We had the pleasure of interviewing Bond Lai, a social media and community manager at Trulioo. Bond was a part of our #aspiretotech campaign and we wanted to learn more about him and why he chose a career in tech. Here’s what he had to say:
BC Tech: Tell us a bit about your early years and where you’re from…
Bond: My family emigrated from Hong Kong to Vancouver when I was less than a year old. As a kid, I was really shy and quiet. I was involved in a lot of extracurricular activities like learning to draw, playing the piano, and was also a sea scout. At one point, I found myself going to something every day of the week. I attended elementary and high school in Richmond and then eventually got into the Sauder School of Business at UBC where I studied Marketing.
BC Tech: How did you end up in tech?
Bond: Growing up in the 90s, the internet and technology always felt like second nature to me. I was the go-to person in my family whenever there was anything wrong with the TV, internet, and tech gadgets in general. Funnily, what I think shaped me into the trouble-shooter I am today was the fear of getting in trouble from my older sister if I ever broke the computer or diseased it with a virus.
Besides survival, I did have a strong interest in tech. My dream job growing up was to be an inventor (I realize now, how broad that term is). I’m not sure if it was all the Home Alone and Spy Kids movies that I watched, but I loved to create contraptions and the weirdest concoctions of drinks (sorry to my family who had to consume them).
In a way, I think that my drive to create is also why I wanted to work in tech. The tech industry is all about finding new ways to do things and innovate on existing products and services. This affinity and interest in tech are what guided me to where I am today.
BC Tech: How were you were first introduced to the tech industry?
Bond: I was first introduced to the tech industry when I started my first job after graduation. I joined a small team still in its early stages that operated in the VR/AR and holographic industry and instantly fell in love with the tech startup culture and community.
BC Tech: Walk me through your work and tell us what you’re working on now…
Bond: I work as the Social Media and Community Manager at Trulioo, so I manage all of our social media channels which include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Each platform is a little different and requires adjusting the tone and content while maintaining a consistent brand online. On the community management side, I attend events now and then to connect with the local community and see what is going on in the industry. I also help to organize events where we invite other startups to our office just to hang out and have some fun.
Being at a startup, you wear many hats. Aside from my primary role, I help out wherever I can so I occasionally get to do some graphic design, create fun videos, write blogs, and work with other departments to see how we can improve our processes.
BC Tech: Tell us about some of the bigger roadblocks and struggles that you’ve had to overcome in your career…
Bond: Though it has already been a couple of years, I still feel like I’m a fresh graduate. I haven’t been met with any significant challenges yet, but I’d say I’ve struggled with finding mentorship. Having little experience, I believed that it was crucial for me to find a job where I had many opportunities to learn and explore under the tutelage of a good mentor. Though I had one at the beginning, it was very short-lived. I was fortunate when I came across Trulioo—where I have been provided the type of work environment and leadership I need.
BC Tech: What are the biggest motivators in your work? What drives you?
Bond: I think the biggest source of motivation comes from the people I work for and with. When you’ve got a rock star team who are supportive, knows what they’re doing, and are passionate about making an impact in the world, it’s contagious.
BC Tech: How do you feel about the state of tech in 2017, what excites you?
Bond: It’s an exciting time to be part of tech—when you work in the industry, you’re surrounded by the newest products, processes, and innovation. You are at the forefront of what your generation (or the next) will be living and breathing. That’s exciting! What’s sometimes frustrating about it is that the road to adoption is not the easiest. While full of potential, the tech industry is also filled with ideas and tech that may never come to fruition.
BC Tech: What advice would you have for young people who are really hoping to get into tech but just don’t know where to start?
Bond: My advice would be to attend community events. We have a very vibrant and supportive tech community in BC, and I think it would be one of the best places to start. You get to meet all different types of people, in different fields, who are all working on very cool things. Networking is a great way to discover what you’re interested in and the opportunities available in the industry. You never know how far a beer or coffee with a stranger can go.
Want to learn more about what it’s like to work in tech? Check out our #aspiretotech page.