• ABSA

Speed Networking with Amazon

On October 18th, ABSA hosted a speed networking event where members had the opportunity to talk and connect with Amazon professionals Ming Huang, Edwin Lam, and Frankie Yaptinchay. During the event, they shared about their careers and involvement in Asians@ Amazon and discussed other topics such as leveraging professional relationships and the diverse communities and careers at Amazon.


What is Asians@ Amazon?

  • It is an affinity group open to Amazon employees of all ethnicities. They welcome those who want to better understand Asian matters and those who are from Asia or are of Asian heritage.

  • Asians at Amazon serves as a vehicle to recruit, develop, and retain Asian talent, as well as advocate for greater Asian representation at Amazon’s leadership level.

  • This group is an inclusive community that serves as a platform for promoting cultural exchange and awareness among Asian cultures and between Asian and non-Asian cultures. In addition, they influence policies at Amazon that affect Asian interests and represent Amazon’s Asian voice in local communities.


Here are the tenets of Asians@ Amazon:

  • We build bridges across cultural boundaries to foster understanding and eliminate prejudice.

  • We build communities to ensure that employees feel that they belong.

  • We fight for diversity and inclusion because it allows everyone to be their authentic self.

  • We represent the voice of Asians and their allies at Amazon and in local communities.

  • We empower employees through personal and professional development.

  • We run programs that can benefit employees of diverse ethnicities and backgrounds.


The guest speakers also shared more about their own backgrounds.


Ming Huang:

  • She attended the University of Washington studying Business Administration (Marketing) for her undergraduate.

  • She was the ABSA co-founder, Marketing Director, VP, and President.

  • She worked at Starbucks for 2.5 years in distribution & logistics.

  • She also worked at Microsoft for 2.5 years in procurement.

  • She has been working at Amazon for 4.75 years. One of her roles was in supply chain (sales & operations planning) and her current one is in sales & marketing (product enablement).

  • She is Cantonese, born in Guangzhou, China, and immigrated to Seattle at 7 years old.

  • She is a food enthusiast, interested in customer design experience, food & nutrition advocate, and DEI advocate.

  • Her current interest is biohacking.


Edwin Lam:

  • He attended Arizona State studying Finance/Economics/Math for his undergraduate.

  • He attended Stanford studying Management Science & Engineering for his graduate.

  • He worked at TWC Private Equity for 3 years doing financial modeling, fund raising, and structured investments

  • He has been working at Amazon for 4.5 years doing financial forecasting, product/tech finance, and WW Prime Day Promotion

  • He was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to San Francisco when he was 11 years old.

  • He is an outdoor enthusiast, and enjoys activities such as fishing, hunting, camping, off-roading, and scuba diving.

  • He is also an aspiring food enthusiast and owns Peony Bakery Seattle, which started before the pandemic.


Frankie Yaptinchay:

  • He is Amazon Music’s Senior Voice Creative Program Manager.

  • He attended the University of Washington and has been working at Amazon for 6 years.

  • He has long been one of the most influential figures at Amazon Music behind the scenes, developing Amazon Music’s voice features, while also serving as a key advocate at Amazon for the Asian and Pacific Islander groups.

  • He is the curator of the “Mixtape Asia” and “The Collective” playlists amplifying API talent from all over the world.

  • Last year, when the pandemic forced the IDENTITY Festival to cancel their 2020 in-person event, he helped the festival transition to a virtual fundraiser on Twitch for the United Way Asia Pacific with Amazon Music & Asians@Amazon. The end result was a seven-hour live stream featuring Jay Park, Agnez Mo, Andrew Yang, Kelly Hu, Nick Cannon, Jeremy Lin, and many more that raised over $100,000 to combat COVID-19 in Asia.

  • Earlier this year, he also developed the Amazon Music and Recording Academy’s Black Music Collective scholarship, and secured partnerships and donations from Amazon to support #HateIsAVirus, #StopAsianHate, and Asian American’s Advancing Justice

  • Outside of his advocacy work at Amazon Music, he works with artists and their teams to build brand-new Alexa experiences for Amazon Music customers.

  • He serves on the Asians@ Amazon Allyship board where he assists with coordinating: Music, TV and Film Programming company wide.


What is your experience with the company culture at Amazon?


Ming:

  • It can be competitive since Amazon wants people who are big problem solvers. They have complex problems and want people who take the initiative to come up with solutions in a fast-paced environment. There are different opportunities depending on how you want to leverage that. It’s not who you know, but rather who knows you.

Edwin:

  • It can get cutthroat with all smart, driven people in the same room. However, it's important to be driven yourself to seek the right resources.

Frankie:

  • It can be ambiguous and feel like a sink or swim situation. It also allows big ideas and innovation to happen. There’s a lot of competing smart people where you can grow professionally within the field.


Interested in becoming an ABSA member? We’re still accepting applications! For more details, please check out the About Us page on how to join. As usual, we hope to see you at our events on Mondays from 6-7pm.


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