#HumansOfFyreflyz (ft. Amanda) – Alumni Edition

Fyreflyz has seen around 120 interns come and go since our humble beginnings in 2009.

One of the many interns that stood out is Amanda, who was with us when Fyreflyz was still a startup, from February to June 2012.

In this round of #HumansOfFyreflyz, Amanda shares her experience when she was working with Fyreflyz, and shares why a company is all about its people!

We catch up with Amanda to find out how much she has grown and and where she is now.

1. Share with us how you came to join Fyreflyz then! What was your role in Fyreflyz?

I found Fyreflyz back when I was part of the Business Club in JC!

Lovelynne was invited as a guest speaker at a Business Club event, and gave a speech on entrepreneurship, her own journey towards finding her calling and creating her own business at a very young age. I was extremely inspired by her, and searched for Fyreflyz’s website after the event to apply for a job as an Administrative Assistant at Fyreflyz.

Fyreflyz was my first “office” job, and it was nothing short of a high-pressure, valuable experience for me. As an Administrative Assistant, I was tasked with all kinds of activities, ranging from taking care of accounting duties, to sending out email marketing blasts to customers. Working in a startup environment allows for dynamic roles and responsibilities, and I was afforded the opportunities to try developing various skills in marketing, design and finance within the company (in addition to the expected data entry/administrative duties).

I would recommend the younger generation to at least try working in a startup, especially if you are in the exploratory stage and have not decided on a specific career path. Startups and SMEs (Small/Medium Enterprises) are a great place to learn the fundamentals of running a business.

 

2. What are you doing now? How did you come into this industry, or what made you realise that you wanted to be in this industry? Did being in Fyreflyz change your perspective of the working environment, or helped you in your current career? How so?

I am currently working in a corporate venture capital firm, looking to bridge the start up ecosystem with corporate entities seeking to develop their innovation capabilities, as well as scouting for interesting technologies from startups globally for investments. I was previously in Technology Strategy consulting, and while I was in consulting, I dealt with mostly large corporations as customers and legacy technologies.

During my time in consulting, I missed the aspect of exploring innovative ideas and technologies, and started to re-visit my interest in entrepreneurship and startups again. Being in a corporate venture capital firm provides exposure to not only corporation-type stakeholders, but also to startups and small/medium businesses, so it was (and still is) a great fit for me!

Being in Fyreflyz did not specifically change my perspective of the working environment at that point in time since it was my first “office” job, but experiencing subsequent jobs at large corporations definitely put things into perspective. Fyreflyz, as a smaller entity, provides for more freedom and does not confine someone into a particular set of job duties due to the dynamic nature of a startup. In addition to that, the organisational structure is more flat, and less hierarchical in a smaller company as opposed to a large corporation. This means that there is more access to your bosses, and your input may be more valuable (and taken into account) when you work in a smaller company. There are more opportunities to step up, make decisions and take charge of your career.

Having worked at Fyreflyz, I am able to better empathize with startups in my current career, and understand the business operations and challenges that startups typically deal with.

… there is more access to your bosses, and your input may be more valuable (and taken into account) when you work in a smaller company. There are more opportunities to step up, make decisions and take charge of your career.

 

3. What advice would you give to the younger generation who will work in Fyreflyz? Can you share your most important lesson that you learnt in Fyreflyz?

My advice would be for the younger generation (and older generation, to be inclusive) to be proactive in your career at Fyreflyz. Do not be afraid to speak up, and ask for opportunities if you are interested in doing something new, but before you do that, make sure you are handling your stated responsibilities well first. Be open to trying out things, even if it is not what you asked for, because you never know when you might learn something new or enjoy what you are doing. Being in a startup really gives you the opportunity to learn as much as possible about different aspects of business, so ask questions, try new things, and don’t give up!

Even if you decide to choose another path eventually and pursue something different because you don’t enjoy it, at least you tried and now you know. The most important thing that I learned was to be open to all kinds of situations, requests and learning lessons.

 

4. What do you miss most about Fyreflyz? What do you love the most?

What I miss the most is the same as what I love the most, and as cliche as it sounds, it is the people at Fyreflyz.

I strongly believe that people (co-workers, and bosses) you work with at the company will have a significant impact on whether you will enjoy a job or not. A good boss is also very important to have, especially for people at the start of their career, and I couldn’t have asked for a better inspirational boss than Lovelynne. She may seem scary sometimes, but she really cares and has a bigger heart than she likes to admit! 🤪

For me, the people were fun, and easy to get along with. Feng Hui was also nurturing and she guided me well in helping me to learn my job duties. I remember having lunches together on the couch with fellow interns, co workers and bosses, and having a company barbecue party at Lovelynne’s place. They made the experience worth it.

… people (co-workers, and bosses) you work with at the company will have a significant impact on whether you will enjoy a job or not

 

5. What was the most memorable thing you did or experienced in Fyreflyz?

This might be unexpected, but I remember my first biggest mistake at Fyreflyz. I had pushed the wrong button and sent an email blast out to the wrong batch of customers. Shortly after realising my mistake, I completely panicked, and thought I was going to be fired immediately. Since it was my first official job, it was playing out in my head like a movie, and I arrived at the moment of truth – either I own up to it, or don’t. I’m glad I chose the former – although I think I added on to Lovelynne’s stress by ten times that week and felt really bad!

Looking back though, it really taught me that honesty is the best policy, and yup you guessed it – I didn’t get fired (what I got was an earful and so much gratitude to Lovelynne for being understanding because even though she was disappointed, she appreciated the honesty). It showed me that it truly matters how you choose to bounce back from your mistakes and setbacks in your career (and like I said earlier, having a good boss helps too).

… it truly matters how you choose to bounce back from your mistakes and setbacks in your career

 

6. What do you love doing outside of your job? (Hobbies like travelling etc.)

My goal is to touch every continent on the planet someday, so travelling is definitely one of my hobbies. Now with COVID-19, unfortunately since we are not allowed to travel, I’ve decided to explore more places of interest locally and expand my knowledge of fun things to do/interesting places to see in Singapore. I’m also a huge media buff, so I’ve been learning to make better videos, and binge watching all kinds of movies and TV series, ranging from traditional Hollywood to indie South African productions.