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Rachael business owner member_spotlight_-3ans
PrimeTime Member Spotlight
they do, and their association with PrimeTime.
Personal talk …
Connections: Where are you from originally, and how long have you been in Singapore?
Rachael: I’m from the UK and I’ve been in Singapore for nearly four years now.
Connections: What brought you to Singapore?
Rachael: Well, it’s the usual story – my husband’s job. There’s a twist though, since I can take credit for
being the one who suggested the move! Previously, my husband had to undertake several round-the-
world trips a year, covering a huge area from India to New Zealand and Taiwan to Australia. One day,
when I picked him up from Heathrow airport, I said that it would be a lot easier if we lived in Singapore. It
was a throwaway comment, but once we’d thought about it seriously and approached his company, the
opportunity came our way.
Connections: What do you enjoy most about living here and having a baby here?
Rachael: I feel very lucky because I’ve experienced both sides of Singapore: the high life with a full-time
job and lots of socialising, and now the family life where work and posh restaurants are replaced with
playgroups, baby gyms and early nights! Without doubt, Singapore is a great place to raise kids. Apart
from being a safe city, it’s easy to meet other mums here and there are loads of activities to choose from.
Best of all, I can still enjoy a bit of the high life since we have a live-in helper. Singapore is one of the few
places in the world where you can get affordable live-in help and I don’t know how I’d manage without it!
Connections: What are your interests and hobbies?
Rachael: Well most of my hobbies have gone seriously by the wayside since having my baby, but given
the chance I love to read. I’m also a closet stock market geek, which came about pretty much by accident.
I started getting more interested in personal finance once I realised you can’t just stick money in a bank
account or pension scheme these days and expect to retire handsomely. Once I started my own
investment portfolio I got completely addicted to reading all the investment books and weeklies. I must
admit to getting a real kick out of seeing my portfolio grow. I’m not sure it’s entirely right for me to describe
looking after my pension pot as a hobby, but it certainly feels like a lot of fun!
Connections: What is your best advice to women considering having a family here?
Rachael: As a first-time mum, I found ParentLink (www.parentlink.org.sg) absolutely invaluable. As I had
no clue about labour, birth or childcare, I took several of their courses including hypnobirthing, baby
massage and baby sign language. I also hired my doula (birth companion) through ParentLink. If, like me,
you’re terrified of hospitals and needles, I can highly recommend hypnobirthing. I had a very short and
calm labour with no interventions. It was great!
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I’d also recommend building a good support network with other mums or mums-to-be. Whether you just want to get out of the house, or share your latest round of woes on sleeping or teething, it’s great to be able to call on other people in the same situation. Finally, I’ve said it before but you should seriously consider hiring a maid. I’m so glad we took the plunge. The first few months with a baby were way more difficult than I imagined and having someone to help with the cooking, cleaning and childcare was (and still is!) a godsend. Plus it gives me the freedom to have a night out, and to return to work if I choose. Connections: Which child-friendly places and activities in Singapore would you recommend to families? Rachael: Singapore is quite child friendly generally, but my top pick is definitely Rochester House, a black and white house, which has been converted into a playhouse. Outside, there’s a huge terrace restaurant where exhausted parents can get a decent meal and a good caffeine fix. Whoever came up with this concept is a genius! Favourite outdoor activities include the children’s garden in the botanic gardens; science centre at Jurong and the zoo. Anywhere that has a water park is a good start, and all three of these do! Speaking of water, once my daughter is a bit older, I can’t wait to take her to Wild Wild Wet Water Park at Downtown East. Connections: What are your main goals in terms family-life and raising your daughter? Rachael: To have a happy family life and to raise a well-adjusted daughter.
Professional talk …
Connections: What did you do professionally before you had a baby?
Rachael: I set up my own business here in Singapore, working in management consulting. The
management consulting work was process improvement projects in the banking sector, helping
organisations to become more efficient in their back-office processes. I did this by helping teams quantify
their work and allocate it in a more efficient way.
Connections: How did you get started?
Rachael: I had a similar business when we lived in the UK, so it was really a simple case of replicating it
here in Singapore. I went down to ACCRA and registered my company online. The whole process took
less than half an hour. Compared with setting up a business in the UK, I must say I was impressed at how
simple the process was here.
Connections: What are you planning to do professionally in the future?
Rachael: I’ll return to work at some point, but for now I’m just enjoying motherhood. PrimeTime talk …
Connections: When did you join PrimeTime and how did you find out about it?
Rachael: I joined shortly after arriving in Singapore in 2007. I was searching for volunteer opportunities
online and hit upon PrimeTime.
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Connections: Which PrimeTime subgroups do you belong to? Rachael: All of them, since I like to know what’s going on, although recently my involvement has been rather limited to the Mothers’ Support Group! Connections: Do you volunteer at PrimeTime? If so, in what areas have you become involved? Rachael: Yes, mainly for the communications team. I was sub-editor of the newsletter for over a year and I’ve also contributed several event reviews and helped out with website editing. Connections: What do you personally feel are the benefits of being a PrimeTime member? Rachael: PrimeTime offers a unique opportunity to network with like-minded professional women in Singapore. I particularly like the fact that PrimeTime is a very diverse organisation covering a wide range of nationalities and business sectors. So whether you’re looking to climb the corporate ladder or to set up a business, you can always find members who can help. It’s great that PrimeTime also offers social events too, such as the Book Club and WineTime – and of course, not forgetting the annual holiday party. Connections: Which was the most interesting or inspiring PrimeTime event you’ve attended? Rachael: The Personal Power Lunch, “Turning Fear into Power” by Karthik Siva, Chairman of the Global Brand Forum. His talk struck a chord on so many levels with me and I liked his simple but powerful ideas for bringing about change. I love it when I attend an event like this and the speaker makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up! Thank you, Rachael!
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