MBA Program: Columbia Business School
MBA Concentration: N/A
Hometown: Washington, DC
Undergraduate School and Major: University of Virginia, Finance & Accounting
Current Title at Microsoft: Finance Manager
How would you describe your role to your mother? I manage the financial performance of the Microsoft Movies & TV business, which is a video service that offers rental or purchase of entertainment content, primarily on the Xbox console. My job includes monthly reporting of financial performance, short-term revenue forecasting, and long-term strategic planning. What makes my job exciting to me is the opportunity to delve deep into user behaviors and strategic drivers of the business, in order to ensure continued growth on our platform. An unexpected perk of my role is that I’m frequently watching trailers of upcoming movies under the disguise of market research!
A fun fact about me people would be surprised to know is…I grew up playing the accordion – it was a really cool instrument in Shanghai at the time. When I moved to America, I was shocked to learn that it wasn’t nearly as popular here!
What was your greatest personal or professional accomplishment? Before attending CBS, I worked in financial reporting at Morgan Stanley in New York City. A number of managers on my team left the company within a short period of time and I stepped in to informally lead the team while expanding the scope of my role. I started off in a state of panic, but the experience morphed into a rare opportunity for accelerated leadership growth.
Why did you choose to work at MSFT? The people I met over the recruiting process and throughout my summer internship exuded a sense of happiness and pride when they talked about their jobs. That was an infectious feeling and something that I wanted for myself. In addition, Microsoft’s focus on growth mindset and culture of inclusivity really resonated with me. I wanted to pivot into the tech industry after business school and am grateful to have found a home at Microsoft.
What did you love about the business school you attended? What I loved the most from my business school experience was the camaraderie that was built between my classmates. During orientation week, the idea of becoming friends with the 70 strangers assigned to my cluster seemed daunting to my introvert self. However, through our shared experiences and mutual support, as we tackled new challenges, we formed strong and lasting bonds. I’ve been so proud of my cluster-mates as I watched their transformation during business school and the continued pursuit of their goals beyond graduation!
What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far at MSFT? During my time at Microsoft, the most valuable thing I’ve learned is the importance of building partnerships across different organizations. I’m regularly working alongside my marketing, sales, engineering business partners, and any large decision requires alignment across the various teams. As we view the problem from different perspectives, it’s an essential system of checks and balances.
Which manager or peer has had the biggest impact on you at MSFT and how has he or she made you a better in your role? My officemate Emily Seidman has had the biggest impact on me – she’s also early in her career but gracefully manages an eight billion-dollar business within Windows Device Licensing, always with a tenacious yet pleasant attitude. Working alongside her, literally, has shaped how I approach my day-to-day work.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to work for MSFT? Whether you’re interested in the tech industry in general or Microsoft’s specific products and innovation, stay curious and keep learning!