Community Spotlight: Alison Zhao, Finance Professional

Time Auction
4 min readDec 6, 2019

Curious about what volunteerism and Time Auction events are all about? Meet our community who has shared their memorable experiences in their volunteering journey and meetings with our featured guests!

Meet Alison Zhao!

Alison is working in the banking and finance field, besides that she volunteers on program-basis. For example, she went to Finland for a 2-week fruitful volunteer work camp through VolTra, helping immigrants from the Middle East and Syria build a community school. It was also an opportunity for cultural exchange, as all the volunteers are from different continents. Alison also joined the Salvation Army in the United States, giving meals to the homeless.

Alison loves Chinese calligraphy and she has practiced this art form for about 20 years, and she assisted in interpreting calligraphy in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the US.

Alison is very keen to help young girls with their personal development and she is going to join a young girl-empowering program to help underprivileged girls build up self-confidence, like through counselling, sharing her experience and life mottos in becoming a happy person and a female leader.

Social Awareness Brings People Together

(Left) Dinner with Damien Mooney, Head of Aladdin Wealth Tech for Asia Pacific at BlackRock (Right) Dinner with Jen Flowers, Global Head of Strategy & Business Mgmt, Partnership Development & Innovation at HSBC

For Alison, Time Auction events incentivize her. She could use these opportunities to make friends which are like-minded, open-minded and have an awareness of social responsibility. She even got a chance to work with a male ally who cares about progress on women's rights. The world is too broad and the time is too little, Time Auction provides a platform for her to meet different professionals with their own fascinating experiences.

She appreciates Time Auction for connecting three parties: NGOs, volunteers and industry leaders who like volunteering. Time Auction brings together the three parties, resulting in an exponential growth in their power.

Dinner with Mo Yee Lam, Former MD & Joint Head of Corporate Finance Group of UBS Investment Bank, Asia

One of the inspiring and memorable Time Auction events is the dinner with Mo Yee Lam, Former MD & Joint Head of Corporate Finance Group of UBS Investment Bank, Asia. With a lot of experiences fund-raising for NGOs, and hearing her dedication to run an ultramarathon, she definitely breaks the stereotype of a banker.

Alison’s Most Memorable Volunteer Experience

One little act could change a person’s world, especially for children. During the volunteering camp in Finland, she met a 15 years old refugee from the Middle East, who has lost his family and came to Finland alone to receive help from the government. He is a shy boy but with a passion for learning kung-fu. After days of activity bonding, the boy opened his heart and tell her how he felt about the world. Most importantly, she learned how volunteering changes a person’s mindset.

Sustainable Volunteering Comes from Kindness

Alison believes that ‘If you think people are nice, the people who surround you would be nice people; The more you are willing to give, the more you would get.’ Being a volunteer and meet people with similar vision and that great selflessness heart, this is how she thinks the way to build a mechanism that is long-lasting for several generations.

Being rich isn’t Alison’s goal. Instead, being happy. She finds happiness through volunteering. She works for happiness. Although earning money is a way to be happy, we find the balance and understand the level of happiness each action brings. She believes that there is a good side in human nature, and we are happy when we help people.

Thank you, Alison, for contributing 60 volunteer hours and participating in 6 events!

To see our upcoming experiences, head over to the Time Auction website!

Interviewed & written by Cindy Chan | Edited by Dolphin Chan



Time Auction

Time Auction is a charity that advocates volunteerism. We encourage volunteering with inspiring experiences, while connecting skilled-volunteers with NGOs.