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May Chin – Meet the Mentor

May has historically held ownership and strategic decision making over the go-to-market plans of multimillion-user consumer products, apps and platforms across SEA. Almost 100% of her career has been
By in Guides

Why did you decide to become a mentor?
As a woman who has been working in the tech industry for the past 5 - 6 years, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to break into the tech world and gain credibility as an expert in that space.

Systemic change takes time and is somewhat outside of any one individual’s control, so instead of simply complaining about this problem, I decided to take it upon myself to do what I can as a person to address it from the bottom-up.

This has then taken the form of my mentoring, advocation, and guidance of other young female professionals who have an interest in a tech career, but need a helping hand in getting started. At any given time, I am actively guiding 5 - 7 young women through bespoke mentoring plans that are acutely tailored to their specific career aspirations & current identified gaps.

I see this as me paying it forward for all the people who have helped me traverse these challenges in the past, and to do my part for the community in reducing the barrier to entry for other young women in the field.

How did you get your career start?
I fell into the Product space purely by accident - I was actually a performance marketer by trade at the beginning.

My transition into tech was really the culmination of several key mentors over the course of my career, ranging from founders of the startups I worked for who took an interest in my potential, to peers that shared the same aspirations and worldviews as I did.

It was through these people who took a chance on me that I was able to hone my skills and perspectives, resulting in me taking on a large project of building several innovative products from scratch at one of my previous roles. This was the beginning of it all, and I’ve never looked back.

How do you usually set up mentorships?
My mentorships do not take on any specific form as they are highly tailored to the individual I am collaborating with them on. They can be more free form for mentees who desire something more of a sounding board or sparring partner, or they can be very structured with a concrete learning plan for those who want to up-skill in highly specific areas across a defined timeline.

A constant commonality though with every mentee is the goal-oriented angle. Every single mentee of mine has a clear goal defined which we then work towards as our “definition of done” or measure of success of the mentorship. How we get there though, depends on the mentee and their preferred way of evolution.

What’s been your favourite mentorship story so far? (optional)
A couple of years ago, I reached out pro-bono to a leading social enterprise in my home country as their business model highly resonated with me. as I believe that what they do is the perfect combination of business viability and social enterprise.

In a nutshell, they are an eCommerce company which only contracts the unemployed, homeless or disenfranchised as merchandise creators. They then pay back their revenue to their staff through an attractive revenue share structure.

It was a highly satisfying experience for me to offer my advise and consultation pro-bono to this company’s founders, and to see my funnel optimisation techniques being actively applied. I have since unfortunately had to pause this endeavour due to time constraints, but am very happy to say that many of my suggested proposals are still being adopted and even improved upon in wide ranging ways. This was a clear indicator to me that I had successfully “taught a man to fish”, and my services were no longer needed which I believe is ultimately what every mentor should strive for!

What are you getting out of being a mentor?
The pure satisfaction of seeing people progress along their paths and to achieve their goals in real ways.

I feel that a lot of mentees are intimidated by their own ambition - they do not believe that their visions are realistic and that they do not have it in them to achieve their dreams. It makes me immensely happy to see my mentees discard these limiting beliefs gradually over the course of my mentorship, and to learn how to step into their own power and ultimately not even need me anymore, or even to hopefully surpass me!

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