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Meet Atsuko Bolinguit: The Fast Interview

Atsuko Bolinguit, Office Manager at Fast

Atsuko Bolinguit

Role: Office Manager

Team: People Operations

What’s your background? How did you get this part of the industry?

I started as a store lead admin at Apple. That was a long time ago. And then I started getting involved in more of the cultural side. I was managing all kinds of employee stuff. So when they had questions or complaints, I talked to them and I started doing more with setting the culture, setting the expectation. Then a new role at the time opened that was facilities-related. It was making sure the store is always perfect like every day is a grand opening. Then I joined Google after Apple, and I built the brand new Google office in Tokyo. So that was it when I said “I want to do this.”

What was it about Fast that made you want to work here?

I was at Eventbrite at the time when Allison (Fast’s COO) reached out to me. I’ve always loved the startup environment. Everything is new, and I already knew how things work, especially at tech companies. So I thought I could use my skills and experience to build the foundation for a new company.

Where did you grow up, and what were you like as a child?

I was a language nerd. English is my second language. I learned the language just living in Japan. Japan has standard English classes from junior high to high school. Not many people master the language, but my thing was reading the dictionary and every day at home translating everything into English. That was my hobby.

What was your first job?

My first job was an English teacher. I was teaching English to kids from age 2 to 16. I was managing seven schools, seven teachers, and also teaching at the same time. So that gave me some operations management skills. Teaching was fun, but the operations side was more fun. 

Is that the career that got away, or did you almost take an entirely different path?

I was supposed to be a dentist. I went to dental school, I graduated, but I realized it was not for me. That's why I started searching for what I wanted to do for my life. Work takes up so much time, like eight to 10 hours every day. I wanted to do something I can be passionate about.

What public figure do you admire most and why?

Is it OK if it’s not a real person?

Yes, definitely!

I always liked Princess Leia from “Star Wars.” She is my hero because she’s a princess, but she wasn't a normal princess. She could fight, and she was very independent, and that gave me a lot of ideas.

What app on your phone do you use the most?

Instagram. I can’t stop scrolling. It’s really bad.

What food do you uncontrollably eat?

Potatoes. So it’s kind of weird, but I love a potato dish, especially fries. When I was 18 or 19, I started having money to get food by myself, and every single day I went to McDonald's, and I got fries, not the burger, just fries. And I started having a weird allergic reaction. Once I eat a potato dish, I start getting red patches, and the doctor told me not to eat potatoes for at least a year. Now I'm OK, but if I eat too much I think I might get a reaction again.

What was the last show you binge-watched?

It was on Netflix. “The Haunting.” I like horror movies. The scary ones.

What personal goal would you like to achieve in the next five years?

In five years, it's a very realistic one: get a bigger apartment, three bedrooms. But career-wise, I want to have my own team and manage people.