Updated: Sep 15
Hatch co-founders Victor Zhu and Yeoh Wan Qing with hosts Melanie Oliverio and Lance Alexander
Missed Hatch on CNA938 Radio Station? Fret not! Catch up on the exclusive interview of Victor and Wan Qing, co-founders of Hatch. In this Singapore Today interview, hosts Melanie Oliveiro and Lance Alexander find out more about how Hatch aims to empower youth in Singapore.
Melanie Oliveiro: Hatch helps school dropouts or youths that did not go through the traditional secondary school, junior college, polytechnic or even ITE route to find jobs in digital marketing and user experience/user interface design.
Lance Alexander: Mr Victor Zhu, Hatch’s 24 year-old founder and his team see value in developing talent in individuals who do not have the best paper qualifications. Victor joins us now along with his co-founder, Yeoh Wan Qing. Thank you very much for joining us this evening. Victor, let’s start with you - when did it hit you that you could equip these young people with technical skills and then send them on their way and empower them to say, “Look, we can do a lot more than we think we can.”
Victor Zhu: Hello, thanks for having me. This has always been an objective understanding on my end. Essentially for any young people, if you give them sufficient training in an area that they are interested in, there is a lot of potential that can be tapped. It was during my university days that I had the opportunity to work with a lot of startups. These are very future, forward-looking people. For these people, it wasn’t that difficult for them to be willing to give it a try. For Hatch, we started with one company. We tried to do a training and matching for this company - we looked at what worked, and we tried to grow it there.
Melanie: And how do you find these young people?
Victor: For Hatch participants, they come from various social sector organisations and also from MSF - case workers and social workers from these organisations who knew the youth personally and knew about their interest and their motivations. These workers will refer youth who are keen on the digital and design space to the Hatch programme.
Lance: Wan Qing, let’s bring you into this discussion as well. You teach them computer skills. What exactly is UX and UI design?
Yeoh Wan Qing: UX is user experience. As a user, when you go on a website, how do you get the experience; how do you find it? Is it easy for you to find the information that you want? That’s basically user experience. And for user interface, which is UI, it is how visually appealing something is. It is the design elements - how do the colours go together and things like that.
Lance: And this is quite popular for companies to have?
Wan Qing: Yeah, for the UI/UX field, it is growing in terms of the skills that you can adapt to different things. For example, UX is not just for website or for applications. It can be for very simple things like understanding users. If you do market research, how do you do the questioning to get the answers and the information you need? The skills that are required in UI/UX is quite demanded in the market right now.
Melanie: It is indeed because there are entire agencies teaching people who want to do a mid-career switch to go into UX and UI. Tell us what it is like working with these people who, we assume, come from troubled homes or wayward youth. There is always a reason behind that, of course. We are not judging here. How do they initially behave with you when you start?