Speaker interview: Betty Chan

Speaker interview: Betty Chan

Betty is a native New Yorker and a Senior Project Manager at Purpose PBC, after five years of digital agency life. Her focus is to shape a PM process that helps rather than hurt so that the good people at Purpose can continue to make our world a better place.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Well, this is kind of embarrassing. I wanted to be a high-end art thief. The all-in-black outfits, the mission impossible suspension, the time crunch, and the ability to forge art well all strangely appealed to me as a second grader. I think my backup plan was to be an astronaut.

What’s your favourite aspect of your current role as Senior Project Manager?

Hearing this phrase from my team: "Gosh Betty, you just solved all my problems!" I really love beating everyone to the punch in getting them what they need before they even realize it.

What do you find to be your biggest work-related challenge, and how do you approach that challenge?

The hardest thing would have to be delegating effectively. Assigning the right things to the right people at the right time: it takes practice. Whenever I'm faced with a new task, I wonder who's the most experienced or who would most benefit from the (new) experience. Sometimes this comes out in honest "water cooler" conversations but I also like to directly ask my team and their PD managers what people's career goals are.

In difficulty, this ranks right up there with making sure I get my behind to leave the office on time.

We’re thrilled to have you at the first ever Ground Control! What made you want to be a part of the conference?

The DPM community! It's such a cheesy answer but when Brett invited me to talk at the DPM Summit in Texas I was worried about what I could offer to the audience. Even weeks after the event has passed, I'm blown away by how much I got back from the attendees–their experiences, their compassion, and being a part of a group of folks who work hard everyday (in situations that are not always glamorous). I honestly can't wait to meet more amazing people at Ground Control and to visit London for the first time!

Finally, what piece of advice do you wish someone had given you when you first started out in the field?

That perfection is actually in how you manage imperfection. When I started DPM, I thought being perfect in every single details was what it took to be great and that actually caused me to make more mistakes instead. Since then I've learned to "let go" – a complex state of being for many PMs.

Don't miss Betty's session on living with imperfection!

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