Having worked in four major cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Berlin, Melbourn, Beijing and Hong Kong Pingkee’s career journey cuts across tech, fashion and digital media industries.
Hailing from the famous town of Ipoh, Perak to the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong – Pingkee Chan’s career journey in multiple countries is one that only few get to experience.
Pingkee studied at Ave Maria Convent Ipoh for both primary and secondary, subsequently pursuing STPM at SMJK Sam Tet. It was here where she realised about a glass ceiling she subconsciously placed over herself.
Breaking the glass ceiling
It was during her time in sixth form where Pingkee learned a little something about women empowerment. She applied to run for vice president for the student association, where during her interview she was asked by a teacher “why not run for president instead?”.
Pingkee then realised that she had unknowingly put a glass ceiling over herself. She had assumed that, because Sam Tet was mainly an all-boys school from primary to high school, with the only exception of their sixth form being co-ed, a male should be the president of the association.
This realisation eventually led her to run for president and became the first female to helm the position. Having broken the glass ceiling, Pingkee’s journey only became more interesting.
Studying while doing side hustle(s)
After form six, Pingkee had her first taste of the big city life when studying in Monash University, Kuala Lumpur. She then did a credit transfer to the University of Melbourne, Australia in her second year and eventually graduated.
However, studying was not everything to Pingkee as she always felt the need to get real work experience. She did her first internship in PwC in the tech consulting arm during her first year of studies in Monash.
Even during her university years in Melbourne, Pingkee never failed to find a job, even juggling four jobs while still studying!
Entering the fashion industry
Her hard work paid off as she managed to land a job as a project manager under Guo Pei, China’s most renowned couturier, a high fashion brand in China that is famous worldwide. Guo Pei is a Chinese fashion designer and household brand, best known for designing dresses for Chinese celebrities, and in America for Rihanna’s trailing yellow gown at the 2015 Met Gala.
Having moved to Beijing for work, it was not an easy task for Pingkee as she not only had to leave everything behind, but at the age of 24, was the only foreigner in Guo Pei. Her experience working there was anything but easy, having to constantly persevere, working extraordinarily hard to get noticed.
Pivoting back into tech at Google
Her experience in Guo Pei built her character, eventually earning her a place at Google in Beijing. The pivot into the tech industry required her to go through five stages of selection spanning nearly two months, while still working in her previous job.
At Google, Pingkee has led multiple projects, and is now a facilitator in their #iamremarkable campaign, a Google initiative empowering women and other underrepresented communities.
“Be comfortable with being uncomfortable,”Pingkee Chan