Checking in with Student Ambassador alum Yong Long Foo
Yong Long graduated from Singapore Management University (SMU)—internationally recognised for its world-class research. He’s a champion of data and since being an Ambassador his skills have skyrocketed and is now helping Infocepts provide analytics solutions to big customers in Singapore. Read more about how he got to where he is through the Student Ambassador program.
Tell us a little about your data journey and why you became a Tableau Student Ambassador
I enrolled in SMU in 2017, pursuing a degree in information systems majoring in Business Analytics. I didn’t have a specific role/industry which I wanted to get into back then when I began my journey. My decision was influenced by my previous experiences in the military and internships, where I experienced first-hand the importance of data literacy across different domains, job functions, and industries.
I picked up Tableau in my first year of a research assistant role. I was tasked to create a storyboard for our client, the Parkway Cancer Center, to better understand Singaporeans’ perception of breast cancer. Thanks to the tremendous amount of resources online and the user-friendliness of the software, I managed to pick the software up on the job while coping with my other modules. Understanding the importance of such a skill set, I started to conduct Tableau lessons on behalf of the student analytics club for students of all backgrounds.
Being the events director of the SMU Co-Curricular Activity Clubs, I worked closely with Tableau to host workshops and events for SMU students. I jumped at the opportunity after hearing about the opening for the first batch of Student Ambassadors.
I wanted to be able to give back to the community, teach others and keep my own skills sharp. What better way than to become a Tableau Student Ambassador?
Can you tell us a little more about what the program was able to give you and the benefits from it?
The program has given me a lot. Soft skills, technical skills, a mentor and even progressing my career. I used to dread presentations and used to stutter out of control, but I’ve gradually improved and now lead workshops and customer presentations without a sweat. On the technical front, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for me coming from a non-technical background. I struggled understanding complex architecture diagrams, debugging errors in my codes (realizing it was due to a semicolon after an hour), and making sense of algorithms. But by being able to learn and better myself by teaching others in the program, I’m now seen as an expert of sorts on analytical skills and have taken them with me into my career.
Career-wise, it gave me a competitive advantage where I landed a part-time role as a research analyst in school which led me to creating customer service dashboards in Tableau for different MNCs in multiple industries. Great for my portfolio to share with future employers. One thing led to another, and I got the opportunity to intern at Tableau as a solutions engineer! It was one of the best things that happened to me in 2020 as I was placed in a supportive learning environment with caring and driven individuals.
It was also through the program that I was able to meet my mentor and now friend Jia Liu from Interworks. He constantly challenges me to ask myself tough questions about my career aspirations and self-improvement in general. Although the program is finished, he is always a call away whenever I need advice or a food hunt and gaming buddy.
Are there any skills that you learned from the program that you still use today?
Of course! I am currently in Infocepts as a Business Intelligence developer, and we provide analytics solutions to customers of all industries and sizes. Currently, I get to help a significant client in Singapore with a vast Tableau Server Deployment for hundreds of users, which is exciting. Given my prior knowledge of Tableau, I have a strong foundation to be able to pick up new technologies in the data ecosystem faster.
What advice do you have for students considering joining the Tableau Student Ambassador program?
As a student, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent a brand like Tableau. Take ownership and give your hundred percent in every interaction! Be proactive in your learning journey, as chances are lurking in every corner if you seek them.
Since 2011, Tableau Academic programs have enabled more than 1.5 million students and teachers from accredited institutions around the world with critical data skills. Learn more about Tableau for Students—acquire critical data skills to prepare you for a digital, data-driven future.