I Was A Lost Boy, Now I’m a Smart Boy

My name is Chris. I am a marketing and public relations student who was looking for something meaningful to do during my summer break. I was honestly looking to get a job as a waiter or kitchen staff because I have always been passionate about food (baking in particular). However, with less than 2 months to work, it was difficult to find a place willing to hire me.

Fortunately for me, I knew Soon Seng. Long story short, I ended getting an opportunity to intern as a digital marketing/copywriting intern here at the Techy Hub (thanks, Soon Seng for the opportunity). Marketing was honestly the last thing I wanted to do (funny since I am a marketing student). But the time I spent here has been really meaningful and has made me enjoy marketing a little more.

The Humans

One of the many things that made this internship really fun and meaningful are the people who I got to meet. Since it is a small office, I got to know everyone, especially my co-intern, Ranko and boss/advisor person, Kur Win.

Ranko is one of those people who has the lamest puns in the history of the world (her puns hurt). The type that you want to try and laugh at but sometimes it just hurts. She has been the closest person I worked with throughout my internship. She is very annoying that way but has made working here fun.

She has been really helpful in helping me do certain tasks when lazy and even taught me how to use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. We pitched together, made a lot of inside jokes together and amongst other things, struggled with certain tasks together. Grateful to have a co-worker who helped make work seem less dull.

The next person in Kur Win. He is a man who is always very derpy and tends to enjoy spilling liquids near us. Despite him being the way he is, Kur Win is quite smart at digital marketing. He may have studied something else in university, but his digital marketing knowledge is amazing. He’s really quiet until you start talking to him (I think at least). You can talk to him about A LOT of different topics.

Kur Win, for as much as he could be, was patient when teaching us about digital marketing. He likes to sigh at us, but I think we, Ranko and I, are his favourite interns! Grateful that he’s a patient guy considering how blur I am on most days.

Things I Picked Up

No. 1

One of the many things that I’ve learned here is how digital marketing works. More specifically, I got a more hands-on experience in doing search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media advertisements. It is quite refreshing for me as a marketing student to learn the more modern methods of marketing. I say it is refreshing because I have yet to learn about digital marketing, so all these new tactics and concepts are very interesting.

To do something I enjoyed as a high school student (writing) and combining it with digital marketing has sparked my interests. I may not be a very skilled writer, but learning how to write blogs and different types of contents have been great. It helps me see a more interesting side of marketing besides the usual things I have studied.

In the process of learning to blog, we had to experiment with different things ourselves. We had to constantly share our posts on Facebook and monitor the interaction. After that, we had to experiment with the featured image, titles, meta descriptions and a series of other factors. All of that just to find out how to increase interactivity or why a post did poorly.

No. 2

Another thing that I have picked up here is better confidence when presenting/pitching. The main difference between doing here and in university is that there is no guide. Our first presentation was on a very unfamiliar topic and without a guide which made it all the more difficult and confusing. Thanks for the really honest and constructive feedback we received, I have more confidence in approaching these kinds of things.

I honestly have a long way to go in building my self-confidence in pitching. But I am glad that I got to do it here and get really honest feedback. Thank you to all my colleagues who gave me feedback.

No. 3

There was also looking into how to search for clients, bloggers, and how to evaluate websites. With a series of tools and a lot of time and effort, these were the hardest tasks to do. Aside from using the tools to help do a basic evaluation, I feel that learning how to evaluate a website, its designs and functions and other features were fairly difficult. There are many areas to cover before making a proper judgement.

Everything that was taught to me during this short period of time has been great. I understand digital marketing slightly better, and I know how parts of it work.

Overall

While thinking about it, the one thing I realize is that the work I was given, is not just for the sake of being done. Each and every task I had to do all had a reason behind it. Every single task was very much real. There is not very much spoon-feeding here.

While Soon Seng and Kur Win may have guided me in the beginning, they do expect us to do our work properly. Like I shared earlier, there is a lot of honesty and constructive criticism. They are also always open and ready to listen to our feedback or to answer our questions. All of this really helped me learn.

The best part is that, even as an intern, you are really treated like an employee. Not once was I asked to do any jobs that a paperboy would be asked. You would think you would not get much from interning in such a small office.

Yet, the three words I would use to sum up my experience here are these:-

Purposeful, Fun, Contented.

Why is Listening So Important? Here are Some Reasons Why

We often walk into places so full of noise. A coffee shop, a mall, our workplaces and even our own homes. Noises and sounds surround us. One thing that we can gain from listening to these noises and sounds is information. This is called learning through listening.

Listening has been one of the key methods in learning for a very long time. Going beyond education, it helps people understand others better, it builds trust and also makes others feel important. It is one of the key skills that can make or break a situation.

One general aspect of listening includes voice pitch, tones of voices and speed of the speaker (also known as paralinguistic). You can tell if a person in happy, sad or frustrated by just paying attention to paralinguistic.

Listening helps you become more aware of your surroundings. You hear your pet dog bark aggressively, that would probably mean there is danger nearby. You hear someone scream, that person probably needs help (or saw a flying cockroach).

One key category of listening that has truly played a role to me as a marketing student is active listening. Active listening, in short, is basically a process of properly listening then responding. These responses are usually follow up questions to try and gain a perfect understanding of what the speaker is saying.

The process of active listening plays a huge role in understanding a person’s wants and needs. It also helps us understand how we can make people feel more satisfied. You can even tell if a person likes or dislikes something by how they speak over a phone call.

Wisdom is Knowledge

Wise words from the Dalai Lama (Picture Credit: Quotlr)

My (intern) colleague and I recently got the opportunity to sit in a meeting with a potential client for the Techy Hub. Watching the whole process was very interesting. We were very intrigued with how well a short 40 minutes or so meeting went. The clients who walked in looking fairly nervous walked out with smiles on their faces with a sense of confidence.

Some really great take away points that we’d like to share are these:

1) The 60:40 Rule

Listening to everyone

Listen to everything (Picture Credit: The Perfect Small Office

This rule is really simple. Based on what we observed, listen 60% of the time and talk 40% of the time. Now it gets a little trickier, whatever is spoken should be of relevance. You do not want to bombard them with so much overwhelming information and/or jargon.

You should share with them the relevant information based on what they have said. Along the whole process, it is also important that you ask them follow-up questions. For example, “Based on what you said, this is how I understand it”, make sure you understand them completely before doing anything else! (Remember the Dalai Lama quote?)

2) Patience

Time (Picture Credit: FluentU)

Most of us also probably have dealt with people who talk too much and/or demand the world when they ask for something. That can honestly just make us want to close our ears and walk away. But we should not. However, we should feel that it is important to be very patient with your clients.

Sometimes they will spout the most demanding and unreasonable requests in the world. Or they could even be suggesting the most impossible and unrealistic requests or take hours to get to the point. However, don’t lose your cool.

Breathe, listen, digest then explain to them in a patient and calm manner as to why something will not work. If you explain it in a calm manner, you get to build the amount of confidence that they have in you. It also shows that you respect their requests (especially when they approach you for your service).

3) Listening Shows You Care

Listening to your customers (Picture Credit: Sales Manager LLC)

Everyone knows the key to gaining a loyal client is to have them trust you and you gain their trust by building a relationship with them (a professional one, mind you). So instead of just talking about your company and it’s services, listen to what your client has to say. Listen to their problems and their needs so you can better serve them. By listening, it shows them that you really do care about them and it’ll have them trust you.

If they take time to meet you personally and to lay out their ideas, it means that they are really serious. When you show you care, it adds a sense of a personal touch to the situation. Remember! It is important to make sure they leave looking happy or satisfied with the discussion!

Establishing a good relationship with your client may lead to you gaining a loyal customer so talk less and listen more!

Concluding Thoughts

In the end, I think all of us know that listening is essential in many situations. From studying to delivering a service and many others. However, despite how easy it is to list out the facts or say we will commit to listening. It is a skill that takes time to be developed. Trying to become a better listener is a tough thing to do.

One of the first things I had to make myself do to become a better listener is to be aware. Be aware of whether you are talking more if you’re interrupting them or if you are constantly spacing out. Once you’ve become more self aware in this area, you can slowly improve. So I do hope this has encouraged you or provided you with some insights.

That said, we here at The Techy Hub commit to always listening to your needs and wants. You can check out our services here.

Who Are The Techies Episode 2

Gather around good folks because we’re back with another episode of Who Are The Techies! This week we have with us Patricia, Michelle and Aimen!

Patricia Wong

Here’s Patricia!

Patricia is our—wait for it—Junior Front End Web Developer extraordinaire! What a mouth full. Patricia was discovered in one of those cool movie methods.  She was discovered at her graduate showcase. Soon Seng attended her showcase but they did not exactly meet there. Instead, Soon Seng personally contacted her and they video chatted and she ended up taking the job offer to work here. Fun fact: This is her first job! She likes how everyone in The Techy Hub is friendly and how we all go out for lunch together—we really do!

She describes herself to be quiet and shy but she’s our go-to person when looking for recommendations for the latest k-dramas to watch! When she’s not busy catching up on her k-dramas, she likes to sleep. Don’t we all, really? If she could have any superpowers, she’d want to be able to teleport because you could go anywhere you wanted to (and also because of the amazing airfares).

Her goal is so simple yet understandable. And that is to be able to retire young and to enjoy her life travelling, eating and maybe catching up on the never-ending list of Korean dramas!

Michelle Ng

This cheery, always-smiling and joyful girl is Michelle.

Amongst other words that describe her are serene, positive, and cheerful. She was recruited by Soon Seng as the Junior Art Director Michelle during her final year of university. Michelle, once an intern, has become one of the first Techies here. Just like our Art Director, Kah Yan, Michelle’s most memorable experience here was preparing for the Inkredible sales day. She said it was because she had the chance to try out new things and learned a lot. We are glad that she enjoyed going out of her comfort zone to prepare for something very different.

Michelle likes going on adventures to different places and exploring the world one place at a time. It’s no wonder her favourite movie is Jumanji! The one thing that she dreams of doing is to one day get the chance to travel around Europe. To learn about the culture and to experience life in a different place. Adventure!

Her goals? To learn beyond what she already knows and her dream is to someday start her own fashion brand. Michelle, don’t forget us when you’re famous!

Aimen Sasi

Aimen here is our Back End Developer from Libya. He first came to Malaysia five years ago when he decided to tag along with his father who was coming here for work. Needless to say, Aimen really liked it here so he decided to stay. He has a big heart for Malaysia and has an even bigger heart for programming (spoiler alert—he’s really good at it).

He was introduced to Soon Seng by a friend he had met at boot camp and that’s how he started working at The Techy Hub. He chose to work here because it gave him the opportunity to gain experience at coding, expose himself to real life application and improve his problem-solving skills. His most memorable experience was working with his first company called MoneyMatch, he’s proud to be one of the pioneers for what it is now.

The three words he’d use to describe himself are shy, fast-learner, and problem-solver. If there is any one language that he learns really fast, it would be the coding and programming language. While he’s not coding the next greatest app, he’s at home catching up the latest tv series. Aimen’s goal in the future is to be part of something big. Something that can help change the world. What a stand up guy!

Our Pitch Perfect Experience

The Task

Us interns are wet behind the ears but we were tasked with pitching a marketing strategy as well as a potential client to approach. You can imagine the amount of pressure and nerves we felt while preparing for this. We felt like our lives were on the line—okay, maybe that’s a little too dramatic, but you get what we mean.

With what little knowledge we had, we dived right into the task and did our research. Our boss made it very clear that this pitch would be the real deal and we had to do it as if speaking to a client, it would be a way for us to gain experience and learn. Not gonna lie, we did end up leaving most of the work undone till d-day, but that was mostly because we had other tasks to do.

Besides this, the fact that we were so inexperienced only caused us to be even more nervous and unconfident in what we were pitching. Everyone knows you can’t sell anything if you have no confidence! So needless to say, it ended up an utter failure. However, Soon Seng gave us a lot of feedback and constructive criticism.

So firstly, our slides were horrendous; some of the pictures were pixelated and of poor taste.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Secondly, there was no real structure to our slides, therefore, our presenting was all over the place. Our points also weren’t clear so it wasn’t easily understood.

The biggest problem, however, was our confidence. At the end of our presentation when Soon Seng asked us how confident we were in our ability to get the client we suggested, we admitted our chances were really low. Soon Seng really emphasised on how much we needed to work on our confidence.

With all that in mind, we headed back to the drawing board. Three days and three nights we spent on our new and improved pitchjust kidding, we only had two days to work on everything. This time, we didn’t wait until last minute and started with redoing our slides as well as making sure that our points were more clear and concise.

Two days later, it was showtime. This time, we had an actual structure to our presentation and made sure to show that with our slides. We had more information as well. The confidence part, well, that still wasn’t really there but it was definitely better than the first time around. To us, it was a big relief to hear that we improved.

The Take-Away

Chris

My head felt like there were needles poking into it. Every breath I took burned my lungs. My heart pounded like would at a rock concert. The hope of surviving the day was lost. It felt like I had lost everything.

Everything I said above is an exaggerated expression of how failure felt like. My background is in marketing and public relations. You would think that research and pitching would be normal and easy for me. You are wrong (at least in my case). The whole experience of “pitching to a client” could not have felt any worse.

However, if there is one thing that was great about failing is that there was an opportunity to learn.

One of my key takeaway points from the experience is to do research on the important things. Every bit of information on your potential client’s business activity or websites is important. Focusing solely on SEO made it difficult to do research on the company (limited my own thinking). Learning about how Google and the potential client’s website affects SEO among other factors helped us understand our task better. It also helped me build confidence in pitching knowing what I am actually talking about.

Another key point that I took away from the experience is to be specific. When presenting data to a client or any person in general, you need to be very specific.

It is very important to highlight the key points in images or statistics. It is important to direct the listener to what you are talking about and to present things that they want to know. It helps them understand your point and prevents frustration from searching through your slides.

Finally, the whole experience has really made me realize how important experience really is. From failure comes success. Our atrocious first presentation helped us come back strong. We do, we learn then we improve. There is definitely a sense of dread that comes from failing, but only through persevering through the tough times can we build character.

Ranko

As opposed to my partner, I come from a mass communication background and have significantly less experience in the field of marketing. Also, I’m much less dramatic than he is (no she is not).

Sure I’ve done presentations before, it’s something that one often does while in college or university. It’s certainly normal to get nervous before one because your grades are on the line each time you do a presentation. However, being told to pitch as if pitching to an actual client is way more nerve-wracking.

Nevertheless, here are a couple of things I took away from this whole experience.

Confidenceit’s everything when it comes to pitching. You need to be confident in what you’re trying to sell in order to make the client trust you. If you’re confident in your products or services, it’ll make the client think you’re not good enough and you won’t get hired. My confidence when pitching is definitely something I need to work on and I have to not let the nerves get to me.

Be specific—you don’t want to risk confusing others or yourself. Everything has to be clear-cut and concise, slides are just a tool to help you better illustrate a point but they have to be arranged in a way that can be easily stood while still containing a significant amount of information. During our first sorry excuse for a presentation we definitely just dumped all the information we had which resulted in us confusing people. It’s definitely important to structure the entire presentation and have all your points ready.

A learning experience—every experience is chance to learn something. There’s still much we need to work on but what’s important is that we have learned our weaknesses through our failure of a pitch and we managed to improve in the second one. Whether you experience failure or success, what’s important is that you take something away from it.

There’s still much to learn and much to work on but hopefully, we’ll do much better next time.

An Intern Bids Us Farewell

The Techy Hub loves interns, there’s no doubt about it. We even have a dedicated page just to feature our lovely interns! Our goal is to make sure every intern that works here learns something and of course, we can learn a thing or two from them too. We value what they contribute to our company and after being their teachers for a few months, it’s always hard to see them go but all good things must come to an end.

Today we say goodbye to our Back End Development intern Jeremy. Here’s what he had to say about his time here at The Techy Hub.

Although his time here was short, he says he still managed to learn a lot in two months. Jeremy was assigned to work on a mobile application, it was his first time developing a mobile app and he was learning a new computing language at the same time! Just like anyone, Jeremy had a hard time with it at first but soon got the hang of it.

While Jeremy has had experience in programming whilst in university, compared to the short programs he worked on previously, the one he worked on during his internship was on a larger scale. He said he never had to put so much thought into a program before; the small intricate details of a single function were still new to him.

Amongst other things, Jeremy also learned the importance of having a version control of an application; it helps if there’s a problem with the application, it allows him to start again from when it was still running smoothly instead of spending hours debugging it. He also got the chance to collaborate with other developers, he said. They were patient with him when teaching and guiding him which he is very thankful for it.

Before signing off, Jeremy thanks everyone for being so patient and tolerant with him. It was a great experience working here, he says, the company be small but everyone has big hearts and passion for their work.

Well Jeremy, it’s with heavy hearts that we bid you farewell and wish you all the best in the future.

Who Are The Techies Ep. 1

Hello good folks! Ever wondered what kind of people our Techies are? Well, we’re here to satisfy your curiosity with our new mini-series called—drum roll, please—Who Are The Techies! This mini-series will consist of three parts in which we’ve written a little about our Techies; their goals for the future, what they like about working at The Techy Hub, etc.

On this week’s episode of Who Are The Techies, we have Young Wei, Kah Yan, and Kur Win!

Low Young Wei

Young Wei here is our trusty accountant who’s an OG at The Techy Hub and started way back in 2016 with Kyle and Soon Seng. He was in an accounting firm for two years prior to working at The Techy Hub. He said that the environment in the office is nice and likes how everyone is close to each other. He also enjoys the freedom and how there is no need for formalities when speaking to one another; everyone talks to each other in a relaxed manner and we joke around (like a lot).

Young Wei likes dogs but he owns both a cat and dog! And yes, they do get along; we asked. His hobbies include sleeping and playing football. But of course, he never sleeps in the office! Nor does he play football here.

His current favourite movie is The Greatest Showman, he said it’s really good. If he won the lottery he’d invest some of the money and use some to travel. His goals for the future is to start a family.  

Kah Yan Lim 

Kah Yan studied Advertising & Design and decided to join The Techy Hub because the digital industry is new to her and she wanted to try her hand at it. Our Art Director describes herself as cheerful, short, and fun! Her most memorable memory while working here was the Inkredible sales day, she enjoyed helping prepare the office for it.

Something not many people know about her is that she likes to sing and swim. She’s very much an outdoorsy person preferring to be out and about rather than watching videos online like most of us do. She likes dogs and used to own one but couldn’t properly care for it so she chose to, sadly, give it away. *sobs*

Kah Yan is a talented artist and one of her wishes is for more people to see her artwork. You can check out her artwork on her Instagram: kikiyaya_

Lau Kur Win

Here’s our Marketing Man, Kur Win! He decided to join The Techy Hub to gain experience with websites and more types of niches, he said it really helps to know more about a client’s website. What’s his most memorable moment working here you ask? Well, it’s when he was surprised on his birthday! He said there have been many funny moments since we always have a good time in the office. When asked to describe himself in three words he said ‘I don’t know’.

He likes reading non-fiction books in his downtime, he likes to learn from them. His hobbies include reading, of course, and playing football. If he were to win the lottery most of the money would go into investments ‘as any smart person would do’, and the other portion would go into traveling and getting good food. One of his favourite movies is Gladiator, he said it was ‘good’.

His dream? To leave the interview…