Angelina Kwan talks about being driven by work commitments and her inability to say no.
‘There are so many things that I ‘want’ or ‘have’ to do. Part of it is driven by my work or my commitments and then there is my inability to say no. I tend to overcommit and over extend myself but this is the beauty of life and I also feel very blessed to have so many opportunities and experiences presented to me everyday.’
The B project sat down with Angelina Kwan. An alumnus of HG Asia, HKSFC, and Cantor Fitzgerald, Chief Executive, CPA/CA (Aus/NZ) who is currently completing her Masters of Law at Harvard. Angelina is a regular speaker at international conferences and seminars on legal, regulatory, fund management, securities, FinTech, digital assets and corporate governance topics for regulators, governments, universities, and training providers. The B Project sat down with Angelina to learn more about her passion for jade, her love/hate relationship with the ‘yes’ word and her addiction to learning.
How do you take time out for yourself?
My morning consumption of coffee and the news is something I really, truly enjoy. My day starts with a strong coffee and various different news outlets including Bloomberg, CNN, BBC (in both Chinese and English) as I get ready for work. I’m an absolute news junkie!
Do you regularly schedule time for yourself?
While it isn’t always feasible, I try not to take work home with me when I leave the office. During the day, my secretary will make sure to block out times in my calendar so I can make sure to check in and take some time for myself. I often end up filling the time with work commitments but…sometimes I am able to honour the time to stop and pause or have a quiet lunch.
Do you find it hard to take time out for yourself? Why?
Yes I do because there are so many things that I ‘want’ or ‘have’ to do. Part of it is driven by my work or my commitments and then there is my inability to say no. I tend to overcommit and over extend myself but this is the beauty of life and I also feel very blessed to have so many opportunities and experiences presented to me everyday. If I have spare time, I tend to fill the space with something or, I lose track of time when engrossed in study, meetings or good quality conversations and connections and find myself racing (a lot).
Some years ago when I worked for a large regulatory body, I felt so responsible in my role and would stay late every night. My boss assumed that that meant I wasn’t being very efficient. In hindsight, I would have left on time and not cared about the optics of it because I worked hard and I now realise the value of work/life balance.
Are you good at doing nothing?
Yes, I actually am. If I found myself with some free time, I would take out my jade collection and enjoy it. My mother introduced me to jade when I was a little girl and I have loved it ever since. I have quite a collection of jade and really enjoy the history behind it. Playing with my jade collection gives me so much joy.
What do you wish you had more time for?
The Harvard experience. I’m currently completing my Masters of Law at Harvard. It is quite gruelling as I had planned to take time off and complete it in the USA however Covid has meant that I am completing the course remotely and class hours are late at night/run into the early morning. I enrolled not only for the learning experience but also for the ‘Harvard experience’ and I was really looking forward to spending time with and getting to know both my class and Harvard a little better. The distance, time difference and my other commitments has restricted this.