Krystal Perkins is the Vice President of Marketing for a prominent solutions firm called Telkomtestra from Jakarta, Indonesia. She currently works out of the company’s central office that required her to relocate, which is something that she gladly did to serve in such a high role. With a background in communications and media studies, Krystal Perkins did not always see herself as a marketer. As her career went on, however, she realized that this job is what aligns with her abilities the best. Regardless, she is currently undergoing the necessary courses to obtain an MBA degree with a focus in technology management. The ultimate goal of Krystal Perkins lies far from the world of business and revolves around the political waters where she wants to fight for social changes.
What was your best/favorite subject in school?
Math and science always went well for me, and I would probably call them my favorite ones. It is important to note, however, that the classes I liked were directly related to those professors that I enjoyed listening to. So, for examples, a lot of my peers would say that political studies were their favorite class because getting a high grade was extremely easy. Although that is true, I never liked it because the person teaching it could not connect with me and I was never able to follow the lectures.
What was your first job?
I was fortunate to get a job even before I graduated from the University of Melbourne. It was with Telstra, and I worked as a communications manager in their office in Australia. In retrospect, it certainly was not a role that I could have held in the long-run, yet it helped me establish connections with important people that I still work with today.
Where and how did you first get into the industry you currently work in?
Mostly through college classes that briefly touched on the topic of marketing. While going through the curriculum to get my bachelor’s degree, there were a few electives that I had to take. I decided to try some marketing courses. Most of them went well, and I was somewhat interested in the topic. A few years later, I realized that marketing in practice is a lot more interesting than it seems in the textbooks. Hence why I decided to switch and join this industry!
How have those jobs prepared you for what you do now?
Most of the entry-level jobs that I held were useful when it comes to establishing a decent network of people, learning how to interact with clients, understanding the importance of the office politics, and so on. Knowing those types of things can help one do well in almost every job.
Describe the best day of work you’ve ever had.
Being put in charge of a large client a few years ago was very fulfilling and made me realize how valuable of an asset I was for the company. Up until that point, I was mostly working in the shadow of a superior who was on the account. One day, however, they decided to relocate, and all of their duties were vertically transferred to me.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
I set realistic goals for myself. You would not believe how many of my peers are solely focused on extreme increases in earnings and profits every year. Do not get me wrong, making more money for the firm is highly important, but one must know where to draw the line between ambitious and nonsensical. If your goals are out of reach, you will be permanently disappointed no matter how well you perform. I also keep myself motivated by organizing social and community development projects in Indigenous Australian communities. As a matter of fact, my family for the past 50 plus years have led advancements for the betterment of Aboriginal Australians.
What kind of business ideas excite you most?
The ones that I never heard of before. I will always find time to discuss innovative thoughts with my subordinates or seniors as long as they come up with something that echoes originality.
Have you ever tried any unorthodox techniques to attract attention to your business?
Well, some of the marketing projects that I have been on involved data-based targeting that utilized customers’ spending profiles based on gigabytes of analyzed information from their previous public purchases. It may not sound very unorthodox since most companies do it nowadays, yet I viewed it as a far-reaching method that may facilitate numerous privacy issues. So, I terminated those projects to minimize liability and respect customers right to their privacy, even though the data that was used was obtained from a public domain.
What personal achievement are you most proud of?
Moving to Indonesia and being successful here is one of my most significant accomplishments. I spent most of my life in Sydney, Australia which is a lot different than Jakarta. It took some time to get acquainted with the local norms and traditions, but I now consider myself right at home here. Another personal achievement I am most proud of is being able to sponsor young female students and Indonesian orphans through ANZA Jakarta and show them how life can be better with an education.
What wisdom would you have liked to share with yourself when you first started out?
I would have told myself to avoid wasting a year and a half as a communications manager and go straight into marketing. Sure, I learned some useful tricks when I worked in media but, regardless of that, I think that the time would have been much better utilized doing something where I can see myself in the long-term.