CHAMBER NEWS - Five Minutes with… Pearly Mak


Director of Finance and Administration Pearly Mak reflects on her 13 years at AmCham

What do you do at AmCham?

I oversee finance and accounting, as well as HR and administrative matters at the Chamber and its related organizations APCAC and the AmCham Charitable Foundation.

How did you end up here?

After graduating from Hong Kong Baptist University I trained as a professional accountant at KPMG. Starting my career at a Big 4 accounting firm was both exciting and challenging. In my three years there I learnt a lot about business from exposure to companies of all sizes in different industries.

In the years that followed, I held accounting roles at a multinational pharmaceutical company and a local NGO before deciding to start my own tutorial center business. 

Running my own business for two years was satisfying but not easy. I came out of that experience equipped with a head for business and marketing as well as interpersonal skills that help me in my career to this day.

In early 2005, I decided to sell my business and reenter the workforce. Fortunately, I saw an ad in the South China Morning Post that AmCham was hiring an Accounting Manager and I joined in May that year.

I cannot believe this is my 13th year at AmCham. It feels like just yesterday that I was waiting at the reception area for an interview with our President at the time, Mr. Jack Maisano. Time flies. 

What do you look forward to most at work every day?

The best part of my job is definitely the people. Honestly, accounting and office administrative work can never be interesting but the people I encounter can be. I have worked with over 10 different AmCham Treasurers in the past 12 years, all of them brilliant leaders with unique views and styles. 

As head of HR, I am always meeting with job applicants for junior to Director-level positions. You learn a lot about what’s happening in the world when you’re constantly meeting and working with different people.   

If you could do any job in the world besides your own, what would you be doing?

I doubt there is any job in the world I could do better than one in finance and accounting. My detail-oriented and organized personality fits the nature of this job very well.

How do you maintain a work-life balance?

When I am not working, I spend most of my time with family and friends. I like sharing about my experiences at work, and about the people I work with. When I am alone I enjoy reading, listening to music and watching ballet performances.