Cheong Mun Shing
Director for Sun Hung Kai Financial’s E-Business division, 2008
Bachelor of Business (Hons) in International Business
Some people view finance as being a traditional and boring industry but when you inject creativity into it, that’s when you will have the cutting edge over your competitors.
21 November 2008
Written by Catalina Rembuyan
When people meet Cheong Mun Shing, they wonder about her is how she gets the time and energy to do all that she does. Catalina Rembuyan speaks to this multi-tasking marvel who juggles her life as the director of a division in a finance company in Hong Kong, creates websites for social awareness and justice, and goes for yoga no less than five times a week.
“I am an eternal optimist. I never let anything dampen my spirits,” says Cheong Mun Shing, the Director for Sun Hung Kai Financial’s E-Business division. As a student at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology working towards her Diploma in Business Communications in the 1990s, Cheong Mun Shing proved very early on that she was a force to be reckoned with. When asked about the awards that she succeeded in achieving during her years at Limkokwing University, Mun Shing is able to list no less than five.
Mun Shing received five awards during her graduation: the Tan Sri Dato Dr. Awang Had Salleh Award for college valedictorian, the Presidential Gold Award for best academic achievement in the School of Business, the Industry Award that had been sponsored by Dale-Lokman Communications, the Outstanding Achievement Award as well as being the recipient of the British-Malaysian Association Scholarship.
Today, she is the Director for Sun Hung Kai Financial’s E-Business division, combining her knowledge of information technology with the finance industry. She also runs a freelance website design company where she designs for causes pro bono and has been recently accepted as a student in a financial engineering program in an American university.
Sun Hung Kai Financial is one of Hong Kong’s leading finance companies. Beginning first in 2002 when Mun Shing was offered a position in the company’s Marketing division, she took a short breather away from Hong Kong and returned to Malaysia for a short while before receiving an offer from the same company, this time in its stockbroking division.
Returning to Hong Kong to work as a stockbroker for Sun Hung Kai Financial was one of Mun Shing’s most dangerous decisions: she was caught in the financial meltdown of 2007/08! “I was caught right in the middle of the hurricane, metaphorically speaking. Going to work every day watching markets tumble and client’s wealth shrink overnight was very depressing!” she said.
Technology is a very dynamic subject and there is no room for being static as you need to constantly keep yourself abreast of the latest technologies in order to stay upfron.
Regardless of the difficulty, Mun Shing succeeded in seeing the company through those stormy months, and this she attributes to her ability to think innovatively and creatively, a skill that she nurtured as a student in Limkokwing University. “Some people view finance as being a traditional and boring industry but when you inject creativity into it, that’s when you will have the cutting edge over your competitors,” explained she.
Mun Shing’s abilities to weather through tough challenges in her profession was noticed by her company, and she soon moved up in her career and shifted into the newly established E-Business division, where she currently holds the position of Director. She is in charge of overseeing the direction for the growth for all electronic trading platforms and portals, developing and implementing e-business strategies and marketing initiatives, building strategic alliances with potential business partners, researching and analyzing industry trends as well as competitive activities, best practices and new products and opportunities, and managing online advertising and search marketing campaigns.
It is a challenging line of work that requires both in-depth knowledge of the field of finance and being constantly up-to-date with virtual technology, and Mun Shing proves that she is one of the few people who have got what it takes to see this through. “Technology is a very dynamic subject and there is no room for being static as you need to constantly keep yourself abreast of the latest technologies in order to stay upfront,” she said. “Anticipate, react, and be versatile: that’s the way to stay ahead in this field.”
“An interesting trend to note is the influence of social media on how marketers do business. In my opinion, even a very traditional industry like finance is not immune to the effects of social media, and companies need to start looking at this area seriously and embrace it to stay ahead of the curve.”
Mun Shing also runs a non-profit project called Vanilla Factory, a web consultancy service that offers pro bono initiatives to social causes, including web consultancy services, web development and design services, search engine optimization, photography services and customized blog creation. To date, Vanilla Factory has served ten clients, two of them on a non-profit basis.
Anticipate, react, and be versatile: that’s the way to stay ahead in this field.
On top of web design, Mun Shing has also just completed a course on financial engineering from Stanford University, does photography, travels to different countries on a regular basis, is studying contemporary Chinese art, and does yoga five to six times a week! “People wonder how I find the time and energy to do everything that I do!” she said.
Perhaps the yoga might have something to do with it!