“Is she the one who is so intense about hiking and yoga but drinks bubble tea every day?”
Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan
Fun Fact About Yourself: I can count to ten in Hawaiian, Tagalog, Cantonese, Mandarin, Taiwanese, Japanese, French, Italian, Spanish, English… and sign language.
Undergraduate School and Major: Cornell University – School of Hotel Administration
Most Recent Employer and Job Title:
Evolve (a fitness tech startup) – Project Manager
Royal Caribbean Cruises – Senior Analyst in Corporate Planning
Royal Caribbean Cruises – Analyst in Revenue Management
J.P. Morgan – Investment Banker
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: During my tenure at Royal Caribbean Cruises, I was proud to have been a part of an important conversation surrounding diversity and inclusion. At the time, the company was introducing “employee resource groups” for underrepresented identities and so graciously supported me in launching one for young professionals. I loved that the platform connected millennials from across the company who normally worked in silos. More importantly, however, I believe it gave us a way to talk more insightfully about age-related topics at work, which aren’t practiced enough in school settings.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Gifted and grounded. Anderson students are some of the smartest, highest-achieving individuals that I have ever met. Yet, my classmates never try to one-up each other, and no one is defined (or defines others) by his or her past job titles. I find that conversations are exceptionally genuine, and that there already seems to be a strong sense of trust within the community. And a shout-out to my ladies at Anderson: Thank you for your invaluable support and for inspiring me to climb on.
Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I chose Anderson because of its top-notch Entrepreneurship program. Anderson offers the opportunity to launch my own company through the Business Creation Option, and provides support through world-class faculty, the Price Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Anderson Venture Accelerator. (If you don’t know what these are, look it up!) Los Angeles is also the ultimate hub for startups on the West Coast—we have the manpower, resources, and diversity in industry required for innovation to quickly develop and hit the markets. Oh, and the beaches are pretty awesome, too!
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I’m looking forward to pushing for women’s empowerment in the Anderson community and beyond. Although women’s rights have come a long way, there is still immense room for improvement in a world where the percentage of female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies simmers in the single digits. Or, where women continue to make less than their male counter-parts for the same work. In particular, I am most excited about inviting our men into this conversation and enlisting their help in this modern movement for gender equality.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? My only roles thus far have been in well-established firms such as Royal Caribbean Cruises and J.P. Morgan. Since my goal is to ultimately start and run my own company, I needed to bridge my knowledge and skills in a large corporations to that of a small, nimble startups. That is why I chose Anderson’s entrepreneurship program to help me expedite this process. Additionally, I wanted to take on this startup “risk” while I am still young, can pull all-nighters, and don’t have a family to support (yet).
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? Beyond the tangible financial returns of an MBA, I value the intangible benefits of growing one’s knowledge and network in business. I also believe that when I’m 70, I will be thankful for the memories I will have created during business school.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Stanford and Berkeley
How did you determine your fit at various schools? Location for me was the most important factor, so that is why I only applied to schools in California. Next, it was important to be in a collaborative culture, rather than a competitive one, since collaboration is central to my problem-solving strategy.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? As an undergraduate, I learned the importance of “giving back” through my professional business fraternity. This value was drilled deeply into my mind and that of every other member. As a result, we spent countless hours volunteering our time, knowledge, and physical assistance in the betterment of our organization. This was a defining period for me because I learned, first-hand, that you only get out as much as you put in.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? Ideally, the startup I will have founded at Anderson is a splendid success, so upon graduation I will sell the company, retire, and move to Hawaii to surf. However, if for some bizarre reason that did not happen, Plan B will be to continue working on my startup and help it to also “graduate” from Anderson.
Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years, I will be approaching my mid-thirties. My initial reaction is to say that I will have reached a steadier phase in my startup and may want to settle down and start a family. However, five years ago I was living life on Miami Beach with a strawberry daiquiri in hand, far away from GMAT woes and MBA shenanigans, so it’s hard to say exactly where I’ll be in five more fabulous years!