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Inside story: Ellen Yang

Published on: 10 May 2018

Ellen YangWhere are you based?
Beijing, China.

What volunteer role(s) do you do for the IFoA?
I am the head of the Beijing regional members group, a career ambassador, and a member of the Risk Management Board. I started volunteering as a guinea pig for the ST2 exam, then I was an assistant marker from 2010 to 2012. I was elected to Council in 2015 and served for two years.

How long have you been volunteering?
Since 2009.

What motivates you to volunteer for the IFoA?
When I started being a volunteer, I just wanted to know the IFoA more. When I relocated to Beijing, I decided to provide my service to help the members based in Beijing.

What have you/do you hope to achieve in your volunteer role?
Well, this is a difficult question for me. I had the honour to serve on Council for two years as the youngest member. I do hope that I contribute to make the IFoA a more worldwide recognised brand.

What new skills or knowledge do you think you have developed?
I remember one of the past presidents told me just before my first Council meeting: “Changes do not happen overnight – as long as we are on the journey to the final goal, do not give up.”

Has this assisted your lifelong learning?
I believe so.

Do you think volunteering has helped you in your day job?
I am a consultant, so networking is part of my day job and volunteering definitely helps.

Have there been any memorable moments?
The night I was elected as a Council member.

How do you balance your day job and your volunteer role?
It is difficult, especially with time differences, as most of the time the meetings are at off-work hours in my time zone.

How do you relax away from the office?
Travelling.

What would you say to others considering a volunteer role?
It is worth trying – you never know who will be the next president!

Who is your role model – in life or in business?
I do not have anyone in particular, but I learn from a lot of people by studying their strengths.

What was your earliest dream job?
You might not believe it, but I wanted to become an actuary when I was 12, so I guess this is my dream job.

Do you prefer a staycation or a holiday abroad?
Definitely a holiday abroad.

If you were locked in a famous building for one night... which would it be and why?
The Forbidden City – too much to see and you never get a good opportunity during the day as it is always crowded.

What would you consider to be the most brilliant moment of your career to date?
Relocating to Asia.