Employee spotlight: Jonathan Chan

Jonathan Chan

Director, Experience Design & Strategy Jonathan Chan became “The 28-Year-Old Intern” when he pivoted career paths from working in the insurance industry to joining the world of agencies. Learn about what he’s learned along the way, the program he’s most proud to have worked on, and his thoughts on being entrepreneurial no matter what industry you’re in.

Get to know Jonathan…

What are your pronouns?

What type of work experiences did you have prior to joining tms?
Prior to joining, I specialized in Customer Experience (CX), Planning, and CRM & Loyalty at agencies like Ogilvy and Edelman. I also worked in-house running the loyalty program for Lane Crawford, a luxury retailer. And before that, I spent six years as an Insurance Underwriter in Boston and Singapore.

What’s in your headphones currently?
Only Murders in the Building. It’s a show that’s almost a podcast.

Describe tms in one word.

During your time at tms, what work are you most proud of?
We delivered a mobile experience for McDonald’s Australia called Macca’s Mini Games, which cleverly combined two things: promotions and fully interactive gaming. It was through this experience that we developed a strong point of view on what the future of promotions could be, established what the role of gaming could be within the McDonald’s app, and created a productized suite of “Motivate” workshops.

What would the title of your autobiography be? 
The 28-Year-Old Intern: How I Changed from Insurance to Advertising

Which person (dead or alive) would you most like to be stuck in an elevator with and why?
Trevor Noah. He seems like someone who could enjoy the moment and see the humor in it. I never tire of hearing his perspective on things. But when the elevator situation reaches the 90-minute mark, that’s when the conversation gets deep and insightful.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve been given?
“Be entrepreneurial.” It’s fairly common to hear both in the agency world as well as the insurance world, but acting on it can make a big impact. To me, it’s an invitation to think of the business as if it’s your own — to properly weigh the risks and opportunities and make timely decisions. Being entrepreneurial also suggests that we’re always innovating, prototyping and testing, which keeps us ahead of our competition.

What’s your current side hustle?
Parenting. My kids are both under five years old, so there are good days and bad. But on a good day, it changes the way you look at things. For example, I remember trying to teach my four-year-old how to write letters, and it was quite a struggle. But the next day, I saw some profanity spray painted on a bridge, and thought to myself, what a miracle. Right now, my kid is struggling with holding a crayon the right way, but one day I hope her pen strokes are as smooth as this.