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Nuffies Corner: Interview with Netccentric COO, Joanne Chen

This interview is brought to you by Susan Yong

She may look like your typical working parent but there is a lot more to her than meets the eye. Joanne Chen is a woman who knows what she wants. Graduated with an Accounting and Finance major, she knew after a year of working as a Tax Consultant that she didn’t want to stay in the industry. She then stumbled onto an opportunity that led her into the advertising industry and that was the start of many things for Joanne.

From spending two decades in the advertising and media industry to now the Chief Operating Officer of Netccentric, this amazing woman is definitely living her life to the fullest.

For this issue, we managed to grab a quick cup of tea with Joanne and have her chat with us for an exclusive Crunch interview about career, family, K-pop and everything in between.

Coffee or tea?

Depends, but I’d go for tea if I have to choose one.

Pancake or waffle?


Hiking or surfing?

Surfing… the internet! *giggles*

Ryan Gosling or Ryan Reynolds?

Ryan Reynolds. Actually, I cannot recall how Ryan Gosling looks like.

Favourite place to hide-out?

My bathroom. That’s where I get my me time away from my kids.

You’re a new addition to a crayon box. What colour would you be and why?

Orange! It’s bright like the Sun and I like to believe that it represents my personality.

What makes you smile?

A lot of things. My kids, of course. That goes without saying. You know, after a hard day’s work when you get back home and look at them and all the problems in the world seem to disappear… at least momentarily. Then there are the other boys, the ones in my Korean dramas and K-pop.

How did you get into the whole K-pop scene?

In 2012, a friend asked me to vote for her daughter who took part in an online singing

competition. She was covering a song named “Blue” by Big Bang. That time, Big Bang had

already been around for 5+ years. I knew of them, but had never listened to any of their songs until I heard “Blue”. I thought it had a catchy tune and started listening to their other songs. Then I found out that Big Bang was coming to KL for their Alive World Tour and decided to go with some friends from work who were huge fans.

I had to do a crash course watching their MVs to know who the band members are and how they look like. It was my first major K-pop concert and since then, there is no turning back.

I am more of a Big Bang fan than a K-pop fan and I think I have seen Big Bang perform live about 25 times in the last 5 years.

What inspires you?

Personal stories inspire me the most. Like how Jack Ma overcame his failures to become

the successful man he is now and how Sheryl Sandberg got back on her feet after her husband’s passing.

Being a mother and one of the most influential people in the company, how do you make it work?

I am very fortunate to have a strong support system, within my family and at work. My

husband is a very hands-on father and has a more flexible work schedule. And I have both sides of the family – my parents and my in-laws – who are ever willing to help with my children so I get to focus on my work, knowing that my boys are well taken care of. I also have a supportive superior who allows me the flexibility to attend to family matters when needed.

Who’s your partner in crime at work? Why?

If I have to pick only one, it would have to be Desmond (Netccentric’s CEO). We both worked

for many years together before Netccentric and we know each other’s strengths and way of

working. We also achieved many milestones and positive results together in our previous roles. So coming here (Netccentric), it is very key that we bring that same positive impact to the company.

What do you look forward to most in the year of 2018?

Nothing to look forward to, because Big Bang is going for military service. *jokes*

On a serious note, I am excited that we will be launching a new product that we have been working on for a while now; it will be the first of its kind technology solution for social media. So stay tuned and watch this space!

On a personal front, I look forward to spending more quality time with my boys because they are growing up really fast. Also, hopefully getting to travel to at least one new country that I have not been to before and perhaps one last Big Bang concert before they enlist.

Thank you so much to Joanne for taking the time to do this interview with us!

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