I was in my 20’s and like others I got lost as well regarding my career orientation. I was fortunate enough to know Phuc (Paige) in a Summer Camp in Hoian. After that, we have always kept in touch. Over our convos, she was the one that encouraged me to start building my Linkedin and working in Tech or Data analytics related roles. She might not remember these stories because it’s her, who cares about others more than she thinks. She is always near and dear to my heart. I was so happy that we caught up on the last day of 2021. By the time we ended the conversation, there was only one hour left in Bangkok before the fireworks bloomed over the sky. It’s magical and happy somehow.
Yay, no further ado, to you the one and only special Paige.
1. Hi Paige, let’s start with my all time favorite question. Could you introduce more about yourself to the readers? What do you value? What is your superpower?
Hi everyone, my Vietnamese name is Phúc, but most people call me Paige now (laugh). I am working as a Product Analytics Manager at Curve. I have been fortunate to work and live in various countries in Asia and Europe, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, The Netherlands, and now in the UK.
Talking about my core values and superpower, I strongly go for integrity and resilience.
Regarding integrity, it is the way I do everything transparently from how you treat your friends and my colleagues and value the facts. It turns out to be my superpower to analyze and research for work. I love to work in an analytics role because I can seek the truths and make decisions based on facts.
About resilience, I want to share a bit more about my background. I was born and raised in Vietnam, where my parents expected me to follow traditional & successful jobs like doctors or teachers while surrounding me were high-profile friends who earned their internships and first jobs in BigFour or FMCG companies. I failed a lot & got a lot of pressure from my parents, plus clueless about my career orientation. One thing that led me through that struggling period must be being resilient to my choice and proving to my family that there were many open career doors. As I decided to move to Europe for a new career role, I applied for a considerable amount of time and competed with many local and European candidates. I think that being persistent in the goal has led me to one milestone after another.
2. I know that you studied Banking and Finance at University, then chose to take a Data related role. Can you share further which were the main factors that led you to this role?
My academic background is in Finance, and thus it took me some time to figure out what I loved to do. I was lucky to get my traineeship as a Business Analyst at Microsoft and my first job in Uber. One is the world-renowned technology firm, while the other is the leading tech startup. Working in the analytics roles required me to learn how to ask the right questions. I also equipped myself with learning different programming languages. I can proudly say that half of my knowledge & skills are self-learned to take different roles as Full Stack Data from Data Analyst to Data Science and Data Engineer. The combination of asking the right questions and using the tools plays a crucial role to be a Data Analytics. At the same time, I have always had the team to back me, for which I cannot be more grateful on my journey.
3. Let’s dive deep into your work. Could you share further about your work? What does your role cover?
Before going deeper into the work, let’s talk about Curve? Let’s check your wallet. How many cards do you have? Must be more than two. Yes, we have so many bank accounts and all kinds of cards. Curve plays the role of an eWallet to connect different cards. It is safer and convenient as you do not use physical cards. It is on a mission to be the one-stop-shop for all of a consumer’s financial needs; a single point of access to a wide range of financial products and services, bundling together all your money into one smart card and an even smarter app (*)
My current product scope will include (1) Curve Credit, in which users can take loans from the specific payments (even past transactions)and don’t need to have the credit card, (2) Reward & (3) Premium Subscription.
Each product has a product manager. My key role is to own the end-to-end analytics performance inside the products. The App has multiple products and features. The first and foremost job is ensuring all the tracking data is accurate and visible, which includes defining, tracking and ingesting all the events into the data warehouse. The second responsibility is driving the strategy by asking the right questions, planning product roadmap along with PMs, and using our data to make the proper decision. An example is finding the answer of how to make the user stick with the App or increase their stickiness.
Zoom out a bit, as Team Leader, another area that I am taking care of is how to optimize all the processes and consult Product Analysts to ask the right questions and improve our skills with modern data techniques and tools Automation & Machine Learning.
4. What are the challenges and opportunities that you are having on your job?
I am enjoying the work as it is very challenging. It is not easy to survive in a competitive technology world. But where comes the challenge, so the opportunities. It requires me to take the initiatives which we have never done before. The most interesting thing in my role is strategy discovery. When you’re doing the analysis, you’re a detective. I act as a consultant and support the product manager regarding what strategy and what’s next in the product Roadmap.
5. Could you elaborate on your exposure and work in different countries and cultures?
My career-related advantage is learning about the differences between developing and developed countries, which helps me gain a comprehensive product view and their go-to-market strategy for each market. Taking the case of Amsterdam, most companies were looking to grow in emerging markets like Vietnam or Thailand, where economies of scale. Every company aims to expand as much as possible. But the question is when and where will be the most suitable timeline and market. Or Uber – one of my previous companies, who had to sell their business to Grab and move out of Vietnam. There were many reasons, but the company did not invest enough for localization to win the market.
Another learning aspect is the culture and people’s diversity. You know, many companies claim and take pride in their diverse backgrounds. For myself, I have learned how to adapt well to various cultures and experiences. When I worked in Amsterdam, we had nine different nationalities among ten members. The scenario was that it was not highly recommended to work on the weekend (laugh) in the Netherlands. However, Indian colleagues did not mind working on the weekend, while other Italians or Spanish had their working styles.
The first two months were challenging moving to new countries and getting along with them. My strategy was getting to know people first regarding their working experience and communicating effectively with everyone. I felt how quick I was to mingle with the team and learn so much from my colleague’s both work and living experience. I must say that gaining various international experiences can make people wiser.
The only disadvantage is Homesickness. Of course, we are always seeking growth and learning. But living in an uncertain world with the pandemic makes it extremely difficult to fly home, which I have always been missing for the last two years.
6. Let’s continue the topic about your working experience abroad at multinational companies. For young people who are searching for working opportunities in different countries and in Tech related roles, what are your recommendations on what they are supposed to prepare?
My advice is to narrow down where you want to work & what you want to do.
Firstly, you can create a top list of your most desired countries. The crucial reason is the work regulations are different from one another country. On top of that, part of working, living is another important factor that you should consider.
Secondly, knowing what you want to do clearly and having your strategic plan to nail it. You have to compete with other native candidates or students studying abroad. Let say you aim to work in European countries, let you do market research about the market and products. Besides the world popular LinkedIn for professional social, you can also check angel.co/jobs, which is more focused on tech startup opportunities.
7. What are the key turning points/the key milestone/memory which you are most proud/happiest about your career?
The proudest one was when I was becoming the full-stack Analytics manager. My previous jobs concentrated on Data Analytics and Data Science. I had little experience related to Data Engineering before joining Curve. However, as the company is in a startup stage. The first couple of months that I had to handle the Analytics Engineer scope. We have to launch products on time while migrating our data warehouse from AWS to Google Cloud. The migration was very challenging. Moving to the country and doing the work that I haven’t done before. I got the chance to do all those things in a short time and not give up on the journey.
8. What will you do if you do not work as a Product Analytics Manager?
I love my job, so it is hard to tell. But if I am not working in my current role, I will open my coffee shops or restaurants as my love for food. I felt so lucky to have my interest outside of work. Once I moved to Europe, I noticed that people have a work-life balance. My main point was sustainable & healthy growth. Work isn’t everything in your life, and you need to learn how to love yourself much. Why are Nordic countries the happiest countries in the world? They know what the core values are <3
Though we’re nearly 10,000 apart, I am so glad that we always keep in touch so well. Màu wish you all the best <3
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