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Multi-Disciplinary: Singapore Engineer Launches Career During a Pandemic

Jul 14, 2022 3 min read

Hong Shen (Anderson) Chen joined KLA Singapore in 2021 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Freshly out of an electronic engineering master’s program, Anderson, like so many other graduates faced with uncertainties of entering the workforce during the global pandemic, carefully considered his career options. During a two-week quarantine before he could travel, fate stepped in and he saw an interesting job posting at KLA, which he applied for and was successful.

“The tragic global pandemic actually presented me with a new opportunity because it led me to KLA. I’m now employed by a global leader in the silicon chip industry with the opportunity to work anywhere.”

Anderson Chen, product engineer, KLA Singapore

Anderson Chen near the Marina Bay Sands, one of Singapore’s iconic hotels, in the background.

Working to Achieve his Full Potential

Anderson joined a team where everyone is working remotely in different locations. As a product engineer, he is a liaison among various KLA functional engineering teams, working on different projects to check whether production specifications for wafer products are being met.

In addition to collaborating with service engineers on product upgrades, he works with manufacturing engineers on continuous improvement plans for design and quality matters and addresses end-of-life parts issues with buyers. Anderson also engages with suppliers to confirm that design and quality standards are being met and has worked on product installations and even presented to senior executives.

Anderson’s manager and coworkers say he handles every task quickly and effectively, and he is never shy about asking questions or offering to help whenever needed.

“I have lots of scope to grow and optimize to my fullest potential at KLA,” he says. “The variety of different projects and people I work with is amazing. The learning curve has been challenging, but I’m excited by this career path and where it can take me.”

Supportive and Inclusive Work Culture

Anderson appreciates KLA’s supportive culture and believes management is very flexible and understanding.

“They really want employees to succeed and care about our feedback,” he says. “Honest, forthright and consistent – HFC – is a value that is really embedded in the KLA culture. I have continuously found that if you speak up and advocate for what you need, it’s acknowledged and appreciated.”

Anderson is glad that KLA Singapore is returning with a hybrid work environment with time in the office and is also happy he can continue working at home as well. He recently traveled to Taiwan to help during a family emergency, and shared how understanding and supportive management was of his personal situation.

Anderson also values KLA’s culture of embracing inclusion and diversity, which he believes is vital to the company’s success. During Zoom meetings, he marvels at interacting with the diverse array of people from different countries and backgrounds.

“KLA’s inclusive culture and diverse, positive environment is respectful of everyone’s unique needs, perspectives and potential,” he says. “This is helping me develop to my full potential, and I have quickly become a trusting, loyal and committed employee.”

Around the World and Back

Anderson was destined to work for a global leader like KLA. Born in Taiwan, his parents wanted him to experience a new culture and more balanced educational system, so he went to high school in the United States. His father worked for an international company and wanted Anderson to be fluent in English as well as his native Mandarin.

One of his favorite activities in high school was sports, and he participated in soccer, basketball, baseball and golf. After graduation, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nanoengineering at the University of California San Diego and a master’s degree from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

“I loved living by the ocean,” Anderson says, “and a friend introduced me to surfing. I went from being a somewhat lazy student to getting up early to surf before school every day. This literally changed my life because it gave me structure, purpose and discipline – attributes I have taken to KLA and will be with me throughout my career and life.”

Anderson with his dog, Butters.

To start your career at KLA, a World’s Most Admired Company and one of Singapore’s Best Employers, browse our job openings in Singapore and our many global locations.

Be sure to catch up on previous employee spotlights in our Opportunity Ahead, Making the World a Better Place and Inclusion for All series, and don’t forget to browse job openings on the KLA careers page.

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