NewCampus helps you fit learning into your life through daily discussion-led classes, hosted by virtual instructors, delivered in inspiring offline classrooms. Our team is global and remote first. We’re part nerdy, part creative but we all share a passion for changing the way people learn and grow. Keep life in beta.
This week, we connect with Ashley Liao, who is the community associate at NewCampus. Curious and always up for a challenge, Ashe joined NewCampus early this year as a social media operations intern. Her passion for work and learning impressed the team so much that she has stayed on and is transitioning into the community role. Ashe’s extroverted, warm and friendly nature make her the perfect person for this role. She will be the go-to person for any on-campus and class-related queries.
When not keeping our class schedule ship-shape, you can find Ashe petting her snails.
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m Ashe, and I’m 21 this year. I’m the eldest child, and hail from a mixed background with a Singaporean Chinese mum, and an Indonesian Chinese dad with roots in the Netherlands. When I’m not working, I obsess over this game called Stardew Valley or writing for my online D&D group.
Fun fact: My brother and I look so alike, that I can unlock his phone with my face via facial recognition.
What do you do at NewCampus?
I’m currently handling social media operations, and transitioning into a community associate role!
What does your typical day at work look like?
After my hour-long commute with a Crime Junkie or Welcome to Night Vale podcast episode, I reach the office at 10. While my laptop starts up, I get a coffee. This is when I scroll through Slack on my phone to catch up on anything I’ve missed from the previous night. I always need to see if I have to disrupt my schedule to update more urgent things, like updating class details.
I start off my day reporting on our growth numbers and tracking social media statistics before I dive into my grind. Due to my role shift, I’m settling into new processes while handing over older duties to our new partnerships executive, Pin Han. I’m trying to refine some processes with her right now.
After some meetings, I usually get a second cup of coffee and chat up with the community managers who take care of our coworking spaces. This gives me a moment away from my laptop screen and to talk about things other than work. I spent half an hour talking to Cheree, our community executive at Found8 Cuppage, about cute Starbucks products and stationery!
Afterwards, I mull over my schedule to figure out the next urgent thing that needs my attention. I spend a chunk of my day supporting the team in any way that I can with regards to classes, bookings, or information gathering.
In the evenings, you can find me running around and chatting to our regular colearners, and welcoming the new ones that have joined us.
What is your current focus at work?
I’m finding ways to build better relationships with our colearners and partners. I love talking to people and getting to know them, and finding out what I can do to improve their learning experience or their lives in general.
Three words that describe you?
Quirky, cheerful, dorky
Why did you join NewCampus? What excites you about what you do?
As a student, I always believed that learning should never be linear.
I studied marketing in my polytechnic days. I was also part of the debate club because I wanted to know more about the world. Debate topics centred around current affairs like Brexit and the pros and cons of advancing technology, and also touched on other historical events like the Arab Spring.
Unlike most of my peers, I decided to pursue my career instead of going to university and found NewCampus. NewCampus was the embodiment of my educational belief that learning shouldn't be stagnant. The world is ever-changing, and it’s not enough to get your degree and go to work every day, and I want to break that mindset.
I’m the most excited about the fact that I get to learn every day. I also meet so many talented and intelligent individuals with varying passions from sustainability to blockchain to psychology. And they all share the same belief that education never ends.
How do you incorporate lifelong learning into your schedule?
I try my best to stay updated on current affairs and read the newsletters that I’ve subscribed to like The Hustle, Quartz, and Vox.
I also learn a lot from my sister, who’s a student at the National University of Singapore. She tells me all about her research into Singaporean politics, English literature, and social issues such as income inequality.
I’m currently reading about the accessibility of abortions in Singapore, and how to better combat Chinese privilege.
What/who inspires you?
I’m inspired by a lot of people! Everyone is good and passionate about something, and there’s always a trait that I want to emulate from them.
Share a book/podcast/article that inspired you and tell us why it impacted you
A film that I am obsessed with is The Lobster. Set in a dystopian world, anyone who's single has to find a partner within 45 days or will turn into an animal of their choice. Singles match based on a unique feature each individual has. It’s a satirical film that pokes at societal expectations, what it means to be "in love", and how we find our soulmate.
Watching this opened my eyes to the realization that my peers build relationships by seeking out common interests to determine compatibility. But long term relationships have deeper layers that go beyond a shared interest. Unfortunately, we can’t look past what we’ve already established as the “basics” of dating.
What do you do outside of work for fun?
When I want to unwind, I like playing Stardew Valley. It’s a farming simulation which begins with you inheriting a plot of land from your grandfather. You work to restore the farm while meeting the other residents of a small town. I love Stardew Valley not just for the gameplay, but also the developer, Eric Barone.
What started off as a pet project ended up being a wildly popular game with over 1 million copies sold within 2 months after its release. And even now, Eric is the sole developer of the game, and he makes it a point to personally attend to every bug that comes up within the code. He even crafted a Trello board for beta testers to give him feedback on the game!
And when I’m not geeking out, I’m giving my snails a bath, or squeezing in a bit of family time by going grocery shopping with my parents or taking my siblings out for lunch. I don’t get a lot of time with my family during the weekdays since I end up getting home when everyone is about to turn in for the night.
What’s the best piece of advice you can give to anyone?
Be patient with yourself. In a world that puts a spotlight on productivity and the hustle, we all forget that it’s important to understand that you don’t have to make an impact with everything that you do. It’s okay if you’re not productive all the time.
We learn at different paces and in different ways. Just remember that you’re learning and improving yourself. It will take time, but you’ll get there.
Your favourite quote/motto
“Life’s a journey, not a race.”