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Women’s History Month Spotlight: Marina Bay Sands’ Val Chua Highlights the Importance of Finding Mentors and Having Clear Purpose in Career Development

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Marina Bay Sands’ Val Chua Highlights the Importance of Finding Mentors and Having Clear Purpose in Career Development

Published 03-08-24

Submitted by Las Vegas Sands

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In this Women’s History Month Spotlight, Marina Bay Sands’ Val Chua highlights the importance of finding mentors and having clear purpose in career development.

Las Vegas Sands

As part of Women’s History Month 2024, Sands is featuring women who help drive the company’s success and exemplify its culture of professional growth and advancement. Val Chua joined Marina Bay Sands in 2008 and serves as executive director of communications.

Outline your career path and current role at Marina Bay Sands.

“I started my career in journalism and spent a number of years in the newsroom environment in Singapore. It was here that I first covered Las Vegas Sands as a company and became the beat reporter for my paper. Those heady days of 2005-2006, when many global gaming companies had their sights on the coveted Marina Bay integrated resort site and presented dazzling proposals, were a key highlight of my reporting days.

“I also enjoyed covering the public discussions, so open and robust in a decidedly more conservative era back then, as Singapore debated the pros and cons of having an integrated resort with a gaming component. Interviewing the late Mr. Adelson and sitting in the company’s private jet, along with other Singapore media who were flown to Las Vegas on a media trip to understand the business better, has become a core memory from those days.

“I joined the company in November 2008, as the team was building its communications functions. We operated out of Republic Plaza and watched with amazement every day as the building opposite us transformed every 24 hours. Watching the Sands SkyPark being lifted in 13 different pieces and fitted in the sky signaled that construction was nearing its end and Marina Bay Sands was about to embark on its next phase.

“As the communications function grew, so did my role and responsibilities. I started out as a manager on the team, joining at the start of the Asian financial crisis. It was a jittery start but a worthwhile way to plunge deep into the world of public relations and crisis communications. The company held firm to its original vision and had never faltered in its commitment to build a world-class destination. This forward-looking mentality and spirit of evolution not only drives the company forward, but it has also been built into the DNA of its people. It’s a value I hold dear to my heart, through different seasons, as I build my career with Marina Bay Sands.

“The past 15 years have gone by in a flash. In any other organization, it may feel like an eternity. But the pace and intensity of Marina Bay Sands just means we’re speeding through the months – we’re constantly on accelerator mode and charging forward. With age, I may no longer walk as fast around the property as I used to. So I count myself very lucky to have a talented, strong (and a much younger) team to rely on. The 14 of us are responsible for all of the communications work for the integrated resort, supporting all business units through public relations, media and celebrity/influencer engagements, and crisis and incident communications. It’s a dream job for any publicist, and the team has supported and created many amazing feats in the last decade.

“The communications team is also responsible for driving the Sands Cares community engagement program for Singapore, working to identify vulnerable and unserved communities, and stepping up to lend a helping hand, whether it’s through financial means or providing Team Member volunteers.

“The dual responsibilities of creating high-profile publicity on the one hand, while rolling up our sleeves and serving the underprivileged, keep us very grounded in our work and mission. It’s an intensive and meaningful role, in a company that has so much going for it.”

Val Chua

What skills, training, mentors or experiences have helped you build a successful career?

“Mentors are definitely important, and I’ve had the privilege of working with many wise men and women in different stages of my career. They open up your eyes to things that you can’t see immediately, whether it’s because of your youth or your lack of experience. Through their perspectives, you will see that your current struggles will look very miniscule in time to come, and so you learn not to sweat the small stuff, and to pick your battles wisely.

“Then there’s the greatest teacher called time. With time, you gain knowledge and awareness of what your key strengths and weaknesses are. With time, you also gain patience and understanding, which are important as you lead and motivate teams. I’m still learning.

“At different stages in your career, you will naturally develop different skillsets and embrace different mindsets. When I was younger, it was all about efficiency and impact. Everything was calculated based on deadlines and speed. The older me prefers to take more deliberation behind each decision, to consider more viewpoints and perspectives, while still being able to move with the speed that characterizes Marina Bay Sands.

“Having a healthy sense of humor is important; so is having a thick skin. I like people who can laugh at themselves and see the lighter side of things, rather than letting a bad situation get the better of them. Laugh first, and then figure out your way around the problem.

“It’s also important to believe in the greater purpose of the company, no matter how many years you’ve been in it. For me, a key memory was the day before Marina Bay Sands opened its doors to the public on April 27, 2010. A group of us went up to the hotel lobby at 3 p.m. the day prior – thick construction dust was in the air, and there were workers everywhere we turned. We were shocked and frankly quite dismayed at the way things looked. I recall the roads were only freshly paved. How on earth will we be able to open for business in the next 24 hours?

“The next morning, it was a different sight that greeted us. The air was clear, the marble floors sparkled, and the staff were smartly attired, ready to welcome the world. That was the beginning of an icon and at that instant, I felt that anything was possible with this company. It proved me right many times during my years here. No matter what obstacles were in front of us, we have always been able to rise above the occasion and do the impossible. There is something quite magical about this place, and I think this is why it’s so special for many of us in the company.”

What are your ideas for evolving the workplace to better support and empower women?

“The single-most asked question when I interview prospective candidates is whether we have a hybrid work structure, allowing staff to work from home on certain days. It’s becoming a key deciding factor for most people, especially working mothers. I am glad that Marina Bay Sands has embraced this post-pandemic reality, allowing us to attract and retain talent.

“My team is made up of diverse talents from different backgrounds – and I think it’s important to understand that each one’s work rhythm is different. Some are always-on, and you can text them at odd hours of the night on urgent matters, while others may need to draw a more distinct line between work and personal time.

“I have a staff member who I can always count on to cover for others during weekends or at short notice, but I will not tap on her between 6-7 p.m. as it’s her protected time for daily gym work. She explained to me that this routine is critical for her to clear her mind and reset. Others go home slightly earlier to tend to their young children but log on to work again once their kids fall asleep. I respect all these nuances and personal sacrifices – as a leader, you need to play to the strengths of each person and not expect everyone to be the same.”

What advice do you have for women or anyone who wants to advance in their careers?

“Find your core purpose in your work. When you’re young, you may want to dabble in 100 things to find where your interests and strengths lie. That is good, but don’t take too long to figure it out. Over time, it’s better that you identify your core purpose or interests and start building on it. Once you specialize in this core function and become a skilled master, the 99 other little things just orbit naturally around it.

“Have your own voice. When you’re starting out in your career, you may be slightly lost and unsure of how you’re placed in the larger scheme of things. That is natural. But over time, you will need to find your own voice and viewpoints. Make sure you are heard. Don’t become invisible and hide behind the backs of older, more experienced colleagues.

“Be the best that you can be. You’re better than you think you are. So push yourself and stretch your capabilities – it’s not about being the best worker of the month, it’s about being the best that you can be.

“Pace yourself. The road is long, so pace yourself for a marathon. Like my 20-something colleague, remember to carve out pockets of me-time, and get a mental reset, even if you’re a warrior who likes to charge in front of everyone else.”

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Las Vegas Sands

Las Vegas Sands

About Sands (NYSE: LVS)

Sands is the world’s preeminent developer and operator of world-class integrated resorts.

Our iconic properties drive valuable leisure and business tourism and deliver significant economic benefits, sustained job creation, financial opportunities for local businesses and community investment to help make our host regions ideal places to live, work and visit. 

Sands’ portfolio of properties includes Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and The Venetian MacaoThe Plaza and Four Seasons Hotel MacaoThe Londoner MacaoThe Parisian Macao and Sands Macao in Macao SAR, China, through majority ownership in Sands China Ltd. 

Sands is dedicated to being a leader in corporate responsibility, anchored by our core tenets of serving people, planet and communities. Our ESG leadership has led to inclusion on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for World and North America. To learn more, visit

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