast, that included local tea and coffee and kaya toast, while getting acquainted with TEAM LEWIS Australia’s newly appointed Managing Director, Martin Harkin and Director, Chris McGhee as we kicked off with a review of TEAM LEWIS Australia’s achievements and milestones throughout the past year.
As we sat through workshops presented by TEAM LEWIS experts, it was eye-opening to see all the great work being done across the region and the extensive services we can offer, such as the Creative Engineering workshop with Danny Wong and Justin Cho; a workshop that filled me with anticipation for the endless possibilities that lie ahead in the future. I was jotting down so many ideas to take back to my clients!
With the absence of a laptop screen separating us, conversations and collaboration was effortless in each of the workshop sessions. We got into deep conversations about AI, content, operations and even Boolean searches. I developed a greater understanding of how much our agency has to offer, and how to use these resources to our advantage.
But it wasn’t just all work and no play.
Food, food, and more… food
Running the risk of turning this into a food blog, all throughout our time in Singapore, every meal left me yelling for more, even as my stomach begged me to stop. We were truly wined and dined, visiting Blue Jazz at Bali Street, having spicy South Indian cuisine, trying some local foods like Chilli Crab; the team was quiet for an hour as we sat there and ate!
With the local Singapore team at the helm, we experienced a range of different flavours and tastes that would never have been possible without them. Monday saw us visit a local recommendation filled with the best garlic noodles and pork I’ve had amongst other dishes, and then Tuesday we went authentic, visiting a noodle corner store in the Geylang District. Already immersed in the Singapore cuisine, there was one thing left to try… Durian. And try it we did.
I promise it tastes better than it smells.
Smiles across the board
But I think what made the food so special was the people we shared it with. Working with my colleagues across APAC on a variety of different clients, and now being able to sit down, have drinks, eat some food, and then eat some more food is what made the trip so special. I found myself constantly laughing and joking throughout my time in Singapore and making genuine friendships that extend past video calls on a screen.
Whether it was laughing during workshops as Corporate Strategy Manager, Florence Jarillo explained her life through graphs, or arguing at lunch over whether Taylor Swift is better than Katy Perry, I was able to make memories that show what it means to be a truly global agency.
Putting the TEAM in TEAM LEWIS
This opportunity gave me the chance to really see how strong the TEAM LEWIS connection is globally. During the meetings, you could feel the regional team and wider APAC colleagues were there to support you despite the 8-hour flight that separates us. And during the night we were able to all unwind with laughs and stories to share. We even broke a lot of things… that were meant to be broken of course!
Letting out all the bad energy at the Fragment Room before taking on FY24!
A big thank you to TEAM LEWIS Singapore for your hospitality and an unforgettable experience. In the short time I was able to learn and experience so much, and I speak on behalf of TEAM LEWIS Australia when I say we look forward to working closely in the future (and carrying on our argument of Katy Perry vs Taylor Swift).
Singapore. A small country with a big heart.