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#TeamAnyMind: Kathy Kwok (Senior Executive, Communications)

#TeamAnyMind heads to Hong Kong for the first time! We sit down to chat with the irrepressible Kathy, who has big dreams, a knack with people, and quite possibly the cutest dog:

Hello! I’m from the Hong Kong office and my name is Kwok Hiu Lam. Nobody calls me Hiu Lam though; my friends call me Kathy or KK. I am open to hearing suggestions for cute nicknames! 😛

I was born and raised in Hong Kong, and I think Cantonese is a wonderful language. The swear words are so intricate in their meaning, I’m pretty sure you can find one to describe your specific feeling!

As you can see, people from Hong Kong are very honest 😃

Big Dreams

I had big aspirations as a child. I wanted to join Médecins Sans Frontières as a doctor to help people affected by armed conflict, epidemics and so on. This stems from my desire to right the wrongs of the world. I know it might sound like a very grand goal and somewhat unrealistic but just because the world is unfair, doesn’t mean that we should all just accept that; we should work towards making things fair. I want to do as much as I can.

Speaking of helping people, I also have another dream – being a life coach! ‘Happiness’ is a thing that everyone seeks but not many seem to understand what it is or how to get it. I want to help people to look at themselves honestly and frankly, to find out what would really give them fulfilment, instead of just following others’ wishes or those of society. It’s important to be true to oneself!

Also, small bonus goal: I would like my energetic 4-year-old Shiba Inu to be Asia’s next top influencer. His name is Makbao, and please follow his Instagram here! Let’s get him some campaigns (I’m serious!) 🐶

Life in Startup Comms

As part of the communications team, it’s all about stakeholder relations, company branding and events. This includes finding speaking opportunities, taking care of all the event logistics for the spokespeople, and preparing them for media interviews. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of course; there’s so much more that goes on behind the scenes. Sometimes it’s not enough to just have a story – telling it in the right way is important too!

And that’s just the external side of things. We do a lot of work internally too! Effective internal communications is key to keeping everyone in the company up to date on developments in the company and the industry. This is very important, considering we’re growing so quickly (10 markets, 11 offices and a product development center, 280 people, in just two years!).

I’m based in Hong Kong, but I’m also responsible for our communications activities in the Taiwan and China markets, particularly so in Taiwan. I practically count myself as part of the Taiwan team too!

I also support the social media and website content side of things, trying to find more ways to drive more traffic to our multiple online properties and social media pages. To this end, I do a lot of localization for our announcements and updates. I want to maximise the impact of our social media accounts!

It’s a lot of work, but that’s what life is like in a startup! You get the chance to be exposed to many different aspects of a business, even within your own department. There are also so many constructive ideas flying around all the time, and I find that everyone is very open to discussing and refining these suggestions.

All this collaboration has also given me the opportunity to get to know and work with some great people from across the region. It’s always interesting to find out about features unique to each country, whether it’s on the comms side or other aspects of the company. Special shoutouts to Monica, Queenie, Aiki, Charlene, Winston, and View! 😍

Language is never a barrier if you truly want to communicate with someone 😉

Cakes and what the Future Holds

Away from the office, my fascination with understanding people doesn’t end. Having good conversation is a daily essential for me. I think I’m a great listener!

Besides that, I also decorate cakes! Have you heard of buttercream decorating and sugar flowers? I love piping edible buttercream flowers and making sugar flowers. I learnt it from Korean and British teachers and, given the opportunity, I would love to continue to develop this skill of mine.

I also like hiking and having picnics along with my cute dog!

Speaking of my dog, remember what I said about making him famous through social media? This is because I think the potential of social media has yet to be fully realized. It’s such an ever-present part of our everyday lives and, looking ahead, I would like to explore how to properly leverage all the different platforms to effectively drive conversations.

Last, but certainly not least, I do have some dreams of being a CEO in the future. Ideally, I’d be able to combine cakes and comms into a single business but… I probably need to give this more thought first 😅

Anyway, thanks for reading! Remember to follow my dog’s Instagram! Here’s the link again 😛

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