My time in high school
Attended high school in the
Overall high school experience
5/10. i was a non traditional kid. My family moved to Palo Alto from Hong Kong when I was 15 and I started as a 10th grader. It was a tough transition. My English was not great and I had a hard time fitting in and making friends. I felt lonely at times.
Grades in high school
Mostly A's. I had two very good mentors at the time. they encouraged me to dream big and focused on academics. I managed to do well academically in school and got into an ivy league.
Computer Science / Engineering, Technical, Math
English, history, biology. My english / reading comprehension was not great and I struggled in reading intensive classes.
Life since high school
Attended college / university at
I studied economics.
Post-graduate education or training
i spent a year in Cambridge University in the UK and got my MBA from UCLA.
Places lived in US
Illinois, Rhode Island
Places lived outside the US
yes, Hong Kong, Cambridge (UK). I also spent a summer in Cape Town (South Africa) working for a non profit
Current occupations / past occupations
I am co-founding a startup with my business school classmates. Previously I worked at another startup that got acquired. Earlier I worked in policy at the Federal Reserve and did consulting before b-school
Industries I've worked in
- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (e.g. Law, Accounting, Interior Design, Graphic Design, R&D, PR, Advertising, etc.)
- Public Administration (e.g. Government, Police, Judicial, etc.)
Did your education prepare you for your career or occupation?
Yes and no. A lot of times success in the workplace is about being able to work in a team. I don't think it is taught in classrooms.
Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
I thought I was going to work in public sector initially because that was what my parents did. Later I found myself working in tech and startup/ entrepreneurship because i like how technology enables one to make big impact. my MBA and consulting background helped me transition into tech.
A little introspection...
To me, being successful means...
knowing myself and being able to apply my strengths and talents to make a difference in the world. it also means having a few good friends and a loving family.
My definition of success has changed over time.
when i was in high school, i pretty much defined success as being able to get good grades and get into a good / top college.
My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
Knowing there are tons of things I am not good at and I could improve upon myself. Knowing that I have a few good friends I could turn to for support.
My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
when I was in high school and even college, I was very focused on academics. I wish I could have realized sooner that there is more to life than just studies. Things such as relationships are important to one's well being. I learned to appreciate work life balance. I started spend more time hanging out with friends. I learned to work hard and play hard.
An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
in my second year of college, I got very confused and disillusioned as to what I should major in college and what I should do after school. at one point I lost interest in school and thought about taking time off. What got me thru was an economics class i took in my second year in college. I was inspired by my professor and the social issues we explored. I ended up studying economics in college, got good grades and graduated with honors.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I wished I worried less about college back in high school and enjoyed my high school life a bit more. I wish I could have gotten more involved with extracurricular activities so I could explore potential career interests and hobbies and made more friends.
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My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto