From answering calls to shaping careers: My Startek® adventure

Nelly Yong
Nelly Yong

Sep 28, 2023 | 4 min read

Nelly Yong’s career at Startek® began with a headset and a desire to provide exceptional service to the customer. Over the course of 13 years, Nelly has had the privilege of taking on many new roles and currently spearheads the recruitment effort for Startek Malaysia

In this blog, Nelly shares her journey, one that is filled with learning experiences, challenges and moments of triumph. 

"When I first stepped into Startek as a call center agent, I was entering a world of uncertainty and potential. It was my first job out of college and I had little idea of the incredible journey that awaited me. It was a role that taught me invaluable skills - effective communication, problem-solving and the art of empathetic customer service. These skills were not just for the job, they were life skills that I continue to carry with me.  

While I enjoyed helping customers and developing essential communication skills, I knew I wanted more — a chance to grow and contribute in different ways. As I settled into my role as an agent, I started to notice the company's commitment to nurturing talent from within. One day while browsing internal job postings, I stumbled upon an opening for the role of trainer.

I eagerly seized this opportunity to share my knowledge and experience with new agents. My role shifted from receiving calls to imparting knowledge and skills to agents starting their career. This was a significant change but it allowed me to see the company from a different perspective. It gave me a profound sense of fulfillment to watch trainees evolve into confident and capable call center agents. 

Nelly Yong - Startek, Malaysia

Nelly Yong - Manager, Talent Acquisition

As time passed another exciting opportunity emerged within the company - a chance to become a recruiter. The prospect of exploring the talent acquisition field intrigued me and I decided to take the leap. As a recruiter, I now play a key role in shaping our company's future by identifying and onboarding top talent. It's a role that requires a keen eye for potential and a deep understanding of what makes an excellent fit for our company culture and values. It's about building the future of Startek by bringing in individuals who share our vision. It's a dynamic and challenging position that allows me to apply the skills I've acquired throughout my journey. 

What truly sets Startek apart is its commitment to people development and one powerful way it fulfills this commitment is through its strategic partnership with a leading online learning platform. These learning opportunities have allowed me to expand my skill set and knowledge in ways I couldn't have imagined. As a recruiter, I was eager to expand my skill set and take on a more substantial role within the HR department. That's when I discovered a series of online courses focused on preparing professionals for HR management roles. These courses provided a comprehensive understanding of HR strategies, talent management and leadership in the HR context. I became better equipped to identify top talent, manage the hiring process efficiently and align our recruitment efforts with broader HR strategies. 

Working as a recruiter, I find a deep resonance with two of the company's values – Work Together and Take Responsibility. For me, the Work Together value goes beyond mere cooperation, it's about collaboration, synergy and the belief that collectively we can achieve remarkable outcomes. In my role, it's evident that by fostering a collaborative spirit among team members, we can tap into a collective intelligence that leads to more informed hiring decisions. On the other hand, the Take Responsibility value encapsulates the idea that each of us regardless of our position, has a role to play in the success of our organization. For me, it means more than just doing my job, it's about owning my actions, decisions and their outcomes. In the recruitment field, where accountability and precision are paramount, taking responsibility is not only a value but a necessity. It means ensuring that every hiring process is conducted with utmost professionalism, fairness and integrity. Embodying these values has not only enhanced my recruitment efforts but has also encouraged me to continually strive for excellence in my role, allowing me to build stronger, more successful teams.  

The internal job posting program at Startek has been a game-changer for my career. It promotes transparency, inclusivity and a sense of belonging - crucial elements in fostering a thriving workplace culture. As I stand in the present, I am excited about the future. My career at Startek has been an exhilarating adventure and I'm eager to explore new horizons, face fresh challenges and continue leading with the same passion and determination that has brought me to this point. This journey has taught me that success is not solely about climbing the corporate ladder, it's about continuous learning, adaptability and a willingness to embrace new challenges. It's about the continuous support and mentorship I received from my colleagues and superiors who believed in my potential even when I doubted it. 

My transition through different roles and experiencing a gratitude-filled career has made me who I am today. I often find myself drawing upon the lessons learned during my days as a call center agent. That's why I passionately recommend anyone who is embarking on their career to start as an agent. It's not just a job, it's a unique learning experience that equips you with essential skills that can be applied in various career paths. It's a place where you learn the ropes, cultivate resilience and gain an appreciation for the value of exceptional customer service. Starting as a call center agent is like learning the alphabet, it's the essential foundation for crafting a successful career story.” 

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