Gwen Emery Lee, Assistant Community Manager, Common Ground
Where are you from? What do you do for Common Ground?
Born and raised in a small city – Miri, Sarawak. I am in the Operations department at Common Ground (CG), the Assistant Community Manager of Common Ground Petaling Jaya (CGPJ). I first joined CG as a Community Officer, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m very contented to be able to make headway to where I am now.
How would you describe life at Common Ground?
Life at CG has been a learning experience and still is. Year 2021 would be my third year working with CG. I have made many great friendships here, not just with my peers and colleagues but with the community (members of Common Ground) and other people that I meet on a day-to-day basis. At CG, it is never monotonous and there is always something exciting to look forward to. We create an environment where great people can do great work. A place where people can be themselves, voice up their opinions and ideas, and are pushed to continuously learn and develop new skills.
I hope being smiley gives out the message that the community can always approach me for help and assistance
WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the Common Ground approach to member experience?
We would like our members to be able to grow their business with us, whereby Common Ground plays a vital role in enabling them to elevate to a higher level. We are constantly improving our services and offerings to add value to the community.
WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a favorite project you worked on?
I do have a few, but if I had to just pick one, it would be the CG Easter Event that took place in 2019. It was my first-time handling and leading a large-scale event. It was such a fun project, I learned a great deal on leadership, teamwork and gained more confidence. It was a lot of hard work and preparation. I remember that the event crew stayed up till 2am the night before the event to ensure everything is well prepared and ready for the big day. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m forever grateful for each of them that played a role in this project.
Any advice for young people who want to pursue a career in community management?
I started the 9-to-5 at a very young age. If you were to ask teenage Gwen, she never would have thought to be in this line of work. I studied design, so back then this was something new to me, and it was hard
at first because I was a very shy and timid person, and I knew that working in this department, I would have to be confident in myself and more out-going. I had to break out of my shell, and looking back now I would not have done it any differently.
What was the most outrageous thing you did to make a member happy?
When I was based in CG KL Eco City (KLEC), a member came to me at 6pm with a last-minute request for a rostrum to be placed in their space for an event that will take place the next morning by 7.30am. This was going to be challenging as there are processes and permits involved to make this happen. All I can say is that there was a lot of smooth talking involved to various parties to make this happen and we did it! It really taught me how valuable good rapport is with collaborators and partners so that when you are in a tight spot, you are more likely to get people to help you.
How do you keep such a sweet smile on the whole day?
If I see someone sulking, it does affect my mood as well. Putting on a smiley face at work especially in front of the members and clients I meet, I do hope there is a slight mirror effect. It doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t cost us anything to smile and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the best accessory to wear, especially in this line of work. I hope being smiley gives out the message that the community can always approach me for help and assistance. Also, It makes me feel more confident.
What do you like most about the CGPJ location?
I like that the venue is very bright and airy with a lot of glass windows and a transparent ceiling roof top which allows tons of natural lighting in. And the fact that we have a grocery store nearby is a plus point too.
Any career advice to share?
Persevere, be dedicated and be bold to ask questions. Venture outside of your comfort zone.