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The Back Story interview – Marcus Tan

The Back Story monthly interview features ADAPTOVATE employees from around the world. Each month we ask them 10 questions. Our team is the greatest asset we have, and it’s a privilege to share just a little bit more about who they are.

This month we are joined in conversation by one of our team members Marcus Tan, a graduate in our Singapore office.

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Marcus Chan
First up – how long have you worked with us?

I started early 2021

Why did you join us? Were you in the industry previously, or looking for a new career direction?

Being a fresh graduate, I was looking for a full-time opportunity to kick start my career. Furthermore, I was seeking opportunities in the area of consulting. I didn’t want to peg myself into a hole and only consider the traditional management consulting. Thus, when I expanded my search, I happened to see ADAPTOVATE on LinkedIn and I was intrigued by ADAPTOVATE’s work. Once I applied and met the ADAPTOVATORs that interviewed me, I knew that ADAPTOVATE was the organisation that I wanted to kick start my career with.

How has your previous experience and career helped define where you are now? Would you have done things differently?

Being a Graduate, this role is my first full-time opportunity. However, based on my internship experiences, I previously experienced working in strategy and executive search. Both roles allowed me to understand that I wanted a career where I could support organisational growth and change.

How do you balance your work life with your ‘real’ life – Do you have a good balance and how important is it to you?

I balance “both” lives by ensuring that I block off time where I can get in my exercise and also my hobbies. It’s not easy at times to carve out the time to do so but I find that when I do block off time, I do eventually feel better even though the process of blocking off time might be a tad stressful.

With so many of our team remote working, we always like to ask how do you have your home office/desk set up? Organised or chaos? Any top tips?

It was initially chaos! However, I have been adding pieces to my workstation that help the organisation. I now have my own backlog stuck on the wall next to my desk (shoutout to B for the inspiration). I’ve also managed to get a second-hand monitor from a friend, whose company was changing monitors and had a few to giveaway. After a few iterations of changing the orientation of my desk, I’ve also managed to find the sweet spot where the light works well enough for video calls.

Do you play music during your Agile workshops with clients? What do you recommend on your latest playlist?

I personally don’t! However, I think some Pop always works well. Maybe a little Ed Sheeran and a little John Mayer might be my go-to if I had a choice.

How do you think technology has best helped humanity and do you have any concerns about our future?

Technology has best helped humanity by increasing the speed at which everything can be done, perhaps to a fault at times. I’m concerned that technology results in a society that becomes inactive. We can do everything from our devices so people are going to become more inactive leading to health repercussions.

Strategic Foresight allows companies to detect changes early and ensure action is taken quickly. Which companies have you seen able to change and adapt quickly? (and hopefully using Agile methods to do so)

Dyson’s ability to pivot from vacuum cleaners to fans and hairdryers has been extremely impressive to me. They change and adapt quickly to producing new products and they are so successful at doing so.

What does success mean to you personally?

I don’t really think that I can define success. I personally see success as being able to continuously improve and grow.

Finally – You’ve time travelled back to your 10-year old self – What advice would you give?

Try different things!!! Don’t be scared of trying new activities and new experiences.

Special 11th Question – How have you found working through life and work during COVID?

There were fleeting moments where I felt isolated. However, overall, it has not been too bad. Thankfully, I live with family and there are always people around to talk with.

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