Two years on: Andrew Tay’s journey at Workato

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At Workato, we are invested in nurturing young professionals who are interested in building a career in the technology space, no matter where they start out. Our #LevelUpAtWorkato series pays tribute to our employees who are at early stages of their careers and who’ve already left an indelible mark on the company’s ongoing pursuit of innovation. In this feature, we hear from Andrew Tay about his journey with Workato since he joined us in 2019 as an Automation Consultant.

1. So, what were you up to after graduating from college?

I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to join Workato straight out of university, where I completed my major in Business Analytics at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). The focus of my college studies revolved around process/systems management and optimization. I jumped at the opportunity for a career with Workato as it combined my love for startup culture with my interest in cloud infrastructure. The role hits all the checkboxes: I get to work on projects that I enjoy, that I’m good at, that the world needs—and I can get paid for it (Ikigai)!

2. We see that you were a serial entrepreneur during your days as an undergraduate. Can you tell us more?

Instead of a “serial” entrepreneur, I’d prefer to consider myself a “social” entrepreneur. In university, I was involved in a social innovation program called Design Odyssey, where I co-founded a startup focused on empowering people with disabilities. Subsequently, I also had the opportunity to mentor dozens of other social entrepreneurs in areas ranging from ideation to fundraising. Working with various co-founders and angel investors was a humbling experience because I got to see how passionate everyone was about the positive impact they wanted to bring to their communities. The biggest takeaway from it all was learning about the Design Thinking process, a human-centered, iterative approach to tackling challenges. This process now drives my strategy when dealing with challenges that Workato users face as it helps me better understand their needs.

I managed to apply these skills at my previous start-up company, Wheelpower. Our team sought to uncover the main challenges that wheelchair users face in Singapore and searched for ways to empower them.

3. How has this experience influenced your work at Workato?

I learned to constantly prioritize the value of care for my customers, which also aligns with Workato’s belief in always placing our customer first. One of the strategies I’ve found most useful has been applying the third phase of the Design Thinking Process called “Ideate.” This phase emphasizes the need to challenge assumptions and identify innovative solutions, and in using it, I’m able to better analyze clients’ business-related needs and recognize the existing gaps that Workato can help fill. 

For example, customers may sometimes be tempted to compromise their maintenance processes for cost savings during the solutioning process, which can be highly ineffective for their workflow processes in the long run. Using “Ideate”, I can help clients find the right balance between cost-effectiveness and ensuring the maintenance process is manageable by uncovering fresh insights from them, and by developing a more profound understanding of the issues they face.

4. What have you enjoyed the most from your experience at Workato?

Seeing how the company has grown 6 times in size since I joined 2 years ago is quite amazing. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with my colleagues and customers. It’s always a pleasure to see the smile on our customers’ faces when the Workato magic happens, and that makes all the hard work worthwhile.

I also really appreciate the supportive culture at Workato and the trust that’s been established between colleagues. This gives us the freedom to do what’s needed to put customers 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.

The Workato APJ office celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year in 2019

Despite how far we’ve come, we’ve really just gotten started. There’s so much untapped potential for us to make an impact and share the Workato way with businesses worldwide. Working with customers, I can see how easy it truly is for non-technical users to pick up Workato and turn their tedious daily workflows into recipes*—allowing them to avoid the manual tasks these workflows once required.

This year, I’m really glad to see some familiar faces in person again, and I’m excited about the opening of our Digital Automation Hub. I’m looking forward to meeting more of my colleagues and customers in person and getting to know them better!

*Recipes are a set of steps that Workato will follow to get work done between your apps.

5. Any tips for recent graduates who’d like to work at Workato?

Be clear about where you want to go and prioritize how you can get there. Moreover, try to be vocal about these goals with your manager/mentor. Workato has a really supportive culture, and you can work with your manager to craft a plan for achieving any goals.

Also, take as much risk and work as hard as you can while you’re young. Don’t be afraid to go offbeat, take on responsibilities that seem daunting, and go that extra mile. If what you’re doing or intending to do doesn’t make you feel at least a little uncomfortable, perhaps you’re playing it too safe.

Interested in working at Workato? View our open positions and apply to any by visiting our careers page.