Programmes Undergraduate Programmes Student and alumni stories

A tale of two professions: How I.T. and direct marketing come together and offer a better career path

BBA Accountancy and Management Information Systems’03
Ellery Leung Wing-lap

When I graduated in 2003, SARS was furious in Hong Kong. I decided I would develop my career in the I.T. (Information Technology) industry.  My first pay cheque was HK$6,500, which was reasonable at that time. Unfortunately, the company went bankrupt and I lost the job. 

And then I worked as a programmer in another company.  As you may recall, the financial crisis came in 2008 and I lost my job, again.

At that moment, I realised one very important thing – Even you get a job, be punctual, work hard and deliver result, they are not sufficient to secure your lifestyle.

When I was about to quit my second job, I told myself, “Enough, no more, not again.”  But the next question came right into my mind, “So what are you going to do?”

Then I discovered marketing.  To me, in simple terms, marketing is the way of continuous communication with people about products and services that generate the needed value to customers.

That was the missing piece and the key to protection that I am searching in my life.  In my opinion, if you are very good at I.T., you just know how to create a good product.  Without marketing, it will be like fishing with a good fishing rod, but no bait.

Here I would like to share two things that I have learnt in I.T. and direct marketing, and hope that you will find them helpful:

  1. Strategy of Preeminence: According to Jay Abraham, a great strategist in marketing and my mentor, it simply means you are here to serve your clients, but not sell them.  If you see your world in this way, the door called “opportunity” is wide-opened to you.  

    With that mindset, I can easily help my clients to spot their IT problems, while others can’t.  And when I solve their problems with my expertise, they thank me and treasure me like never before.  
  1. Going deeper: When doing problem solving, I realise most of the problems are not the root causes of the issue.

    One example is a client asked for a reason why their website was not working. It was a big company and the problem concerned them. After checking the server, it was not a programming problem.  For an average programmer, they might say it was not their fault as the problem was not related to programming. But I held the belief that the problem on the surface was not always the root cause, so I asked my client more questions. At last, we found out the disk space was full, which made the website failed to work properly. So we removed unwanted files and everything worked fine thereafter.

While there are a lot of lessons to be shared, these two are by far impacting my life most. They have changed my approach to problem solving forever.

(Written by Ellery, July 2018)