Be Kind to Yourself and Give Yourself the Opportunity to Try Something New


My name is Cat. Up until last month, I was a Business Development Manager at aCommerce, one of the leading eCommerce enablers in Southeast Asia. Right now, I’m pursuing a Master of Business Administration at Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia. 

What did you do at aCommerce?

Some people may assume that aCommerce is a fulfillment and logistics solution provider but actually, the company offers much more than that.  The services include online platform development, eCommerce strategy consulting, customer care, and of course, end-to-end fulfillment and last-mile delivery operations.

My main duty at aCommerce was to pitch and onboard new clients and new online sales channels to existing clients. Before I approached each client, I had to find out what the customer wanted and then design a business solution that would fit the client’s products and budget and potentially generate a decent return on investment to the client. 

Where did your tech journey start?

A few years ago, I would say I had zero tech knowledge. I was simply interested in working in a startup environment where I could be surrounded by people of the same age. I also wanted to try something new so working in a company that had some technology involved allowed me to learn more about tech.

When I first joined aCommerce, I was baffled. There were so many jargon and acronyms I had never heard of before and I needed to ask some of my colleagues to explain these terms to me in a way that a person who worked in the commercial field could understand. There was something new every day for me to learn. It was hard during the beginning of my job but once the momentum was gained, the job that was once difficult became challenging instead. So please don’t be afraid to ask questions when you are newbies. 

As a person who has discovered your potential and decided to pursue further study, do you have any advice for others?

You just have to figure out what you want in life because further study takes both your money and time. In my opinion, you have to get to know yourself well first. To be able to figure out these things, try out extracurricular activities in university or participate in volunteer opportunities you may be interested in. All of these activities allow you to scope down your interests, passion, and competence. 

How do you see your future job in the next 5-10 years? And how do you prepare it?

I’m not the type of person who would plan my life that long. I just think about what and who I want to become for now and take the first step right away. For example, when I was in university, I aspired to become a makeup artist so I took a professional course at a makeup school to gain the necessary skills. The hands-on experience helped me realize my passion back then and I never regret the decision even now I no longer work as a makeup artist.  

Anything you want to tell to younger people who are insecure with the changes

It’s totally okay if you haven’t figured out whether what you are doing is right for you or not and it’s not wrong if your friends know what they want to do in life before you do. We tend to feel insecure if our friends are doing well in their jobs. If you are feeling that way, first of all, you have to be kind to yourself and give yourself the opportunity to try something new. Maybe you will unexpectedly discover your passion and hidden potential before you know it.

The self-concept is very important. The person you perceive is the person you will become You just have to believe in your capability and keep improving yourself.