How The Hunger For Knowledge Keeps You Resilient

13 Sep 2020 Posted in ⟨Stories⟩

The marketing industry is never stagnant, which demands for rapid adaptation. Even with her years of experience in the field, NTUC LearningHub trainee Lesley Renton still chooses to upskill regularly, as validating and reinforcing her knowledge keeps her at the top of her game.

A successful veteran in the marketing and events industries, Lesley’s career has taken her from agencies in London to leadership roles of multinational companies in Indonesia and Singapore, before she took up her latest role at Clearwater Communications. As the Sales & Marketing Director of the award-winning boutique events marketing agency, she has her plate full with growing the business, expanding the client base, and driving large-scale event projects.

“I just love marketing. I’m very interested in psychology ‒ seeing what motivates people to say, think, and do certain things and how with the right message, marketing can change people’s natural behaviour,” enthused Lesley.

A Way to Verify Your Skills

With some spare time on her hands recently as a result of a mini-sabbatical, Lesley leapt at the chance to spend that time wisely and learn a few new things, one of them being Visual Communication Using Adobe Photoshop.

“Since I worked with creatives for many years and I direct visual campaigns, I wanted to learn more about Photoshop! I think taking courses allows you to hone your skills and sharpen your knowledge,” explained Lesley.

Despite her 30 years of marketing experience, she also took up ICDL Digital Marketing, proving that upskilling courses are not just for the uninitiated, but a method to validate your existing skills. “I already knew most of the things on the course due to my digital marketing experience, but it is always good to refresh your knowledge and if you come out learning one new thing, then it is worth it,” reflected Lesley.

"We should always look to deliver more every day and be better and better at what we do."

Since SkillsFuture Credit is not an option for her as a permanent resident, Lesley instead made full use of the Union Training Assistance Programme (UTAP) funding that is open to all NTUC members. “Tapping on UTAP makes training really affordable. I always see training as an investment rather than a cost, but it is quite nice when that investment is made more affordable!” she smiled.

Her positive classroom experience was the cherry on top of her learning journey with NTUC LearningHub. “I really enjoyed networking with fellow course mates. Learning with others is a great way to exchange knowledge and enrich the learning experience. The trainers were equally passionate in what they do, incredibly patient, and brought the whole subject to life,” she described.

Adapting to Disruption

With gatherings barred and events across Singapore cancelled in light of COVID-19, the events industry has been significantly affected. For event professionals like Lesley, finding unique ways to pivot and play the hand she has been dealt is how she stays competitive.

“I think the majority of the events industry is temporarily on hold due to COVID-19 and hoping for the situation to be resolved. One positive thing is that this forces you to come up with more creative solutions including virtual and hybrid events. Rather than postpone an event, you turn it into an engaging virtual experience and reach a larger audience too. It would be foolhardy not to embrace technology this period,” emphasised Lesley.

Along with the circuit breaker measures from the government are support initiatives – for instance, enhanced absentee payroll funding for employers who send their staff for training programmes. Lesley’s thoughts on such measures?


“Singapore is a great example of inspiring the whole society to be lifelong learners, from young kids to experienced seniors and everything in between,” she said. “You realise what an amazing country and life we have in Singapore, and we all need to believe that we will have that again. If we all do our part, we will crack this and overcome this together. Singapore is definitely united in this challenge!”

Why Lifelong Learning Matters

A self-proclaimed lifelong learner, Lesley constantly strives to trump the competition and wow her clients by giving them something they have never had before. “The marketing industry is constantly evolving, with new technology coming in such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud-based research tools, or artificial intelligence. I think everyone in marketing right now is a lifelong learner who needs to not just stay abreast of the latest trends, but ahead of them,” remarked Lesley. Lesley’s advice for those aspiring for a career in marketing? “Be passionate about your chosen career, be hungry for knowledge, research, research and research! Invest in yourself with training and have your finger on the pulse when it comes to industry developments, new technologies, and new ideas,” advised Lesley. As for her own optimal career goal, it is none other than work-life balance. It may sound simple, but is arguably the most challenging to achieve.


“I’m a passionate parent and I practise what I like to call ‘mum mastery’. I juggle three children with a very demanding job and life both inside and outside work,” Lesley shared. “So my short and long term goal is to achieve that happy balance between work and life!”

Since 2004, we have fulfilled over 2.4 million training places and transformed over 21,000 organisations.

Regardless of collar, age or nationality, we are here to help you upgrade your skills to keep up with a rapidly changing workforce. For more information on how we can help, talk to our friendly Course Consultants at NTUC Trade Union House, Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability, LHUB@Tampines Mall or any of our roadshows islandwide.

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