I would love to see a rise in mentorship by women. It will be a good balance to have both genders in this position as the insights and knowledge shared will be from different perspectivesCalista Lee
Calista is the Marketing Communications Manager at the Orchid Hotel. We had the pleasure to chat with her and explored the importance of mentorship as well as how employers can safeguard their employees’ wellbeing in this always-on environment we’ve found ourselves in. Welcome to this segment of Women In Marketing!
LET’S GET PERSONAL
WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
SHOW OFF TO OUR READERS. ANY HIDDEN TALENTS YOU CAN SHARE WITH US? A CLARINET STAR IN THE MAKING PERHAPS?
With my petite frame, people will be surprised to know that I train and compete in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
WE WOULD ALL LOVE TO WIN THE LOTTERY RIGHT? IF YOU WON $10 MILLION TOMORROW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR FORTUNE?
Backpack my way around the world, set up a community for the less fortunate children (I have yet to think about a specific direction), take up a PHD, do something for the ocean.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL? THAT ONE MEAL YOU WOULDN’T SHARE WITH ANYONE!
Home-cooked food. I do not have time to cook at home, so the majority of my meals are takeaways.
WHAT MADE YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH THE WORLD OF MARKETING? WHAT PARTICULAR MOMENT IN TIME PUSHED YOU TO PURSUE THIS CAREER? AFTER ALL, WE ALL WANTED TO BE DOCTORS GROWING UP, RIGHT?
My internship was with a departmental store and I had an opportunity to fill up a marketing position for 2 weeks before the permanent staff officially joined the company. That short time frame opened up my world to marketing. I enjoyed liaising with various stakeholders and holding campaigns. I find that marketing is a very exciting job. Things keep changing. It challenges our creative and analytical mindset.
IF YOU COULD BE ANY ANIMAL IN THE WORLD, WHAT ANIMAL WOULD YOU BE AND WHY?
I have never considered this question, but perhaps an octopus. My favourite sea animal!
WHAT’S THE MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE WOULDN’T LEARN FROM YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE ALONE?
I used to solo travel and the most memorable trip was to Iceland where I met up with 3 other travellers from different countries (never met them before), we rented a car and went around Iceland.
ENTERING THE WORKPLACE
GIVE US A SNEAK PEEK OF HOW YOU TYPICALLY START YOUR DAY. ARE YOU #TEAMCOFFEE OR #TEAMTEA? OR BOTH? YOU BEAUTIFUL REBEL!
HOW BEST DO YOU STRIKE A WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
I will always aim to finish my work within my working hours, except during busy periods which I will prefer to either reach the company earlier or get a shorter lunchtime to complete my work. I make it a point to get away from my phone and spend some “me time”.
YOU OBTAINED YOUR MBA FROM IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON (GIRL YOU FANCY!). ACCORDING TO GLASSDOOR, IT HAS BECOME SEEMINGLY EASIER TO APPLY TO WORK FOR COMPANIES LIKE GOOGLE, APPLE AND STARBUCKS AS THEY DO NOT REQUIRE APPLICANTS TO HAVE A DEGREE. HOW CAN YOUNG WOMEN UTILISE THE INTERNET TO UPSKILL THEMSELVES PARTICULARLY IF THEY CANNOT AFFORD TO OBTAIN A FORMAL EDUCATION?
Various platforms allow us to constantly enrich ourselves; Linkedin Learning, Coursera, Udemy etc. I am currently utilising Linkedin learning to gain my knowledge on specific topics that will help in work-related projects.
JOB HOPPING IS A COMMON PHENOMENA ESPECIALLY IN THE DYNAMIC WORLD OF ADVERTISING AND MARKETING. WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON JOB HOPPING? DOES IT HURT OR AID ONE’S CAREER?
It depends on the reason for job-hopping; so it may hurt or aid. I believe that every place has something for us to learn. More often we wanted more and we failed to look at what else.
FOR OUR INTERVIEW WITH YAEL TAMAR FROM SOLIDBLOCK, SHE REMARKED THAT WOMEN ARE MOST LIKELY TO OCCUPY THE CMO ROLE AS COMPARED TO THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS. WITH WOMEN CONTROLLING OVER $20 TRILLION IN GLOBAL SPENDING, WHY HAS IT BECOME INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT TO HAVE FEMALE CMOS IN YOUR OPINION?
It is as simple as women know women. Women know what appeals to the spenders.
SYSTEMS AROUND REMOTE WORK AND VIDEO CONFERENCING ARE INCREASINGLY BECOMING STAPLE IN MOST ORGANISATIONS. ACCORDING TO VISUAL CAPITALIST, ZOOM IS NOW WORTH MORE THAN THE 7 BIGGEST AIRLINES IN THE WORLD AT A WHOPPING MARKET CAPITALIZATION OF JUST OVER $40BN. SUFFICE TO SAY, REMOTE WORKING IS AN ASPECT OF MODERN-DAY WORK THAT HAS BEEN LONG OVERDUE. IN YOUR OPINION, WHY HAVE MOST ORGANISATIONS STRUGGLED TO CONVERT TO THIS WAY OF WORK?
The traditional mindset and reluctant mindset to trust employees is why most organisations struggled to convert.
REMOTE WORK HAS COME WITH ITS OWN SET OF CHALLENGES, PARAMOUNT TO THIS IS THE FACT THAT EMPLOYEES ARE NOW ‘ALWAYS ON’ WITH WORK CARRYING OVER EVEN BEYOND WORKING HOURS. IN YOUR OPINION, HOW CAN ORGANISATIONS MANAGE THIS BETTER TO PROTECT THE WELLBEING OF THEIR EMPLOYEES?
Have absolute trust in employees that they are working at home and encourage them to off work after their official working hours.
SHERYL SANDBERG MADE AN INTERESTING REMARK IN HER KICK-ASS BIOGRAPHY ‘LEAN IN: WOMEN, WORK, AND THE WILL TO LEAD’ THAT “SEARCHING FOR A MENTOR HAS BECOME THE PROFESSIONAL EQUIVALENT OF WAITING FOR PRINCE CHARMING”. SHE IS ILLUSTRATING THE NOTION OF WOMEN HAVING TO SEEK APPROVAL OR VALIDATION, ESPECIALLY FROM MEN WHO ARE AT MOST TIMES THE MENTORS. WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON MENTORSHIP?
It is true that most often, women have much more to prove than men. I would say that as compared to a few years back, women are in a much better position now than 10 years ago. I would love to see a rise in mentorship by women. It will be a good balance to have both genders in this position as the insights and knowledge shared will be from different perspectives.
AT THE TIME OF PUBLISHING, THE DIGITAL MARKETING INSTITUTE ESTIMATED THAT THE INFLUENCER MARKETING INDUSTRY WILL HIT THE $10BN MARK BY 2020. WHETHER B2B OR B2C, IT’S EVIDENT THAT BRANDS AND ORGANISATIONS HAVE HAD THEIR SUCCESS WITH THIS MODEL OF MARKETING. HOW WILL THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AFFECT THIS INDUSTRY GOING FORWARD AND DO YOU BELIEVE THERE IS STILL A PLACE FOR INFLUENCER MARKETING?
Growth for influencer marketing has slowed down and the industry is very saturated now. Audiences are flooded with so much information that they no longer able to find excitement in the content. Content has become more like an “FYI” than customer conversion.
HOW DO YOU LEVERAGE DATA TO INFORM YOUR DECISION-MAKING?
Data is something that we see the importance in and are working our way towards leveraging on for decision making. Certain small steps include analysing customers’ engagement on social media, tweaking the ad campaigns accordingly and finding which ad copy is the most effective.
2020 AND BEYOND
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
‘Thinking fast and slow ‘ by Daniel Kahneman.
I prefer paperback but I owned too many books and recently converted to an e-reader on my iPad. I like to highlight the main points along the way.
WHAT IS ON YOUR NETFLIX WATCHLIST?
I only started Netflix this year and just finished watching Suits.
AS WE LEARN TO LIVE WITH COVID19 IF YOU COULD REPLACE THE HANDSHAKE AS A FORM OF GREETING, WHAT INTERESTING NEW GREETING WOULD YOU INTRODUCE?
A simple smile and hello is the best form of greeting.
A UNIQUE MESSAGE FOR ALL YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN THE MARKETING INDUSTRY
Listen and read more. Keep an open mind and judge less. You will soon realise that big names don’t matter.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Focus on your growth and what you want rather than listen to the voices around you. You are your best cheerleader.
WHAT CHALLENGE IS ON YOUR PLATE? WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PAIN POINTS YOU ARE TRYING TO OVERCOME IN YOUR LIFE WHETHER PROFESSIONALLY, PERSONALLY OR BOTH?
Finding a constant balance of “what’s enough”
ANY BUCKET LIST ITEMS?
I have just finished my MBA and have not considered “what’s next” for my professional path. I hope that one day, I will be able to take a long break from work. Perhaps a month to travel after COVID is over?