Welcome to our new series, #PeopleofWantedly!
If I could describe Andrew in three words it would be “like a boss.” Check out his Wantedly profile and you’ll get what I mean. Does dabbling in almost everything lead him to where he is today? We asked Andrew a few questions about his role as a Country Manager (stick to the end...he has some valuable tips for you!).
Tell me about yourself, and why a career in technology?
I am passionate about building ecosystems to help people help others.
The factors contributing to my career commitment to the startup and technology ecosystem stemmed from my dad sparking his entrepreneurial aspirations and my own early professional development where I was exposed to working environments in the public service and corporate sector as an intern and understood that it was not a place where I could flourish.
Before joining Wantedly, I co-founded a Social Enterprise, The Shiok Collective, served as Head of Southeast Asia at BeMyGuest, and was Investment Director at One Belt One Road Venture Capital. Having accumulated international experience in my entrepreneurial journey, I give back by mentoring startups and speaking at conferences in the region.
In my youth, I represented Singapore and my school for Tenpin Bowling. I was also the Immediate Past President of the University At Buffalo (UB) Alumni Singapore Chapter and now sit on the Board of Directors for UB Alumni Association which has over 200,000 members globally. As part of my charitable contributions, I co-founded Makan For Hope during the pandemic, which is a community for startups and entrepreneurs to network with one another and give back to charitable causes at the same time.
As a lifelong die-hard Liverpool FC (LFC) fan, I harboured a secret ambition to be the Manager of LFC one day, on top of my aspiration to be a Social VC / Impact Investor to further my passion of helping people by building ecosystems.
What is a typical work day in your life as a Country Manager like?
At Wantedly, we champion its mission, to Create a World Where Work Drives Passion, together with our team in Singapore, so that companies and talents can match based on shared purpose and values.
In my view, there are no typical work days at Wantedly Singapore’s startup hustle and bustle, but I make it a point to have regular 1-1s with the managers and weekly wrap up with the team, which includes activities for team bonding!
There are also regular engagements with the stakeholders that mean several hats have to be worn throughout the week, such as product management with the engineers in Tokyo, business development and customer success with key accounts, community building with schools and strategic partnerships with trade associations and more.
What is the biggest misconception people have about managers, is it true you have to be a jack of all trades?
I firmly believe that kindness is not a leadership trait that is widely celebrated. It is not easy to find business leader role models who are known for being kind but I believe that the most important aspect of being a manager is to manage people, not machines or data and what not, and kindness plays a key role in building that heartware.
When it comes to the debate of generalisation vs specialisation, I also believe that we should all have the hunger to continuously learn and never be satisfied with status quo, and in so doing become great at a few things and very good at a couple more. That way, when it comes to the smallest detail or the biggest picture, daily tasks or long-term strategy, you can help others and also help others help you.
What do you like most about your job and why?
The opportunity to build an ecosystem, bringing together progressive employers, ambitious talents, like-minded partners...resulting in a sum greater than its parts. That is exciting for me.
At the same time, being able to drive Wantedly as a Company of Good to make social impact, slowly but surely, is a big motivation for me.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a manager/leader?
It is always on my mind that wherever I go, whatever I do, whoever I meet, I should create a positive impact. My advice is for you to try your best to apply that in your daily life, relationships, as well as short-term and long-term endeavours. Also, be kind to everyone!
Connect with Andrew on Wantedly.
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