A NEW DAY WITH Joe Lam

POSITION Chemical

AT CELLMARK SINCE 2006

BACK TO Paris

- A normal day at the office starts with a croissant and pain au chocolat from the bakery downstairs, and then checking the Euro against the USD. A normal day at the office also means I am actually at the office and not on a plane or train to somewhere! I consider the group of people I work with to be pretty much a dream team. Knowledgeable, fun and supportive they all contribute to a smooth workflow where we can all focus on our own responsibilities.

I was born and raised in Hong Kong. While most of my peers pursued postgraduate studies in countries like the States, Canada or Australia, fate led me to France instead. I was granted a scholarship and continued my studies in Paris. Hence I am triple Franco-Chinese-’British colony’ culture. I speak all languages with accents except my mother tongue Cantonese. In regards to culture, arts and cuisine I am more French, but definitely 100% Chinese when I am doing business.

Having worked with grains and oil-seeds trading, and then cosmetic packaging, I got the opportunity to join CellMark in 2006. I’m still grateful to the management for trusting that a five-legged sheep (as they would say in French) who used to deal with beauty packaging could also handle complex molecules like 2-Phenoxypropionyl Chloride or Hexamethyldisiloxane.

Getting to know Paris has been a bit of an adventure. The city has a surface area of 100 km², consisting of 20 districts and more than 6,000 streets. My dream is to cover all 1,000 km of these streets – I have finished 8 districts already. During weekends I will go city-trekking and discover all these Paris-secret places.

For example, I have been to more than 180 museums and many of the unknown ones are very interesting. Like the Counterfeit museum, the Chocolate Story museum and the museum of Fairground Arts. Another hidden gem is the catacombs that form a labyrinth 20 meters beneath the very heart of Paris.

I will gladly be a tour guide for any visiting CellMark colleagues. Other than that, my advice for any visitors or tourists is: don’t hesitate to push front doors or gates, and you will discover many beautiful and unexpected backyards, gardens, cemeteries and other places you never knew existed.