In this Meet the IA Team blog post, we speak to our recently appointed Manager of Affiliate Marketing Services, Cindy Cheung. Cindy discusses how the transition into her new role has been going, as well as her experience working remotely.
Name: Cindy CheungPosition: Manager of Affiliate Marketing ServicesBackground: Background: Cindy was born in Montreal, Canada and lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, before returning to Montreal. She joined Income Access in July 2015, joining the Affiliate Marketing Services team in 2020, which she now manages. Cindy also holds the Policy Chair in her federal riding.
Cindy shares her experiences as Manager of Affiliate Marketing Services
You recently moved from the Account Management team, which you had been in for a few years, into your current role of Manager of Affiliate Marketing Services. How was your transition and how have you adjusted to your new department?
The transition from Account Management to Affiliate Services has been very seamless. Because our Account Management and Affiliate Management departments work very closely together, I was already very familiar with the team and what we do.
I entered the industry as an Account Manager for Income Access, establishing relationships with Affiliate Managers across different brands and verticals over the past 5 years. This greatly helped me build a foundation of knowledge and understand what affiliate managers focus on and the strategies that work.
The biggest transition has been remembering to switch gears from taking a passive role in guiding clients to success, to taking the reins and being more proactive and providing them with recommendations for success.
You started at Income Access back in July of 2015. Tell us about some of the changes you’ve seen within the company, including our acquisition by Paysafe.
When I first started at Income Access, our office space was much smaller, and we had a smaller team. Due to its size and everyone’s proximity to each other, being all based in Montreal, Income Access always had a very close-knit culture and felt like a big family. Due to its open space concept, we were able to go up to any member in any department to ask questions.
Since the acquisition by Paysafe, we have seen Income Access grow in the number of employees and office space, as well as expanding our offices to the UK and Bulgaria. While on the Account Management team, I had the opportunity to contribute to the development of our first teams in Bulgaria. We have since grown and established more departments to help us continue to be a leader in the industry. Despite the growth and changes over the years, Income Access has managed to retain a family-like culture. During my visit in Bulgaria, I was happy to feel the exact same company culture was established overseas, and we barely felt the distance separating us.
In response to current events, we, as a company, have been working remotely for a prolonged period of time. Do you have any pointers for other managers out there in a similar situation?
While working remotely, I have compiled a few tips that I found have been helpful in keeping employees engaged:
1. Regular check-ins with employees: This allows me to assure my team that I am still accessible for support, despite the lack of physical interaction. I always opt for video chats, as it allows us to maintain engagement and responsiveness with our teams. I also use this time to get to know my team and hear if there are any personal stressors that may affect them and ensure they do not feel isolated.
2. Clear expectations and communication: When working remotely, it is very important to define what the expectations with our teams are and communicate these effectively. Many employees feel they lack access to information and tools while working remotely, so I try to always confirm with them, in writing, if they know what is expected from them, or if they are missing any information, tools or resources to accomplish the tasks successfully.
3. Virtual social meet-ups: As we lack the social interaction we may experience in an office setting, organising a virtual social activity on a weekly basis allows the team to continue to bond and connect with each other. Some of us may rarely get to interact with other individuals during this time, so this allows us to see and be reminded of each other’s presence.
Get to know Cindy!
You have visited 25 countries. Tell us a bit about your travels and how you go about planning your next adventures.
I love travelling as it gives me space to discover other cultures, places, and more importantly, discover myself! I have traveled across parts of Europe, Asia, North America and South America.
One of my favourite countries to travel to is Japan. Japan has so much to do, see, learn about and EAT! I have traveled to Japan three times, each visit discovering different parts of the country and aspects of the culture. The feeling of excitement I get from being out of my comfort zone is really indescribable.
When planning my travels, I will ask myself what I would like to learn or discover. Once I can identify one objective, I usually conduct research on the history, things to do and where to eat to help prepare me. What I have learned from my travels is to not set specific expectations or plans and to not bring any kind of bias with me on my trip. I truly only plan on where I will land and where I will depart, everything in between is a big adventure. I find this is the best way to truly enjoy the vacation and discover new places.
You mentioned you enjoy the culinary aspect of traveling. What makes that such a highlight for you?
I have an inquisitive character by virtue of the fact that I enjoy trying and exploring different things. When travelling and sampling different foods, it really is the different tastes, smells and sensations I experience, that I associate my memories with.
Enjoying the different food while travelling cannot be complete without taking a cooking class abroad. These provides us a deeper understanding of the cuisine, the cooking methods and the culture, too. When I am back home and cooking my own dishes, it makes me reminisce on my memories of travel and the food.
I also enjoy eating at our local restaurants here in Montreal. Montreal has a great culinary scene and many innovative chefs that can’t be missed!
What’s your favourite…Food: Italian and JapaneseMovie: The Dark KnightSport: Tennis and VolleyballAnimal: TurtleArtist: Kygo
To discover more about the affiliate marketing services offered by Cindy and our Affiliate Team, please reach out.