Balik Kampung Success Story: Fitri Farina Mahat


Fitri Farina Mahat
Associate UX designer, UK bank in Singapore

When Fitri Farina Mahat decided to do a Masters’ in the UK, finding a job and working there was her eventual goal. However, during her two years there, things had changed politically and securing a job had become difficult.


“When I decided to do a Masters, part of the reason I chose to do it in the UK was because I knew I wanted to try working and living in the UK,” shared Fitri. “After I finished my course, I did an intensive search and secured a few interviews but the fact that I didn’t have a working visa was an obstacle. Companies in the UK were quite unwilling to sponsor working visas to foreigners because of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.”  

Fitri then decided that she would come home back to Singapore. “My plan was to work for a financial services institution or consultancy as I wanted to design something that makes people’s lives easier and more convenient. Many people say that financial services apps are boring and functional, but I looked forward to the challenge of transforming these apps into something interesting and user-friendly through design. Since I couldn’t find a role in the UK, Singapore was definitely my next choice. It’s home, and we’re seeing a lot of exciting changes within the financial services industry.” 

Having made the decision to move back home to Singapore, Fitri went online to start looking for opportunities. The process was initially daunting, as she didn’t know where to start. 

“My background isn’t in financial services. I used to be in media and communications, and I think this prevented me from applying for some roles as many required prior experience within the industry. The search experience was challenging and honestly quite demotivating,” she shared. “Luckily, I came across a LinkedIn post about Balik Kampung and got in touch with Ivy.”

Ivy, the international candidate manager for Robert Walters Singapore, arranged for a call to find out more about the types of roles Fitri was looking for, her career aspirations and goals. Having understood her expectations and concerns thoroughly, Ivy then referred her to Vera Yap, a Robert Walters consultant specialising in recruiting for UI/UX roles. 

“Vera secured me an interview at a UK bank in Singapore and the role aligned perfectly with what I was looking for. I also appreciated the fact that Vera tried to find me roles that not only fit me in terms of my capabilities and experience, but also culturally. Knowing that I initially wanted to work for the UK, she did her best to search for roles that were from European organisations. The process was seamless and incredibly fast – in less than two months, I was offered my current role,” shared Fitri. 

“I was very grateful to both Ivy and Vera for finding me this role as it was the perfect fit for me. This position is exactly what I was looking for in terms of professional aspirations and I’m enjoying the challenges that come with it,” shares Fitri. “The industry is evolving rapidly in Singapore and I’m excited to see how it will continue to transform. For Singaporeans who want to work in UI/UX, particularly in financial services or fintech, I would encourage they come back here and explore the myriad opportunities available.” 

Find out how you can Balik Kampung to exciting career opportunities back home. Contact Ivy Low at today.

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