Meet Emma, our Business Operations (BizOps) Manager, who comes from the wonderful land of Sarawak! A firm believer in the importance of getting things done in the most efficient way possible, the ‘Emazing’ cook knew from the start that she wanted to do “operational” work (but did not know what it was called then) until she stumbled upon Supahands. As this month’s featured SupaHero we spoke to Emma to find out what’s it like working on the team that forms the backbone of Supahands and her own personal journey!
Hi Emma! How did your Supahands journey begin?
My boyfriend introduced me to Supahands! He worked with McKinsey Digital Labs (formerly known as VLT labs) which helped build the very early version of the Supahands platform back in 2014 (before we had our in-house Tech team). One day, he said to me, “Since you’re so organised… Why don’t you be a project manager?”. That is how I started my journey here.
What is a typical day like for you at Supahands?
Step 1: Coffee.
Step 2: Clear pending messages/emails from clients/agents/internal staff.
Step 3: Create to-do list of the day.
Step 4: Breakfast.
Step 5: START
Tell us one thing that no one knows (you think people should know) about you?
I tend to be straightforward but I don’t mean it with bad intentions.
What were some of the most memorable moments (moment), if any? Or the best day at work
When our SupaAgents (Supahands’ crowdsourced workers) tell us that we have helped them in their lives and when what you have worked on shows results. For example, we typically start from a proof of concept (POC) where we would ideate how a project would be executed and we have multiple methods of execution, like a blueprint. Then when the client signs and we start construction (of the project) by building Project Guides, quality control measures etc. Our SupaAgents begin work. And we submit the results to the client. After a while, the client comes back and says, “Hey Supahands, last time was great. Let’s do it again, – here is another project for you”. And that is what makes work memorable for me.
“Best day at work… I think, in a nutshell is when your peers trust you and seek your help.”
It’s a good feeling when the Product team comes to me for feedback on what they are building, or when Susian (our COO) gives me a POC to handle alone. I like not being micromanaged and can be left alone to do my work. All of that contributes to good days. I don’t think I have that ONE moment that I love, but more of the little things that come together as one.
What drives you to work daily?
I enjoy my work even though I don’t necessarily appear excited to see my colleagues on the outside but I enjoy the small talks or even the hellos we exchange every day. I also enjoy listening to music while I work.
“It isn’t all roses and rainbows, you’re gonna have to go through the thorns on the branches before reaching the flower.
You’re gonna have to go through a storm before the rainbow shines.
I learn a thing or two each day by coming to work, even when it’s not work-related.”
Why BizOps (Business Operations)?
It’s very “me”. I tell people this all the time when asked about my job because it’s very different from what I studied (Marketing & Tourism). This job is very natural for me to do because I’m really particular about deadlines, and I like planning and sticking to a plan. It can backfire sometimes of course, but that is where I learn how to ease up a little.
“We’re all learning from each other.”
What sorts of challenges do the BizOps team work on?
Innovation. This is speaking from my own experience when you don’t come from a Tech background, it’s not easy to suggest things you don’t know.
So, how do I improve a time-consuming process if that is all I know?
How do I come up with an improvement for something I’m not familiar with? I would say research. But if I’m off reading case studies, watching videos, who will be managing the projects, managing agents/clients etc? It’s kind of a chicken and egg situation. I.e. if we had this super automated process in place, we don’t have to manage agents as much. But how do we even discover this super automated process in the first place if we don’t know about it?
What do you enjoy most about working here at Supahands and in BizOps?
“I love the culture. How feedback is important, how everyone uplifts one another with encouragement, how passionate everyone is with what they do.”
It’s very intoxicating to be around people here and it makes you want to jump on that bandwagon too.
Business Operations Team
What would you tell someone who is interested in working at BizOps?
“If you’re going in with the “I just need a job” mindset, this is not for you.”
It isn’t all fun and games as it’s important to also know BizOps is the backbone of the company. We are like a branch that connects the different departments together and that’s a big role.
What are the key skill sets needed to thrive in this role?
Time management. People management. Communication.
Being messy is not an option. Planning and foreseeing what’s to come will make your work much easier. But we know that everything doesn’t always go according to plan. So be ready for Plan B, C, D, E…!). Because you’re the connection to different departments, handling different people is so so important. This is where communication is important too. Convey the wrong message and it could lead to a lot of misunderstanding.
Finally, what’s your SupaPower if you could have any?
I would love to duplicate myself. Need another SupaAgent? *duplicate* Need another hand to stir that soup? *duplicate* Need to work but also bathe the dogs? *duplicate*
SupaHeroes is a series of monthly write-ups featuring the very people behind Supahands, giving you a glimpse of each unique individual, their stories, their SupaJourney and what they do.
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