A maverick in marketing: Cheuk’s story

Cheuk’s empowering journey to lead and transform the Marketing team

Cheuk Shum, Head, Retail & Digital Marketing

Hong Kong

20 years ago, Hong Kong and the rest of the Asian countries were just recovering from the Asian Financial Crisis, so it was perhaps not the best of times for an Economics graduate to go job hunting.  Like most people, I went to job fairs, events and still wrote and posted job applications. I met Standard Chartered at one of the recruitment events in London and among all the recruiters, the people from Standard Chartered gave me the most positive perception. I remember after my meetings at the assessment centre, one of the assessors from Hong Kong called me.  He said some other assessors questioned my fashion sensibilities with my match of a brown suit, a green shirt and a gold tie but he was prepared to judge me beyond how I dressed and wanted to know me a little bit more. To this day, I still treasure the opportunity he has given me. To play safe, I went back to a black suit and white shirt when I started my job in Hong Kong!

Many people have asked how I can stay in one organisation for nearly two decades. I think this is telling of the Bank’s strong people culture. I’ve worked with many amazing long-serving colleagues. Some may have left but many also re-joined the SCB family. I’d like to think we are all drawn to one unique attribute of the Bank, that we are more entrepreneurial and willing to take risks on new initiatives and on people.

The desire to do better is ingrained in the Bank’s DNA”

Before I joined the Marketing team, I spent eight years in various roles within the Wealth Management function. I had no experience in the marketing world and yet I was given the opportunity to lead and transform this team. My product background and knowledge complemented well with the strong marketing expertise that I have in the team. This inclusive culture empowered everyone in the organisation to put on a different lens and identify new ways of doing things. And I think this desire to ‘do better’ is very much ingrained in our DNA. We may not be the biggest bank but we have a unique network and the agility to disrupt in the market. 

My team says I am a typical Aquarian; free-spirited and a rebel at heart with a nonconformist attitude who challenges authority and anything that represents conventionality. Do I get into trouble from time to time? Absolutely.  But it can also lead to great work such as our Asia Miles Marketing Campaign launch.

Someone once said to me, “Leave a legacy at work”. I have always taken this close to heart and with the support from my team, we are creating this legacy together every day.

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