The People Behind The Cogworks: Huan Song
Role: Content Project Manager
Clients/brag list: Scholl, Dettol, Veet and Clearasil.
So Huan, what brought you here?
What brought me to the UK (from the US) was studying my ‘Masters of Science in Tourism, Environment and Development’ at King's College London. After that I decided to stay and see what could be in store for me in the UK and soon found this job at The Cogworks through Facebook on the Girls In Tech London Group. There was a posting for a Content Editor position and I had already started writing content so I thought it tied in nicely with my other side gig (writing for tech publications) so I applied and here I am!
What’s made you fist pump at work?
I won Coglympics last month! It was coinciding with the actual Olympics in Rio, so it was a very Olympic themed Coglympics day and it was a real surprise that I won. I usually don’t win things so that was awesome! Professionally, I would say working on Dettol Arabia. Arabic is read from right to left (instead of left to right) so doing the content population on Dettol Arabia was a huge challenge...so I guess managing to complete it under those conditions made me fist pump. Plus I learned something new!
Then lately of course there was Scholl. When we rolled out our first site Scholl France, I didn’t fist pump but I did a little dance at my desk.
What makes your cogs work?
Coffee! Oh my goodness I am such a coffee addict. I’m not a morning person at all - so coffee is a ritual I really value. I have to have my cup at the beginning of every work day in the morning after stand up and also one right after lunch (and then maybe more in between).
How do you get your tech fix outside the office?
Because I write about tech, I attend a lot of tech events around London and in Europe. I’m subscribed to a lot of Meetup groups such as the Non-Technical Women 'n Tech Group, which is basically a lot of designers and project managers who eat pizza and chat about how to better ourselves professionally.
I also like demo days – I recently went to one about hardware at Google Campus. As we work for Umbraco (which is a software service) it’s really nice to learn about cool things hardware tech companies are building. Recently I learned about this new fishing net add on where these hardware guys are developing a really cool device that attaches to fishing nets and once programmed it emits certain light colours to deter certain endangered species of fish or attract the kind of fish they want to capture to stop over-fishing (which is a real problem at the moment). So I thought that was amazing!
I also play a lot of Pokemon Go and enjoy techy podcasts such as Note To Self which is about how technology interacts daily with human life. I highly recommend it!
Who would be on your client bucket list?
Oh my goodness - WAITROSE. I feel like I am their number one patron. I love food so it would be amazing to work on the content side of any food related website. Could you imagine copywriting for a restaurant or a cheese shop?! That would be insane.
What is your office vice?
I have to say I snack quite a bit. I’m like a goat - I eat everything. I also think I eat too many pieces of fruit a day. We get a fruit subscription and I feel like I’m unfairly eating everyone's share of stone fruit. I believe a fruit should be both juicy and sweet, so I particularly love the donut peaches we get – people, don’t take those!
Tipple of choice?
Umm my tipple of choice is probably coffee. I would actually order coffee at a bar. I’m allergic to alcohol - I think a third of all Asians have this particular allergic reaction because we’re missing an enzyme or can’t break down alcohol. So I prefer to not drink alcohol and instead have beverages like coffee or coconut water. In saying that, I did recently go to a cocktail place in Shoreditch called The Cocktail Trading Company that does super fancy cocktails and had a wine based one (and didn’t react to it) and that was delicious!
How do you unwind?
I really like cooking. When I get home I put on a show or a podcast and assess my fridge situation and just throw things together. Right now I’m cooking from a book called ‘The Dumpling Sisters’ that has 100 recipes and I’m trying to cook them one by one. I started last October and made a goal by the end of 2016 to have made all 100 of them…which means I have to make a recipe at least a couple of times a week. I think I’m around 50 but the problem is, I’ve done all the easy ones and the hard ones that are left mean going to Chinatown to source all the ingredients…
What’s on your office playlist?
I really like songs in languages that I don’t speak or understand because I can’t concentrate on work if I can understand them. I usually go for Latin music from this one podcast Alt Latino where they have a new episode about the current alternative Latin music scene, so I listen to a lot of that – the beat is uplifting and gets me going. I also really like oldies such as the bossa nova genre, which is in Portuguese and I love, love old songs in French like Edith Piaf or George Brassens - just not in my native language.
What’s your secret talent?
I can do calligraphy. My grandfather is an actual calligrapher so growing up I had to take Chinese Calligraphy classes and then took some again in college for fun to pad out my hours but ended up really enjoying it. You usually write an ancient Chinese poem or a word of significance like ‘home.’ For example - I have a small piece framed in my house from when I first started dating my boyfriend and we were doing long distance (he was in France). I made this calligraphy piece that’s a snippet from an old Chinese poem that basically says – ‘the extent of my love goes beyond mountains and oceans.’ So cheesy!
Lastly, can you sum up The Cogworks in one word?
Joyful. I always have such a good time at work - my colleagues are really funny and we all get along quite well, so yes when I’m at work I feel a lot of joy.
Oh but wait there’s more… Let's turn to The Mystery Jar question…