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The Power of Connection: Impact of a Trusted Network of Like-minded Friends

Updated: Feb 3, 2021

The people you spend your time with matter, because they influence your perspectives and habits, and create the opportunities that can lead to your success.

Cassandra Tan, a YWLC Alumni, started out as a Research Associate at her previous company Kantar and quickly rose the ranks to be promoted six times in eight years to become their youngest Partner, all while juggling her role in the second Executive Committee (Exco) at YWLC. She also went on to become the winner of the Kantar GOLD Award for client impact and was selected to be part of the WPP Whip It Program which grooms female executive leaders.

Surrounding herself with like-minded individuals that frequently challenge her perspectives has enabled to take continuous leaps in her career.

What has her journey being in the YWLC community taught her?

Cassandra: As businessman and motivational speaker Jim Rohn said, “you’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with”. Being part of the second Exco at YWLC, I was surrounded by a team of driven, capable and passionate ladies. They’re among the people who constantly inspire, invigorate, and challenge me up to this day.

During my term in the second Exco at YWLC, we faced many structural and organisational challenges. We had to determine what programmes would attract our target audience, and we put in a lot of effort to increase awareness and demand for our programmes. The messy process of finding our footing and figuring out every small detail for each programme has strengthened our friendships in more ways than one.

In fact, it was not just friendship I gained, but also learning the mindsets, approaches and considerations of these women in managing people, achieving goals, tackling problems, and working as a team.

The YWLC experience and network greatly shaped how I navigate situations, made certain decisions, and it gave me the courage to break through the glass ceiling; that wanting to be an ambitious young woman can be a norm, and that it is possible to manage both a home and a career.

Through their influence over the years, it motivated me to master the ability to spot my trigger points for stress, joy and drive, and learn when and what to fill my vessel with. That helped me work at a greater speed, deliver more impact, manoeuvre obstacles with ease, and better manage relationships, which is essential in recalibrating, adapting and advancing in the corporate world.

One of the ways I fuel my vessel is through mentoring, which brings me great joy. I am still a mentor to my mentee whom I met through YWLC’s Y-Connect Programme (currently known as Pay It Forward Mentorship Programme) in 2018. The connections formed within this community isn’t just limited to our peers, but in so many other forms that are just as fulfilling.

As for the friends I made in the second Exco, they have become my trusted inner circle and we still meet on a regular basis. As we age, you’d find that it is incredibly hard to make new friends who are growing on the same tangent as you and can also have fun, talk philosophy and even share the vineyard and distributors for wine! I’m glad I found them in this community.


The Power of Connection series that is part of the Membership Campaign where we put a spotlight on what goes on behind the scenes as well as showcase the types of connections members can forge within the organisation.

We hope that our members are empowered by the growth that such sparks can bring and the value it delivers to strengthen their sense of community.

Check out the other Power of Connection Series:

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Organising Committee: Membership, Special Projects

Artwork: Tabitha Chee

Interviewer: Kwek Xin Lin

Interviewee: Cassandra Tan

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