A Day in the Life of a XuKeeper: Yu Yan


A new year, a new XuKeeper to meet! For our first day in the life of 2017, get to know Yu Yan Tay. This Singapore-based 4 year DataXu vet handles partner development for the APAC region and lives for adventure.

How do you explain your work to your friends/family?

I tell them that I work in advertising technology helping our clients serve ads and target users online. Sometimes I get questions like “oh wow don’t they have all this information about you and who you are?” and I’ll tell them we really avoid all sorts of personally identifiable information. Usually they’ll be pretty relieved about that yet also disappointed that I’m ruining their wild imaginations of a big brother conspiracy.

How did you land at DataXu?

I’m originally from Singapore, but I attended Northeastern University in Boston, and on my second co-op, I was supposed to work for a start-up that told me they didn’t have the funds for me practically the day before I was supposed to start. Did a frantic last minute search and DataXu still had an opening in the Sales Operations team which I applied for and started working at within a week!

After I graduated, I approached DataXu to sponsor me to stay in the US and continue working there. About 4 months ago, I transferred to the Singapore office to a new role to help grow the APAC region and here I am now! It’s been a very diverse journey so far and I’m still amazed at how all the pieces have fallen together.

DataXu’s core values are: Excellence, Collaboration, Innovation, Trust and Customer Obsession… the value that resonates with you most is….

Collaboration. The knowledge required in this industry is so diverse, it’s impossible for one person to know everything. Relying on and learning from each other across functions and countries is the best way to succeed and grow.

Deep water rock climbing

If you weren’t doing this for a living, what might you have ended up doing instead?

Starting my own brewery/café/restaurant somewhere. I’d like to think I make a mean pulled pork.

What would you say is your greatest strength that translates to the workplace?

I’d say I’m pretty good at learning new things quickly. I’ve had a lot of practice doing so with recipes, construction, troubleshooting, skills etc. that it’s been really helpful especially when I encounter something new in my work (which is almost everyday). There’s almost nothing I can’t do given enough time and internet access!

What is your life motto?

Nothing in this world that’s worth having comes easy. At the risk of sounding cheesy, it’s a line from Scrubs that really resonated with me.

Favorite perk of working at DataXu?

Can I pick two? Beers and Friday lunches!

Yu Yan (R) at the IAB Singapore Christmas party with Alvin Wong, head of Sales, SEA (L)

Favorite snack in the DataXu kitchen?

We order our own snacks in the Singapore office. Greek yogurt with fruits and muesli.

Favorite DataXu memory?

Post-work beer nights with my old buddies from the Boston office. Simple but always made me happy.

If you could have coffee with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

Alex Honnold. Free-solo (climbing with no protection) climber that literally faces death every time he climbs. It has to be amazing to have so much trust in yourself to make zero mistakes in life-or-death situations.

What is a fun fact about you?

After my co-op ended with DataXu, I embarked on the Mongol Rally, driving a very unsuitable car from UK to Mongolia with just one other friend of mine. We saw wonderful sights, met amazing people that I’ll never forget, encountered corrupt police, and had our car break down and barely crawled through to the finish line. Probably one of the most memorable adventures of my life so far.

Our car breaking down in the middle of the Mongolian desert.