Welcome Alexandrea, and thanks for stepping into the Honan Careers Spotlight!
First things first, let’s start at the beginning… as a child, what did you want to be when you 'grew up’?
I had a lot of interests growing up. As a six-year-old I wanted to be a nurse; a few years later when I was nine, I wanted to be a vet. When I was older, I got involved in my church's youth group, running big camps with live music performances for teenagers every six months. I was put in charge of our young production team aged between 17-25 years old and I learned how to put together a professional production show. Running around behind-the-scenes always gave me an adrenaline rush and I felt accomplished at the end of each camp knowing things ran without a hitch. To date, it is still a career bucket list to be part of a touring stage (musical) production.
Tell us a little about your career journey - what led you to where you are now?
I moved from Singapore to Brisbane in 2016 where I started my Communications Degree at the University of Queensland. When I graduated,I landed my first job working for a printer reseller for about a year. It felt like I wasn’t fulfilling my potential and so I started applying for jobs and soon found my way to Honan’s Brisbane office. I really enjoyed my time working with the team in Brisbane and was sad to leave them in late-2021. The silver lining from returning to Singapore is that I get to work at the Honan office with all the great people who work there.
So you moved from the Brisbane to the Singapore office, what are some of the similarities and differences you’ve experienced along the way?
I think our Australian DNA is very evident in our business regardless of the location. We’re hard workers, but also know when it’s time to switch off to recharge. The work we do in Singapore is just as collaborative as in Brisbane and we share our expertise and knowledge to help achieve more for our clients .
There’s a little less sports talk in the Singapore office. I still get very “homesick” when it’s State-of-Origin time and nobody in the Singapore office knows what I’m talking about. On the upside, I do think the food is better here in Singapore and I can finally eat durians whenever I want!
You’re now in the business of risk mitigation, what is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken, and did it pay off?
I think the biggest risk was moving to a completely different country by myself to pursue my degree. My mother was worried because, at the time, I could barely make a cup of noodles for myself. I’m so grateful for the opportunity because it forced me to learn how to fend for myself and now I make a pretty mean banana bread!
What is something that has surprised you about the insurance industry? How did it differ from what your previous assumptions may have been?
Since joining Honan, I’ve learned that the insurance industry encompasses so much more than just health insurance. It’s a common misconception and I too used to think that insurance was just about medical cover. I was unaware of the many facets of insurance and how it can support businesses and provide them with a safety net in the event of major unforeseen circumstances.
What motivates / energises you most about your work/role?
I feel like I’m learning something new every day and that drives and inspires me. I find it extremely interesting to learn how insurance policies respond in different scenarios and this helps me explain to our clients the types of risks and coverage they should take into consideration.
What's one personal goal you have set yourself to accomplish in the next year?
It’s my dream to run my own stationery business. I’ve recently started taking digital art classes and am now learning how to design my own illustrations.
The best piece of career advice you’ve received?
I’ve always had a voice in my head telling me to “just try”. It’s what brought me to the Brisbane office and kept me grounded in the business ever since. I’m open to opportunities and I’ve always believed in trying everything in life at least once. If I don’t like something, at least I can say I tried.
Which of your personal interests is your biggest asset and how does it help you professionally?
Attending art shows and exhibitions is something I have always enjoyed. During my time at Honan I have learned that for our clients, it is not enough to just pile information into a document and send it off to them. My flair for design has enabled me to create well-designed documents and presentations that align with our branding and are intuitive for our clients to navigate.
Who is somebody who has influenced / inspired you most in your career, and why?
My biggest inspiration, professionally and personally, is my late grandmother. She was a multi-talented woman who put her heart and soul into everything she did, and everything she touched was always done with absolute perfection. I had the privilege to be brought up by her and she always reminded me to put my best foot forward in everything I did. Half-hearted effort simply won’t do. She settled for nothing less than perfect, and this has also driven me to expect high standards of myself and the work that I do.
What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self when just starting out on your career journey?
Spend less time talking yourself out of your goals and spend more time trying new things until something sticks. We learn more about ourselves when we experience new things than when we stay stuck within our comfort zones. We are filled with so much potential which can only be realised if we try.
Protecting cash flow, guarding against late and/or non-payments from customers, and securing your company’s own creditworthiness is critical to business sustainability. This article looks at two key ways you can limit your liquidity risks: credit reports and trade credit insurance.
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