Interviews / Marketing & Advertising / PR & Communications

Balancing the Grind with Marcella Risye, Senior Branding & Communication Executive at Aspire

Marcella Risye is the Senior Branding & Communication Executive at Aspire, an all-in-one finance operating system for growing businesses, headquartered in Singapore.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

Upon graduating my International Marketing degree from the UK in 2019, I started my career relatively early as a Digital Marketing Intern in a Singapore-based Fintech startup, Aspire. 

6 months after my internship, I was then promoted to be the first member of the marketing team as a Branding & Communications Executive. Now, I’ve been working in the company for more than 2 years, witnessing the company’s growth from less than a hundred to almost 300 employees across Southeast Asia and beyond!

Aspire is an all-in-one finance operating system for growing businesses in Southeast Asia. We help tech-savvy entrepreneurs to pay, manage, save and grow their business finances better within a single intuitive platform. 

My role as a branding & comms person is to build, maintain and position Aspire’s brand as the #1 in what we do, internally and externally.

That includes developing funky founder-related social media posts, bringing publicity and ensuring Aspire’s shining under the right spotlight, and also replying to my colleagues request for our company’s high resolution logo, or the HEX code to Aspire’s green color.

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

On a normal day, I would wake up at 8ish, do a quick meditation, say my gratitude, shower and make myself a cup of warm latte.

I start my work by planning and making a to-do list for the day and replying to any missed emails and slack messages. Then, work is work. So fast forwarding to the end of my working hours, I will try to squeeze in at least an hour of exercise, either HIIT, yoga, run or boulder.

On a slightly moodier day, scratch everything I said except for work. I just do work.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine? 

100% flexible. Aside from it making me spend more on an adjustable table and now considering investing in an over-priced working chair, it has been a dream.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Simple. I ensure that I end the day 50% exhausted from work and 50% exhausted from my other activities outside work.

On more challenging days, I would be drained 90% from work and I would hate it when a single thing consumes too much of my life. It’s called work life “balance” for a reason. To achieve that, I try to be conscious and stop when I’m spending too much energy on one compared to the other.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life? 

I started putting more effort to re-connect with people in my circle and networking with strangers I found on LinkedIn.

I also have been video-calling my mom (she’s in Indonesia) during every lunch break ever since we can’t meet physically because of the pandemic, except for when she is or I am meeting someone out for lunch.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

  • For entrepreneurship-related: Girl Boss by Sophia Amaruso
  • For women-empowerment booster: Girl Code by Cara Leyba
  • For chillax-romance fiction: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The books mentioned are suitable for all genders.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

I highly recommend investing in a good, extra bass speaker for that 5 minutes dance break to shake it off during a long day.

As for apps, I literally cannot live without my bank app and the balance it holds. But if not literally, the Notion app has been really helpful to track my daily tasks for work and life!

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?   

Oh this is interesting. Hmmm, probably my boss.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

You define your own capacity of how much is 50% work and 50% life. For workaholics, they feel more alive and happier when they spend more of their time working. So how many hours is 50% of work and how many hours is 50% of life is right for you, is for your own to discover.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.