Alex Cheung - Community / Operations

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As part of a Community Team, what do you do? What does your work day look like?

I love that I do a little bit of a lot of things: sales tours, help members plan events, connect companies and great minds. I've helped some of our clients make their first sales and saw them from inception to acquisition. It has been incredibly rewarding.

How would you describe your management style?

I would say that I manage by empowering my team. Having started here as a part-time employee and working my way up, I have taken different management styles and techniques from my various managers. I promote an environment that thrives on taking initiative with autonomy, but I am also available for my team to guide them through any problem or question.

Can you tell us about your team and how you work together?

Our team is committed and compassionate. We strive to provide the best service for our members, but we don't forget to have fun.

What unique skills have you developed over time in your role and at this company?

  • how to patch a wall

  • install printer drivers on a computer in any language

  • break down a cardboard box

  • plan and run events for over a hundred people

  • come up with creative solutions to any problem

What opportunities do you think this role prepares you for in the future?

Management experience and working closely on a small team has helped develop as a leader. I know that my people skills can translate to any career—being able to read people and understand how to help them has been a great skill to use anywhere.

What is your professional/academic background and how did you end up in your current role?

I studied Science, Technology, and Society at Vassar College. I also minored in Economics, so my interests were quite diverse. What I loved most about my small, liberal arts education was that there was tight-knit community with fresh faces all the time. I visited Venture Cafe when I was interning for a startup, and I remember being very impressed with the amenities and community here. I went home with a whole mango, and I thought to apply to "that mango place" when I was looking into careers. I found a great community here, and I have been passionate about helping it grow and develop.

How do you see CIC as having profound impact on the world?

I've seen companies and individuals working on issues in all sectors and geographical areas in the world. We are building a community that helps them solve these problems, whether it is by providing the necessary caffeine in the morning, or by connecting someone to their next big opportunity. I heard about a company that was working here on a revolutionary biotech solution, and after being recommended to join MassChallenge by another community member, the company was awarded the largest funding prize from MassChallenge.

What excites you most about CIC?

The people! The staff and clients here are the people that I hang out with on the weekends and in my free time. I think it says a lot that the community is built of genuine and passionate people.