Ever since a drama-filled college journey that saw my life’s greatest setbacks, I found myself indulging my weekends at 28 hackathons and taking 20 Coursera courses online in my final years of college. To some, my energy levels may seem superhuman, or crazy; but to me, it came down to three defining values: grit, compassion, and (social) responsibility. Until recently, leaving a positive dent in the not-so-perfect world we live in today has become an unrelenting mission guiding my next steps as I seek deeper impact in my story’s very next chapter.
Growing up gifted in math yet incredibly curious about the arts and passionate for user experience, I always sensed my career would involve the intersection of tech, business and design, as I was told by many to have a keen but rare sense of empathy. It was indeed an unexpected encounter with Elon Musk in my freshmen year as a student volunteer that inspired me to later overcome repeated rejections from changing majors to CS with exceptional perseverance. Today I am a risk taker cable of achieving the unthinkable thanks to a history of hardships and turnarounds. Yet after interning at my childhood dream company and getting into one of the nation’s finest engineering schools this past year, I had moments of uncertainty where I felt loss once again in what more I wanted in life. i.e. Could I better fuse my multidisciplinary talents to accomplish something more meaningful?
To my surprise, I rediscovered purpose from revisiting a childhood where I moved across continents, transferred schools 6 times and was obsessed with electronics to the extent that I was even slightly out of place (hats off to Elon). I took pleasure in observing different perspectives and always pondered creative solutions to challenge the status quo every now and then. It was then I discovered a knack for bringing people around me to achieve a united cause. When I moved to Hong Kong for middle school, people were fixated on traditional careers and in search for diversity, I resolved to revolutionize the way students learn so they have more time for extracurricular activities. I created ‘UrbanEDU’ to pioneer personalized online learning for kids in every corner of our world. In 3 months, it garnered 300,000 clicks from 10+ countries. As my first taste of a ‘startup’, I fell tirelessly in love with the prospect of empowering millions with technology, as much as it has shaped my life.
Education has since become a field I hope to transform. Besides researching intelligent, machine-inspired learning methods, I’ve taken my efforts offline more recently to teaching kids coding at local middle schools, where I’m currently heading up a non-profit’s development effort.
You see, when all my passions shaped from different walks of life start to converge in a way that motivates and brings the best out of those around me, I believe I am in a unique position to lead the world into a peek of what our future holds. And like Elon, my childhood was filled with an immense curiosity for space, computing and our society, where some of the moonshot ideas I’d toyed around once are slowly coming to life. It is my responsibility to not just myself but humanity to constantly innovate and question what is taken for granted, when I am fortunate enough to live a story myself where, with relentless hard work and visionary, dreams do come true.