INSIDER BLOG

Dickson Lim,   
Deputy Director, Development 

Nothing to Prove, Nothing to Lose, Nothing to Hide. Crafted by my pastor, these are values I hope to live by as they reflect an internal posture of rest, security and authenticity.

I majored in Engineering and spent the first nine years of my career in the semiconductor industry, forging partnerships with equipment manufacturers for exclusive distributorships in Asia. I was then approached to lead my church’s young adults’ group and its community service work, which launched me into a fulfilling eight-year stint in three non-profit organizations before joining Duke-NUS.

It might come as a surprise to many but I never had a keen interest in sales or fundraising.  It could be due to my prior work experiences that pressured me to fake an interest in people and represent products that I did not strongly believe in. After several years of working alongside my sales colleagues, I became convinced that authenticity works better in all circumstances. I also discovered my strengths in problem solving and identifying opportunities to inject innovation and creativity to challenging situations. This served me well in fundraising for charities, especially in the National Kidney Foundation, where my greatest challenge was to turn thousands of donors and prospects around and convince them that they are giving to the best governed charity in the nation.

What really makes my day is seeing something meaningful taking place in the midst of our daily busyness, especially if I had a role to play. A challenging day, surprising to many new acquaintances, would be one that requires a lot of socializing, which is not a favorite pastime of a natural introvert.  Due to my job requirements, I guess I can be classified as a trained extrovert, but I do need to slip away on occasions when it drains me of my form.

My best remedy for stress and pressure is through quality time spent with family. My wife Allison and I adopted three beautiful children, and we are both immensely blessed by them. Four-year-old Dawn is well ahead of her age in her learning abilities, constantly challenging her parents in intellectual engagements. Three-year-old Amanda, on the other hand, is a bubbly and happy–go-lucky girl with cute chubby cheeks and an irresistible smile.  One-year-old Daryl charms everyone with his big round eyes and cheeky smile, often drawing too much attention in lifts and malls.

We are often asked how adoption is like. Adopting them makes them extra special to us, but in everything else there is little difference to us as parents. We are committed to our calling to raise them to become who they are designed to be. I want to be a dad that is always present, and a hero to my kids. To me, that is passion.