Great Eastern Life Assurance (M) Berhad

Amanda Chong Jin Jen

Amanda shares her stories about her career so far, and passes on advice that she would like to give to you!
Amanda Chong Jin Jen
Head of Bancassurance


Great Eastern General Insurance (Malaysia) Berhad


Head of Bancassurance


BA (Hons) Business Information Technology

Has been with the company for

4 years and 7 months

What does motivation mean to you? How do you keep yourself motivated in challenging times?

Motivation, to me, is that compelling reason for my actions; I believe it must stem from the right principles and mindset. 

If you ask me how am I able to keep myself motivated during this challenging time, it is simply because I am motivated to uphold my responsibilities. This is not only as an employee of the company but also as a leader in my team and a breadwinner for my family. Having that sense of responsibility is all I need to stay positive and keep me going, even when times are tough.

Name three (3) ways a student or fresh grad can invest in themselves.

The three things I wish I knew back when I was a fresh graduate were to start pursuing professional qualifications early, build my network, and invest in my health. 

It’s a lot easier to do an MBA or earn professional certifications when you have fewer commitments. If you want to build your network, join associations or societies that are relevant to your interests because sometimes, knowing the right people will get you the right opportunities. 

As for health, we all know health is wealth, so it’s crucial to prioritise your wellbeing from the start.

What are the qualities that separate leaders from managers?

Not all managers are good leaders, and not every leader wants to be a manager. What truly separates leaders from managers would be their heightened sense of curiosity, empathy, flexibility, innovativeness, and most importantly, they lead by example. 

Great leaders are able to inspire and guide their teams to achieve great success. Whereas some managers stay a manager throughout their career and if that is the case, they must work on what is lacking if they want to become good leaders.

If you could turn back time, how would you improve yourself – personally or professionally?

I had a vibrant career throughout my 21 years of working, and there’s nothing I would change if I could turn back time. The only thing I would work on would be to gain some professional qualifications such as an MBA or AMII. 

Quite honestly, when you get older and have more commitments, it can be difficult to pursue further qualifications, so I highly recommend fresh graduates start this as soon as they can.

What is the one habit that has continued to help you grow as a person?

I’d say curiosity, and not be shy to ask questions if you don’t know something. If I could share a bit about my background, my hometown is a small town in Tawau, Sabah, and I came to KL straight after SPM in 1997 with a group of friends. As you can imagine, KL is massively different from Tawau, and my friends and I had to ask around to get to where we wanted to go. We couldn’t afford to be shy and not ask questions, and that’s the one habit I think is important to have. We must be curious and ask.

Name one surprising or interesting fact about yourself.

I started my career in the advertising industry, managing customer databases predominantly. I then moved to a career in Consulting, where I was involved primarily in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and data mining for advertiser clients. It was only after a few years that I joined the insurance industry, which eventually led to my current role as Head of Bancassurance in Great Eastern General Malaysia. 

If there’s any lesson I’ve derived from this, it’s that life works in a mysterious way, and you can never really plan for it. Sometimes you just have to be curious, and take the leap.