Inspiring answers by Michelle Wong, one of the Women in Data Ambassadors on her life and working as Head of Marketing Analytics.
1. Introduction: Name and job role.
Michelle Wong, Head of Marketing Analytics at Farfetch.
2. What is something about you people might not know?
I grew up in South Wales.
3. What are your hobbies?
I love keeping fit with dance aerobics and HIIT, eating out and trying new restaurants, and travelling.
4. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I thought I was going to be an accountant, largely due to the influence of my parents and my interest in maths and business.
5. Who was your biggest influence growing up?… who were your role models?
My parents as they moved to the UK from Hong Kong with no English and built a life here from scratch. They raised my siblings and me with the tools and mindset to achieve what we wanted and have supported us all the way. This inspires me every day!
6. What were your favourite subjects at school?
Maths, business studies and IT.
7. What were your least favourite subjects at school?
Probably art as I wasn’t very good at it.
8. How did you come to choose your current career path or were you led to it?
After University, I applied for several roles in accountancy but was continuously rejected, so I decided to start from scratch and think about what I enjoyed. Since econometrics was my favourite subject at University, I started exploring that route and found an agency leveraging econometrics to inform marketing capital allocation and media planning decisions. I applied, got the job, and 2 weeks later I moved to London to start my career in data and analytics.
9. What are the biggest changes in the world of work (for women) that you are excited about?
The shift in working environments where it’s becoming less formal so flexible working hours and locations are becoming normal. Also, the increasing parity of maternity and paternity leave, although more work needs to be done here.
10. Would you say having a degree is the only path to a successful career?
I don’t think so, there are many examples of extremely successful people who chose not to graduate from University, for example, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson. They have all chosen to pursue their passion which has led them to build and lead highly successful companies.
11. Would you say there are opportunities for women entrepreneurs in your career?
Definitely, gender is the key diversity group which affects data and analytics, with males outnumbering females 4 to 1. The disruption caused by women entrepreneurs would help to shake up this field by bringing diversity at senior levels and by serving as role models for those considering to enter the industry and to encourage those to stay and grow their career in data and analytics.
12. What advice would you give your younger self and school leavers today?
Let go of being perfect! I spent far too much time thinking, planning, even worrying about the future, when what matters is really now, as things generally change that will affect your initial decisions and thoughts anyway. Don’t worry so much and go with the flow.
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