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My Stint at a Tech Company

A while back I posted on my IG story that I'll be helping out at a tech company for a bit. As my last day approaches, it is also about time I reflect on my last 6 months there. *Anyway I'm not going to mention the company name incase SEO picks it up.... it would be awkward if my ex-colleagues find out I run my own gem business. I went in as fresh-grad, since I'm still kind of in the fresh grad age.

My rational: I wanted to build my own B2B gemstone trading platform, so what's a better way to learn than to work in a tech company doing just that?

So I worked at a Platform Building Company in their partnerships division. My friend, the CEO was nice enough to carve out some sort of position. In the first few weeks, I had the opportunity to sit in with meetings with the MNCs and manage a few others later on. Also I got to learn a little on tech, financing, modelling here and there when my friend took the time to teach me. I'm thankful, really.

In return I did a lot of their designing stuff on top of the Partnerships work. I think that's when things started to get a little side-tracked. To be honest, I never had any interest in marketing, nor did I have any experience, but its okay, he's my friend - I'll just learn and get it done somehow for him.

I started from being their only marketing person, to then the marketing team, to then a marketing-branding agency. A lonely one man show.

In a nutshell, the company decided to try out marketing agency work - and who else to do it? I was then made to do commercial negotiations alone with clients, proposals, do the design work, and then implement it. IT WAS CRAZY. Imagine zero experience, create a proposal out of nowhere (google templates to be exact + common sense). Okay, so somehow the deal was signed with the first client, but the launch of FB sales campaign was in 3 days!

Fml, 3 days to create artwork and then learn how to implement, track the ads, targeting and all. With the help of my friend Ryan, I managed to get through it. Somehow with a stroke of luck, the ROI was quite unexpectedly crazy. Contract value was close to 5 figures just for that month. Ridiculous. I thank the gods were looking out for me throughout.

So it was a successful first month, and I secured contract for the following 2 months - even did a whole branding guide. I wish I could post just a bit of my work here - the highlight was creating a super suggestive ad that actually passed FB sexual content guidelines. It was so kink that the competing Marketing Agency told the client to take it down incase the account got banned... but nah, it passed and sales that month went even higher.

The client broke through their Lazada sales ceiling. For the longest time the client had disproportionate sales on Shopee because their prices there were much lower + much more marketing dollars spent there. In a matter of only 1 month, their Lazada sales went from negligible to a significant percentage of their Shopee sales despite the pricing handicap.

Anyway, so yes, after 3 months, I'm actually well equipped as a Full-stack Marketing & Branded Agency.

Lol. I'm actually really proud of my work. The client actually decided to replace their long-time agency and give their whole 50k monthly budget with 6 months contract. Long-time agency; a proper marketing agency with more than 100 skilled staff and decade worth of experience. That scared the shit out of me. Like yay, thanks for the recognition, but nooooooo. But I had to leave the company. Good timing perhaps? Because of personal reasons, I had to leave the company. So I never had to do the commercial negotiation for the 6 months contract. Thank god. My greatest worry was pricing it wrongly and over promising for the company side, ineffective budget allocation for the client side. There's so much things that can be done with that amount. Also, I never dared to ask how's it going now, because I don't want to be involved in it since I'm still serving my 2 months notice.

I have actually never told anyone in detail this part of my work, other than my bro that was involved in helping me solve my work problems. Also because my friend is starting her own Marketing Agency. I don't want my experiences to overshadow the times when she share with me her achievements.

Some thoughts of my time there....

I think my greatest regret was not being able to fully learn the tech due to the lack of time. Given the circumstances of how I had to leave and how I was so preoccupied with the marketing aspect, its just difficult yet awkward to bring it up. I wanted a nice title for my Linkedin (if I ever have one), my friend as a CTO for my future marketplace, to learn tech at the very least. That's how I thought it would go. It's really quite a torn in my flesh on how things turned out. I felt quite lost for a while actually, and quite bumped. But I guess I learnt enough to continue my own learnings through other methods independently. Who knows, maybe other arrangements will be made? We are still friends and that's the most important thing.


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