Case Study:

Sam Ngeow

In our series celebrating student award winners, we speak to Sam Ngeow. Sam won the AWCS student award for obtaining a distinction, and the highest result amongst peers in the June 2022 exam session for the Company Compliance and Administration module. Meet Sam, who tells us the prize was a career highlight.

Sam Ngeow Senior Associate at Elemental
Case Study: <p>Sam Ngeow</p>

In our series celebrating student award winners, we speak to Sam Ngeow. Sam won the AWCS student award for obtaining a distinction, and the highest result amongst peers in the June 2022 exam session for the Company Compliance and Administration module. Meet Sam, who tells us the prize was a career highlight.

Sam has an undergraduate degree in Zoology, a Master’s in Conservation, and is a fluent Mandarin and Cantonese speaker. He is also now a prize-winning company secretary. Here he explains his journey and why he chose a career in governance.

"
I’m surprised at how much I’ve been able to dip into my past experiences. The role of a company secretary can be so varied.
"
I’m now passionate about introducing the sector to others who may not have considered it.
What is Governance

What first interested you in a career in governance?

When I was growing up, I wanted to travel the world as a scientist. While studying Conservation at university, I began to consider how I could make the best environmental impact throughout my career. I recognised the sheer influence of business and how no environmental agenda would be successful without the buy-in of the private sector. I was keen to understand more about how businesses operate, how priorities are established and how decisions are made.

My first role was as a trainee company secretary within a large law firm. A friend worked there and convinced me that the industry needed people with diverse backgrounds. What struck me was just how broad the role can be. You can specialise in all areas or remain a generalist if you prefer. I enjoyed working with a breadth of clients, and I was encouraged to know you can take a career in governance in the direction of your interests.

I’m now passionate about introducing the sector to others who may not have considered it, including some of my own friends who have joined from marketing and finance backgrounds.

What is a Governance professional

How have you been able to use your background?

I’m surprised at how much I’ve been able to dip into my past experiences. The role of a company secretary can be so varied. My scientific background has given me a set of tools to approach any problem the role can present. Whether that’s working through large amounts of data, having attention to detail or being able to explain difficult concepts to a board of directors in simple terms. Being able to do so for some of our Chinese clients in Mandarin has been a bonus.

It’s also handy that I studied climate change and environmental conservation, which are real hot governance topics today, underpinning the rise of ESG committees, Net Zero plans and carbon reporting. Elemental supports a number of clients in the energy sector and those who operate in remote parts of the world. For these clients, climate and environmental issues are a key priority.

The route to a career in governance

Why did you choose to study the Chartered Governance Qualifying Programme?‎

The Chartered Governance Qualifying Programme is comprehensive and helps to equip me with the knowledge needed to transition effectively from a science background.

As every secretary’s role can look enormously different, the programme helps to consolidate the core elements of being a secretary and it is a well-recognised qualification.‎

The essential skill for success in governance

Any advice for those considering a career in governance?

There is a huge opportunity in this industry, whatever your background or interests. Not having a business or legal background should not deter anyone from exploring it. I’d say any background that teaches curiosity, problem-solving, and stakeholder management would put somebody in a strong position.

I am lucky that where I work now, I have been supported with my professional studies and also to explore where my skills and passion can really be applied.

Career highlight

About Sam

Sam has previously held company secretarial roles at Eversheds Sutherland and Kew Gardens. He has recently been promoted to Senior Associate at Elemental, the CGIUKI Service Provider of the Year 2021 & 2022, where he works with a number of clients on governance and ongoing company secretarial compliance.

Become a Chartered Secretary or Chartered Governance Professional

Our Chartered Governance Qualifying Programme is for governance professionals, company secretaries, and individuals from law or finance transferring to governance roles. Find out more here.

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