After 7 years as a Customer Service Officer and 6 more in Advertising and Promotions, Ayu is now an Advertising and Promotions Executive at Northpoint. She is still as cheerful as ever. Her smile is infectious and her passion for the job, inspiring. We find out more about her journey and what it was really like growing up in, “with” and around Northpoint.
What do you love about Northpoint?
I’ve actually stayed in Yishun all my life, so I practically grew up here. I’ve seen how Northpoint has developed over the years and I can almost feel it growing with me. I remember the old days when Northpoint was just a small rectangular-shaped mall, and there was a two-storey Toys “R” Us that I loved walking around! There was also Gain City, and Delifrance on Level 1. And of course, McDonalds!
When I first joined, it was during Northpoint’s second Asset Enhancement Initiative (AEI) when a new wing called the Annex Building was added. And now, the third AEI is taking place and I’m really excited! I can’t wait to see all our new tenants moving in, and with the expansion of a whole new wing, we finally get to do bigger more exciting events with a wider variety of fun indoor and outdoor elements!
Also, with more housing developments like North Park Residences springing up in Yishun, it means we can start to be more adventurous with the experiences we offer to our young, trendy families and even the “children” like me who have also “grown up with” the mall.
What do you love about your job?
It’s been six years in advertising and promotions and I still love what I do! Developing concepts, planning events, running promotions, it’s all-in-one. I love the fact that you can plan a whole event and see it go live. Just seeing the event unfold before my eyes and witnessing shoppers and families enjoying themselves, you feel a great sense of achievement and pride!
How has your journey been these past 13 years?
It has been an interesting journey so far! In 2011, I was given the opportunity to transfer into Northpoint’s Centre Management Office as an Admin Officer. Coincidentally, that was also when an Advertising and Promotions (A&P) role opened up. All thanks to my manager at that time, I got moved into the A&P team. I had always expressed my interest in events and marketing whenever we discussed new campaigns, and she got me into the A&P team right when the role was available.
What was it like transitioning from Customer Service to Advertising and Promotions?
When I first transferred into Advertising and Promotions, it was very intimidating. I had absolutely no experience. Marketing terms like “FPFC” also known as “Full Page Full Colour Ads” were foreign terms to me and I had to learn everything in about two months. It was also a tougher period because I had to cover admin work, casual leasing and also cover my teammate’s A&P role as she was going on maternity leave. Learning the different roles and juggling the two job scopes at the same time was definitely not easy.
How did you overcome this transition?
I’m proud of myself for sticking through it because I really learnt a lot. My inspiration was really Peggy, my senior at the time. She gave me the chance to be an Advertising and Promotions officer even when she knew I had no experience. She believed in me and brought me under her wing. And she didn’t just stop there; she groomed me for the role by teaching me everything she knew about marketing and events. She really took my hand and guided me through the entire process.
What are your most memorable moments at Northpoint?
My most memorable, and scary, moment was during a Chinese New Year promotion. I was still a Customer Service Officer back then and a shopper came to me demanding to redeem not one but two Chinese New Year gift sets. He had spent twice the amount that was required for redemption, but according to our Terms and Conditions, every shopper could only redeem one gift set per day. He waved a sharp object and it looked like he was going to throw it at me. Luckily, he walked away without causing any harm. Its times like these you really learn to stand firm, remain calm and professional. I always try my best to explain the situation to my customers, apologise and offer them alternative solutions. I can definitely say that I’ve grown into a more patient person. I had a very bad temper before I started, but I can really keep my cool now!
What is your secret to happiness?
I tell myself to “Breathe. Inhale the good things and exhale the bad things.”
Of course, I have my meltdowns. But I realised that it never got me anywhere when I was stuck in my own negative thoughts. I have learnt that it is best to move on, persevere and spread my positivity to everyone around me!
Ayu goes on to tell us with excitement about how she just enrolled herself in a professional writing course. If there’s one thing to be inspired by, it is perhaps the passion, optimism and perseverance she has shown throughout her journey at Northpoint so far.