Meet Soey and Ella — Executive Assistants at Coupang
Hi Soey & Ella. Could you please introduce yourself.
Soey: Hi, I'm Soey, and I'm supporting two foreign executives at Coupang.
Ella: Hi, I'm Ella, and I'm supporting one foreign HR executive at Coupang. I joined Coupang back in 2022.
What is the role of an Executive Assistant (EA) at Coupang?
Soey: As Executive Assistants our role is to support the executive in charge in every way possible so that they can focus on their work without worrying about anything else. Our duties include calendar management, cost management, and business trip support work that commonly apply to any executive, and as well any department administration work that can be added depending on the organizational characteristics of the executive. Coupang does not have a separate EA team, and each individual EA works as a direct member of the executive team, so the required tasks are also variable depending on the nature and atmosphere of the organization. Also, depending on the organization in charge, we will support up to one to three executives.
Then, could you describe the environment and atmosphere of your organization?
Ella: The organization I support is working on hybrid jobs, so I alternate between working from home and going to the office as needed. Also, I need to know what kind of business value my leader values so that I can provide the right support as an EA to support him, so I feel a greater sense of belonging and learn a lot by following up on all the meeting materials together. The executive I serve is very attentive to each member's career needs, and he always asks me through weekly check-in meetings if there are any tasks or projects that I want to participate in and gives me many opportunities to expand my field of work. Coupang's EA focuses on core EA tasks, but I think its advantage is that one is not limited to its role. I have EA experience in both domestic and foreign companies, and I think Coupang is a place where the infrastructure and system of domestic companies and the diverse and free working atmosphere of foreign companies are properly mixed.
Why did you choose Coupang as part of your EA career?
Soey: The dynamic culture was the reason why I chose Coupang. I always wanted to work with a company that respects individual characteristics, recognizes diversity, and has a flexible culture, not a bureaucratic atmosphere. I was convinced that Coupang is a company with this exact culture when I met various interviewers during my interviews for the position. I also felt that it was a company with an internal awareness of the importance of an EA’s work. I could feel pride in my job from being an EA when I came in as an interviewer to hire another EA, and I felt that Coupang provides various work opportunities for one’s career development.
What is the competitive edge of Coupang’s EA?
Ella: I think Coupang EA's competitiveness is communication and positivity. Communication includes not only language but also understanding of various cultures. Coupang's EA needs to be able to collaborate with people from various cultures, so they need to understand various cultures and communicate quickly and clearly at the same time. Also, since there are a lot of non-face-to-face communication in a hybrid working environments, we also need to consider which communication channels to use in English or Korean for effective communication. In order to “Wow the Customer”, Coupang is a company that goes through many initiatives and rapid changes, I think an EA needs to be able to quickly adapt according to the changes and new environment.
There are always job postings, so what's the reason for hiring?
Soey: I think it's part of the company's rapid growth and expansion. As the size of the company increases, the proportion of executives in charge of important tasks naturally increases, and as a result, the demand for EA positions is also increasing.
What competencies and experiences does a Coupang EA need?
Soey: Since Coupang is a place where work is fast paced and new things always occur, I think it is important to produce the best results while “Moving with Urgency” but also while focusing on “Demand Excellence”. Sometimes the work of an EA can be defined as a passive job or a job where one cannot actively express one's opinion, however Coupang's EA needs an active attitude to solve problems based on an accurate judgement of any situation.
Ella: As an EA, when managing executive schedules, it's not just about checking the availability; it's about quickly identifying the importance and priorities of your work with “Ruthless Prioritization” so that you can handle important schedules first. Also, everything needs to be done quickly and clearly. At Coupang, where there are many changes, an EA needs to immediately reflect changes as needed, quickly find information and solve problems.
Do you have any tips for future EA applicants?
Ella: I think it would be good if you could share your experiences of actively solving problems by deep diving from problem diagnosis to solution.
Soey: It would be helpful if you could share the most challenging work experience you have ever had or when you actively solved problems, and it would be great if you could appeal your affection for an EA's job, your active attitude, and your flexible thinking. If you want to grow in a global culture to become a professional EA, we ask for your interest and support.