Employee Spotlight: WuQing (Community Lead)

Published by:
Joe Caccavale
July 13, 2021
min read

What do you do at Applied?

Hi :) I'm the Community Lead at Applied.

And what did you do before Joining Applied?

I've always known that I wanted my career to result in a social good, and to utilize creative thinking.

At first, I thought I would do this as an artist, so I pursued a degree in sculpture and art history while working as a teacher in Baltimore, Maryland. Over time I realized that creating a career as an artist was not a good match for me, and I began to explore other careers. After college I spent two years doing a dozen jobs - including working at a textile arts centre, being a facilitator for adoptees, being a head art teacher, and working for a start up!

When I learned more about design, and it felt like an ideal combination of creative thinking with a direct impact on social good at a systemic level. So I went back to school to study Innovation Design Engineering in London.

I fell in love with human centred design, bringing together teaching, creativity and problem solving! I started to design a game, WeAlign, to help people improve their balance inspired by my mother's struggle. I still work on it part time with the support of Innovate UK's Young Innovator programme.

Very cool and varied! Since you have a background in design - how do you think behavioural science and design thinking come together?

Design thinking and behavioural science go well together. In our training day, we talk about how will power alone is not always enough to change behaviour.

We can want to eat more vegetables and work-out 3 times a week, but if we don't have systems in place to support ideal behaviour, it's hard to stay on the wagon.

That's where design thinking and behavioural science can come together to design nudges to support your goals, and help you live your ideal values. For example, using a smaller plate to encourage smaller food portions, or putting your gym gear out the night before.

Design can empower you to follow through with your ideals!

Now that you've been at Applied for awhile and can reflect a bit, what's been your favourite project to work on so far?

It's been a whirlwind! I've been constantly learning, exposed to new ideas, and people internally and externally. I've especially enjoyed all of the guest webinars with external partners!

It was wonderful to work with two of the "Applied cheerleaders"; Danielle & Charlotte, to collaborate on a webinar together. They helped me understand Applied from the client's perspective, and to see what common challenges and solutions they creatively developed to implement Applied successfully at their organizations.

I hope to do more client webinars in the future!

What has delighted/surprised you the most about working at Applied?

The people. The Applied team is very diverse, but united by a passion for social good.

What bias do you think most people are vulnerable to?

There are over 180 biases, and I couldn't name them all! The ones that are most prevalent are probably the ones I can't name and are unaware.

One that I do notice frequently that I can name, is confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is the tendency to look for information that confirms your current beliefs. It can be hard to listen to divergent point of views, but listening to things that give you a negative gut reaction is a great way to fight confirmation bias!

If you always feel comfortable with what you are exposed to, it might be because you're in an echo chamber of ideas - confirming your bias! I try to listen to multiple news sources, and read commentary from multiple angles to decrease confirmation bias.

You've done such an amazing job at building a community at Applied - What could HR departments learn from community builders like yourself?

There is an interesting debate within community builders: are communities built upon transactional knowledge or belonging? Community builders have identified levers to facilitate belonging for intrinsic motivation to participate. Facilitating belonging is something that HR departments and community builders both strive for!

You're also originally from New York - What is London missing out on?

Hmmm... my family!

Okay, okay, so what are Londoners missing out on from New York?

New York has many things that makes it special. New York has a very different energy to London - there are more raw emotions. Manhattan feels much more compact than London. You can walk from the bottom of Manhattan's Battery Park to the tip of Manhattan's Inwood in four hours, or a one hour bike ride.

And finally, what advice do you have for people applying through the Applied platform? (or roles at Applied)?

Women tend to self select themselves out of a job. Women tend to apply for jobs when they meet 90%+ of the criteria, but men will apply when they meet just 60%.

One of the equalizers from Applied, is that you have the opportunity to show your transferable skills.

So aim high and know that Applied gives you the opportunity to show your abilities beyond your privileges of experiences.