'Professional associations provide benefit for both the profession and the industry'
Stacey Huang is the Executive Director of the Pan-Asia Risk and Insurance Management Association (PARIMA), a not-for-profit professional association and a platform for risk insurance managers to connect.
Holding a Masters in Psychology and a double degree in Business and Psychology, Stacey shares her experience working with a professional association and her advice for anyone thinking about a career in insurance.
WHAT DOES YOUR CURRENT ROLE ENTAIL?
What doesn’t my current role entail! As the Executive Director at PARIMA, I am responsible for both the day to day operations of the business and its strategic growth. I wear many ‘hats’ throughout the day and manage everything from membership growth and engagement, sponsorship discussions, strategy, IT, finance, grassroots events as well as educational programs and certification.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
I love that I get to be involved in every aspect of the organisation. A lot of my work requires collaborating with insurance companies, brokers and service providers to create educational forums on a range of topics. I am also fortune enough in my role to still be exposed to the risk trends and issues across the Asia Pacific (APAC). I have learnt a lot from top leaders in the industry about global and APAC risk trends, cyber, business interruption, business crisis management and reputation management. Both these areas fulfill my need to learn as well as providing hands-on delivery.
YOU'VE LIVED IN A FEW DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, HOW HAS THIS HELPED YOUR CAREER?
It has taught me that there is never one way of working and helped me grasp the importance of understanding cultural differences. APAC may be a region, but it is a region made up of multiple distinct cultures and each have different attributes, such as pace, approach to work, language and cultural customs. What works in one country may not work in another. Understanding how to connect with people in different countries, being able to communicate effectively and ensuring you are adaptable to the varying cultures, can put you in good stead when working overseas.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE LOOKING TO GET INTO RISK MANAGEMENT?
Risk is an extremely fascinating field. Being responsible for the risk of your company gives you the opportunity to have conversations with multiple departments and people from all levels of the business. A background in insurance is not always needed to access risk management. If you have appetite to learn, are able to connect with multiple stakeholders and understand the fundamentals of risk assessment and management, a career in risk management could be right for you.
ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE LOOKING TO WORK OVERSEAS?
Start with any job if you want to expand your overseas profile. If you can find a job overseas, you’re part way there. The experience you gain from working overseas is more than just about the job. It’s about living abroad on your own, working in a foreign country and immersing yourself in another culture. Thriving in an environment that you are not accustomed to will see you gain new skills. You will become resourceful, adaptable, and independent and, to some extent, humble.