Aiven Blog

Sep 1, 2023

Meet the Cast: Shu Toh – our Valentine’s Day Crab

Shu Toh joined us as Senior Field Marketing Manager on February 14th, 2022 – Valentine’s Day. Ever since, we’ve had a big place in our heart for her and all that she does for the APAC Regional Marketing Team.

Ola Niechcial

Ola Niechcial

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Employer Brand Lead at Aiven

So, how did Shu get to where she is today? To what – or who – does she owe her success? And how did she become such an awarded crustacean in our Crab ocean?

Growing up and developing a strong shell

Shu credits her parents and family with being her biggest influence in life. They showered her with unwavering love and taught her the value of always being kind.

One memory sticks out for her in particular. When she was 15 she scored badly in an exam and was very upset about it. But rather than a scolding, she instead received a lot of encouragement. As Shu points out, there can be a certain perception about over-pushy Asian ‘Tiger’ parents, but she always had a warm, homely family environment, and it’s helped make her who she is today.

One major trait that she credits her parents with instilling in her is the importance of being content with what we have and taking life head on in a positive way. As they used to tell her: “The sun will rise and we’ll try again.”

It meant that Shu was always willing to give things a go when she was growing up – and she has certainly maintained that can-do approach.
Abandoning an unhealthy lifestyle many years ago, that gritty attitude now also covers keeping fit. She achieves this via regular jogging and taking long walks, as well as strength training in the gym. As she puts it, she’s something of a workout-aholic, but she credits this with keeping her mentally as well as physically in trim.

Aiven – love at first sight

Shu joined Aiven on 14 February, 2022 – Valentine’s Day - a moment when we celebrate love and friendships. Shu saw the open position, found out more about the role and never looked back. As she comments, “What can I say…? I was really attracted to the orange crab!”
In particular, Shu really wanted to experience being entrepreneurial in a hyper-growth startup. And as she tells us now, around 18 months on, it has proved very rewarding.

Living life sideways

For Shu, every morning starts with a cup of coffee (we’re thinking maybe a crab-uccino). But after that, every day is different and has its own challenges, depending on the schedule of planned marketing activities.
The APAC Regional Marketing team is geared towards demand and pipeline generation through integrated field campaigns that drive sales results. That includes field events, digital campaigns and brand awareness activities, often working closely with regional sales teams and local partners.
So on any one day, Shu could be helping to set up a booth, looking at intent data, designing email nurtures, or doing strategic planning. There’s a lot to fit in, but there’s also plenty of room for creativity.

Multiple award winner

At Aiven, we like to acknowledge those who perform exceptionally. This year Shu has been recognised not once, but twice: at the January quarterly business review (QBR) meeting and again during Crab Week in Portugal a few months ago.

At each QBR we give an award to those who most embody our key values of Openness, Courage and Ownership, and Shu won the award for Openness. She has created an open and safe space for others to contribute ideas and learn from one another, which has helped to build trust and foster collaboration amongst members of the team.

Our Crab Awards have been running since 2021. Each award is named after a crab feature and is presented to two Aiveners who have particularly embodied that crab characteristic:

  • The Amphibian, for those who can adapt to multiple environments and challenges.
  • The Exoskeleton, for those who prove the toughness of their shell in overcoming challenges.
  • The Claws, for those who can be called in to make tough decisions when it comes to the pinch and cut through any obstacles.
  • The Decapod, for the Aivener who is involved in everything and can use their figurative ten legs to successfully keep multiple plates spinning.
  • The Antennae, for the Aivener who displays high emotional intelligence and nurtures wellbeing and team spirit in others to build a great work environment.

Aiveners are nominated and voted on by our executive team. The winners receive a coveted crab pin to wear, along with a complementary dinner for two. This year, Shu won the Antennae award. She demonstrated multiple times her profound emotional intelligence while actively contributing to creating a trustful workplace culture.

Sensitive Antennae lead to the right environment

Shu was only the fifth person to join the new Singapore office. She worked hard to welcome a new Cast member every month, taking on an informal role as office manager and connecting to other global teams – that’s what we call great Antennae!

Of all our values, Shu says that her favourite value is Openness. She loves the fact that Aiven allows all our Cast of Crabs to have the courage to try different things, and to take the ownership of a project from top to bottom. For her, Aiven is a place where you can share ideas and thoughts openly, with a warm culture of people always ready to help.

Our thanks go to Shu for sharing her story!

Interested in joining the Cast? Check out our open positions. And keep your eyes peeled (sideways) on the blog as we continue to meet more of our clawsome Cast of Crabs.

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