My Delta Partners – from an Internship in Dubai to a full-time role in Singapore

The internship in Dubai

My journey to Delta Partners started in the summer of 2019 when I was doing my MBA at London Business School. With a desire to explore different places like many of my fellow classmates, I chose the Middle East as then the next destination. I often heard that summer was the “worst” time to be in the region since the temperature can easily go up to 50°C. It was so true but didn’t stop it from being the highlight of my MBA life.

Walking in to the headquarter at Media One, I was treated like a full-time employee since day one. I got staffed soon after I joined, travelled with the team to Saudi Arabia every week to work with the client side by side. As it was my first time in the United Arab Emirates, it allowed me to learn what this mysterious country was really like other than what was described by the media; first time wearing Abaya, it taught me to respect the culture and feel what it was like to be immersed in it. Thanks to Delta Partners for  bringing these to my life which I would have never been able to experience otherwise. When we came back to Dubai for weekends, there was always a famous “Dubai brunch” that you got invited to. The warm culture made me feel like I have been with the firm for a longer time.

The full-time in Dubai

All the fun memories from that summer led to a full-time job offer that I was more than happy to accept. I was grateful to have my full-time offer in a different office – Singapore. Unfortunately, due to the global pandemic, a work visa had become an issue in many parts of the world, and I couldn’t start as planned. Our HR and travel team kindly helped think through all possible alternatives, they were extremely helpful and nice to work with. They assisted me for every single step along the journey during this difficult time, and I ended up coming to Dubai first to start before the work visa situation cleared up in Singapore.

I often felt this was Dubai calling me to experience the best part of the city other than that summer. I had the opportunity to truly enjoy what the city could offer this time and celebrated the very first Christmas with a 20°C+ temperature.

It was unusual this time since most time people worked from home – a new experience for all of us when consultants couldn’t travel. Zoom and MS Teams became the new norm. Luckily, I was able to reconnect with the people in Dubai, explored more of the city and found many hidden gems which became part of unforgettable memories.

 Transfer to Singapore   

After seven months, I stepped on a new journey to Singapore where my full-time job was supposed to start originally. It was hard to say goodbye to Dubai, but I was also excited for this new adventure. The 14-day quarantine was not fun but necessary to keep everyone safe in the country. A little surprise came in during my quarantine from my new SG team; the gift was too pretty to eat but I ended up finishing all.

Settling in a new country is never easy, but the experience can be different when you have all your colleagues supporting and offering their help. Right after I finished quarantine, I got to meet colleagues and was invited to social gatherings which made the transition again smoothly. This is rooted in the Delta culture, people are friendly and welcoming, – they help you adapt to unfamiliar environments. During challenging times, for new adventures, it makes a stark difference.

The new life

I am now almost hitting the 1 year mark at Delta Partners and I want to end this piece with a big thank-you – for the experience itself from an intern to a full-time employee in different regions, for the support from the seniors, colleagues and other functional teams. Thank you for making things happen for our very own employees and for the clients, which is what makes the firm different.

Kathy Ai