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Yin Ying H'ng first joined APRIL Group in 2017 as a researcher based in Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau. At that time, little did she know that her choice to work in APRIL would bring her to Finland to undertake year-long post-doctoral research with full financial support from the company.

Why did she choose APRIL to further her career? How does it feel living in Pangkalan Kerinci? With her impressive educational background, why does Yin Ying feel that APRIL is the right place to implement her knowledge?

Let's get to know her better as she shares her thoughts on education, career journey, and passion with us.

APRIL Group

Where did you learn about APRIL Group?

When I was a college student pursuing a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in Malaysia, I always chose PaperOne as the paper product to print my lecture notes, assignments, and thesis. That's how I learned about APRIL Group. I just couldn’t imagine that now I am here as an employee for the company.

What made you interested in working with APRIL Group?

APRIL Group is well known as one of the largest producers in the pulp and paper industry. It also merged with my initial educational background: bioresources (wood/non-wood), pulp and paper, before extending to chemical engineering. I always believed APRIL could provide me with a world-class working environment like we have in our R&D department.

Why did you choose to study chemical engineering?

Science is beautiful. I was always curious about different outcomes. I ended up in chemical engineering because it was able to fulfil my interest, and it covered a broad scope in the current industry.

What was your first impression of Pangkalan Kerinci when you came and how did you adapt to your environment in the Riau Complex?

There was an environment contrast between Pangkalan Kerinci and countries that I had been to before. However, I understand that it's all about mindset on how you adapt yourself. “Environment will not get adjusted to you, you have to adjust yourself to fit in the environment.” I am glad that I did it and I'm feeling good being here in Pangkalan Kerinci for almost four years since I arrived.

I was very grateful that I had many great colleagues in R&D. We worked as a family and helped each other. They gave support to me when I needed it. This experience is a precious thing, especially for me, who is not Indonesian.

Please tell us about your mentor in APRIL how that person encourages you to achieve your goal?

APRIL Group was my first ever job after I got my PhD. My direct supervisor, Dr Rudine Antes, Head of Research and Development department, is my mentor here. He gave me space to think, provided professional advice, and was very supportive whenever I need his help. Under his leadership, all sort of opportunities were given to me so that I could make use of my strong point and improve my weak points. He played an essential role in contributing to who I am today.

What does learning in APRIL look like?

I benefit a lot from the APRIL development program. Firstly, I was sent to all the RGE business units (Sateri, Bracell, APR, Apical and Asian Agri) to see all the company aspects. Then, I received a golden opportunity to have my Postdoc study in Finland for a year in a new area, textile technology. No doubt that APRIL makes a significant investment in their employees.

How important is education for you personally, and how do you see APRIL facilitate lifelong employee learning?

In my own opinion, the level of education is essential, and it represented the toolbox to complete those technical tasks. At the same time, leadership and management skills are also equally crucial in lifelong learning. APRIL has this covered through the TOPICC core values program among employees.

As for me, I'm deeply honoured and surprised that the company offered me such a huge opportunity to take up a development program and study in Finland.

I was researching advanced textile fibre technology with a focus on man-made fibre at Aalto University, under the tutelage of renowned industry expert Dr Herbert Sixta.

APRIL GroupAalto University Laboratory

How do you think you contribute to the business?

I had the advantage of implementing my knowledge from the supply chain (wood evaluation) to the product chain (pulp/paper/textile fibres). Besides that, my multi-lingual ability leads me to communicate easier between the business units. I’m able to work across Indonesia, China and Brazil to have a better impact on the business.

How do you see yourself in the company years from now?

For now, I am still in a growing stage. My task now is to transfer my knowledge to the team and contribute as much as I can to the company. Hopefully in time I am ready to accept the challenge of being a leader when I am more experienced.

What is the most valuable lesson from living far from home in Pangkalan Kerinci?

The most valuable lesson was how I expressed my patience towards my job. Also, how I practice positive thinking and be independent in problem-solving when I am away from home.

The best part about Pangkalan Kerinci?

I can have my favourite food, “pecel lele” in Pangkalan Kerinci. The complex is surrounded by greenery, which allows me to spend time with nature.

The best part about working in APRIL?

APRIL Group invested in advanced technology which you will never get the chance to see or operate at other research centres or universities.

I also get the chance to be surrounded by employees from around the world who are working together as a team toward the same goal. To work in such an environment is the best feeling ever.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Never stop learning and stay humble. Carry the right attitude and mindset. Prove yourselve first before asking for more.