ACAMS Today interviewed Janelle Leow, ACAMS’ senior manager of the global data governance, report and training team based in Singapore. She joined ACAMS in 2016 to handle customer service, events and operations duties for the region. As a pioneer member of the team, Leow was involved in the establishment of the Singapore office and was instrumental in the operations team’s growth. Her role within the company has evolved from that of a customer service agent to handling the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region’s data governance. In that capacity, Leow works with the IT department on a variety of projects, with ACAMS’ customer relationship management (CRM) system and website upgrade being the most recent.
Leow is currently leading the team in safeguarding customer data and improving data quality and accuracy. In addition, she is developing procedures to ensure compliance with internal policies. Leow also takes responsibility for equipping staff with necessary skills and knowledge, especially as related to CRM and customer care.
ACAMS Today: How did your career path lead you to ACAMS?
Janelle Leow: I had been in the events operations industry for a couple of years when I happened upon a job listing at ACAMS. I saw the potential position as a new challenge and decided to give it a shot. Joining ACAMS has given me the opportunity to take on different roles and responsibilities such as office management. Coming to ACAMS has proven to be the right decision as I have grown and learned so much during my four years with the organization.
AT: How has the Singapore office evolved since its inception?
JL: When I first joined the organization, I was working in an office that was approximately 10 square meters and without any windows! There was only one other sales colleague, Suji Pillai, with me in the office. I mainly handled the region’s customer service and events-related issues as well as office administrative work. After years of hard work and expansion in the region, we finally relocated to our current office (with windows!) and the team has now expanded to 12 people.
AT: What was your role in developing the ACAMS CRM website upgrade?
JL: I was involved in a wide range of activities. I analyzed some of the fields/objects in the CRM system and worked closely with the IT department to ensure that everything required by the business side was being taken into consideration in their designs and brought over to the current system. I also worked on user acceptance testing and coordinating the tests within APAC. Now, my team will identify issues for the development team to work on. Lastly, I am also working on data validation and fixing technical bugs.
AT: What is your favorite part of your job?
JL: I am fortunate to have been exposed to a variety of opportunities and responsibilities within the operations team throughout my years at ACAMS. My favorite part is identifying, troubleshooting and resolving issues that my team and I face. It gives me a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment to be able to use my problem-solving skills.
AT: What skills have been crucial to your success as a senior manager?
JL: Always being curious about everything. Having good problem-solving and time management skills as well! There is always a lot to work on, so good time management is crucial in completing all tasks assigned. These skills are also pivotal as they enable me to address any questions effectively and always provide my superior with a proposed solution to any problems.
AT: Having experience working with new hires, what advice do you have for new ACAMS colleagues?
JL: Do not be afraid to ask questions. Whenever you have any doubts, make sure you ask and check with your superior on the task at hand and make sure you understand it. Put your heart in everything you do, take down notes and remember what you have been taught. Take interest in what you are doing and everything will seem like a breeze!
AT: What do you like to do when you are off the clock?
JL: Outside of work, I love trying out new baking recipes. I also enjoy outdoor activities such as scuba diving and hiking.
Interviewed by: Stephanie Trejos, CAMS, editor, ACAMS, Miami, FL, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org