Career switch: Yin Yee

Yin Yee is one of many Malaysians who switched to a career in education through the Teach For Malaysia Fellowship. She graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) from HELP University, and previously worked as a corporate analyst. She joined the first cohort of Teach For Malaysia Fellows in 2012, and is currently a senior analyst at the Education Performance and Delivery Unit (PADU) under the Ministry of Education. 

Tham Yin Yee

1. What were you working as before you switched careers and joined the Teach For Malaysia Fellowship?
I was an analyst at a HR consulting firm, working on compensation and benefits bench-marking to support my clients’ talent retention strategies. I was looking for meaning in my day-to-day work and I wanted to contribute to nation-building. That was when I decided to quit my corporate job and apply to be a Teach For Malaysia Fellow.

I was placed to teach at a high-need school in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan. There were a lot of things that I had to “give up”. I took a pay cut, refinanced my car loan, and had to reduce my contributions to my family. Teaching in Gemas also meant being away from home and loved ones.

2. What advice would you give to someone who might be considering switching to a career in teaching?
The two years I spent serving at a high-need public school were some of the best years of my career. Being able to help instill values and shape the behaviour of students was a challenging, engaging and rewarding experience. The leadership and people development skills that I gained through the Fellowship are invaluable and highly transferable to other industries.

3. How do you continue to champion education after the Fellowship?
I am currently serving as a senior analyst at the Education Performance and Delivery Unit (PADU) under the Ministry of Education, that helps drive the implementation of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013 – 2025. I work with district leaders to support low-performing schools by identifying the causes of weak performance and developing intervention plans.

I support the Director General to conduct quarterly performance reviews with the state and district officers in non-threatening and no-blame group settings. I analyse data, develop presentation decks and draft talking points for the Director General to set expectations and convey recognition for good work by the districts.

Teach For Malaysia recruits, trains and supports Fellows to teach in high-need schools across the nation. Beyond the Fellowship, our Alumni continue to champion education in different ways. To date, we’ve impacted over 44,000 students, working with the Ministry of Education and other partners.

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