Today’s guest has a very cool name called “Passion”. Her name is Pei-Hsuan Chiang, however most people struggle to pronounce her name correctly, and thus she adjusted her name to Passion. Though her English name comes from confusion, she has lived up with that name and does everything passionately.

I met Passion at AdAsia Holdings, AnyMind Group as we both worked in the Publisher Engagement Department. Since I was inspired by her dynamic background and diverse working experience, here we are with the one and only – Passion.

1. Hi Passion, could you introduce more about yourself to the readers? 

Hi everyone, I am Passion. I was born and raised in a suburban area in Taichung, Taiwan. When I was in high school, I moved to live in the school to pursue my study. Then I moved to Taipei for University, majoring in Statistics. During my university, I joined many social activities and entrepreneurship programs. I got a precious chance to travel to Silicon Valley to join an Entrepreneurship program and present my project. We endured the project with some funding for a couple of months. We eventually stopped working on the project due to our shortages in business and technology. 

I then embarked on my career in Digital Marketing Agency in Taiwan as a Management Trainee. As my trip to Silicon Valley has inspired me to set my dream high of working and living abroad, I worked very hard at my company and got the chance to expand the new business outside Taiwan. I help the company grow its business in Southeast Asia, mainly in Malaysia and Singapore.

After four years of working at my first company, I started a new journey at AdAsia Holdings, AnyMind Group in Malaysia as a Publisher Engagement Manager. I am now working at Agoda as a Data Analyst based in Thailand.

2. Now we shall discuss further about your role. Which were the key factors that led to your decision to work in your current role as a Data Analyst at Agoda? 

I used to study Statistics at school since it was a trendy major at the time. However, all the theory and unpractical knowledge did not meet my expectations. I did not study hard, and thus my grade at school was far from the standard. 

I then picked up Business Development in the Digital Marketing field as my career. I was happy with all the dynamic and challenging opportunities given. But I felt something was lacking in my work. 

Later, the work at AdAsia gave me the opportunities to study more technology related to programming like HTML, CSS, and Javascript. I also got the chance to expand my network with other developers. From that point, I defined my career again as I wanted to find something more dynamic and different from my current role. 

With my accumulated background in Digital Business and Marketing, plus my interest in Data, I then choose to grow my new path as a Data Analyst at Agoda.

3. Ok. Let dive deep in your career at Agoda. Could you share further about your work? What does your role cover? 

My role is in the intersection among data, digital marketing, and travel (as it was the business of Agoda).

I have ownership of marketing channels or analytical projects end to end from extracting and exploring data, generating hypotheses, building a structured analysis, and rigorously evaluating methods and results. My end goal is to provide analytical and valuable insights for decision-making support for many projects and management.

Also, I work closely with various business functions to identify opportunities, analyze, and interpret trends or patterns in complex data sets using different techniques and tools.

Daily, I do design, code, experiment, and implement models and algorithms to maximize digital marketing results, supply-side value, business outcomes, and infrastructure readiness. I also work with developers and a variety of business owners to deliver daily results with the best quality.

I also research to discover and harness new ideas that can make a difference. 

4. What do you like and don’t like the most about your work? 

I have inspired most as I can see a clear link of how data can support the business to make smart and strategic decisions. Before that, when I was at my previous companies, I did many business projections and testing. However, those decisions were still very subjective. As my role and my company now, we are very data-driven in every business decision. It brings me a sense of fulfillment I had not felt before. 

I want to acquire more data-related languages, like Python. As I come from a Business background, I am uncomfortable picking up a new language. But I surely save time and energy to study as I aspire to take my job to the next level of automation and innovation.

5. What are the obstacles and opportunities when working abroad? (You can break down based on the country which you have worked in one after another). 

When I was in Malaysia, I was so in love with the country due to its diversity. I am lucky as I am a foreigner and not labeled as any group in this country (named Malaysian, Chinese, and Indian). With my background, I have a competitive advantage compared to my peers. You know people prefer to be in their group. But because I am a foreigner, I can be with any of these groups comfortably (laugh). My genuine interest in Malaysia also gave strong impressions to people I met. I believe that wherever you are, you have to stay truly happy and enjoy the country to the fullest. 

When I first moved to Bangkok, I started missing Malaysia a lot. I used to fly back and forth between Bangkok and Malaysia every two weeks. I couldn’t endure the food in Thailand as it was so hot and spicy (crying emoji). I also felt lonelier as I do not have many friends there. Since Thai people prefer speaking Thai, it’s even double my effort to make new friends.

Language is still a barrier for me. (I began learning English in my fourth year at University and first year at work.) I started putting effort into improving English spoken skills since last year at University, which is a bit late compared with peers.

It seems like triple difficulty as I found language so hard. As a Business Developer, I had to do plenty of cold calls and meetings, and thus my shortage in English gave me a hard time to master my work. 

– For those difficulties, how have you overcome? 

For the loneliness part, I spent more time hanging out with my colleagues. Living in Thailand gives me a perk of travelling to the fullest most of the weekend and holidays. Travelling also nurtures my love for Thailand. 

About my English, keeping talking with a real person is the best way to improve spoken skills for me. I attended as many social events as I could and talked to strangers there. At first, I was a bit embarrassed and somehow couldn’t explain my background clearly. But after a few times, I felt more comfortable to talk to people and got lots of friends from different industries in the end.

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, what are your recommendations on what they are supposed to prepare? 

  • The first and foremost thing is creating your plan. You should carefully plan on when (after six months or one year), which role (similar or different careers), and where (which country or city) you are supposed to land your next job. 
  • Secondly, you have to do it. Start doing your research online. I use LinkedIn to find new roles and apply for the companies according to their requests. Also, you can build your network smartly. It will assist you in finding some hidden opportunities optimally. 

For my role, specifically, I utilized my dynamic and diverse background in Entrepreneurship and Digital Marketing, plus with my fast learning ability and my familiarity working in Technology as the drives to set myself outstanding among my peers. 

7. What are the key turning points/the key milestone/memory which you are most proud/happiest about your career? 

It must be when I was in my first company as I grew the business from zero to a proper business myself. The job was challenging but rewarding. 

8. What would you wanna share with others besides your work? Interest/long-term passion/sharing/quotes…Some ending words for our readers, especially young people who are still finding what they love to do. 

I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

As the trip to Silicon Valley has inspired me to see the world through different lenses, I have aspired to set foot in many countries. Those invaluable experiences have made me a better version of myself. 

Your Choices Are More Important Than You Working Hard.

Though I am a hardworking person (laugh), I believe your choices to set you apart from your peers play a role in your life. Taking the time I was at AdAsia, I saw the business opportunity of selling our supporting service as the main product for our clients as the KPIs were ridiculously high (laugh). We both provided our clients with more values and achieved the KPIs successfully. Just that, taking smart choices with some calculated risks is what I believe. 

Thanks Passion for sharing many insights and beautiful stories. We hope all the best for you 🙂 

If you have more questions for Passion, feel free to send the email to [email protected] or [email protected]

Check my link https://trinhthai.com/category/digital-career-talk/ for more interesting talk