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Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: 10 Questions for Joy Zheng

May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month! To celebrate, we’re highlighting a few of the people at the AWL who are helping to change the world.

What’s your job title and how long have you worked at AWL?
My job title is Affiliate Marketing Manager. I have worked at AWL for almost a year.

What inspired you to work in your field?
I love to work with data and make data-driven decisions. I always liked math classes as a kid and am passionate about the stories data can tell. I was inspired by AWL’s data-driven approach and thought I’d be a great fit.

What’s the most exciting part of your job?
Our industry is ever-changing with new and unforeseen challenges almost daily. We need to be ready to tackle new challenges and turn them into positive outcomes. I am the kind of person who doesn’t like to stay in my comfort zone. The opportunity to learn new things gets me excited to come to work everyday.

Do you have any words of advice for people looking to enter your field?
My advice would be to stay open-minded and embrace challenges. Lead-generation has been shifting: new media types are emerging; consumers’ needs and wants are changing; performance metrics are also updating. I’d stay hungry and open-minded for changes and new approaches.

How has your heritage shaped the person you are today?
My Asian heritage has shaped me to be perseverant and hard-working. Whether in ancient times or modern days, life has always been and will be unpredictable. You don’t know when you will run into roadblocks in work or experience a pandemic that impacts people all over the globe. I’m thankful that my family has taught me to be steadfast through hard-working in both the highs and lows of life, so external challenges or things out of my control won’t be catastrophic to me.

Does your family have any traditions that are especially important to you?
Our family is Chinese, so we celebrate the Chinese New Year and usually gather to make dumplings and celebrate the New Year together. Even when we could not meet in person during the pandemic, we would all make dumplings and post pictures of our dumplings in our family chat group. Celebrating the Chinese (Lunar) New year is an especially important tradition to me.

What are some interesting hobbies or talents that most people may not know about you?
An interesting hobby that most people do not know about me is I’m very much into audio books. I started listening to all kinds of audio books & radio when I was only a year old – thank you grandparents! Now I spend at least three hours every day listening to audio books and podcasts. I can live without TV but cannot live without audio books.

What’s your favorite book or podcast?
My favorite book is called The Three-Body Problem. It is a science fiction novel written by the Hugo Award winner Liu Cixin. The author does an excellent job combining cultural history, scientific reality and science fiction that keeps you wanting to delve deeper into the small mysteries that all coincide and connect with each other toward the end. I highly recommend it if you are into science fiction novels and/or astrophysics.

Which historical figure do you admire the most and why?
The historical figure I respect the most is Theodore Roosevelt. I admire him not only because of his political achievements, but also because of his personality. He was, in many ways, the personification of America as it entered the 20th century: assertive, engaging, urban witty, confident and expansive.

What does Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?
To me, the Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month means a dedicated period to recognize the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the United States and learn from them. It also creates an opportunity for us to introduce our culture, heritage, and value to other ethnicities & communities and better unite with them.