BS, Electrical Engineering, NC State University, 1995
MBA, Business, University of California, Berkeley, 2003
Tell us a little about your work:
As Vice President of Corporate Strategy for one of the largest technology companies in the world, Huawei, I’m charged with developing growth strategies and innovating new business models. Part of my responsibilities involve building out the company’s strategic planning processes and capabilities. One of the most rewarding aspects of the job is that it allows me to foster relationships not only with internal executives and thought leaders, but also with leaders from other industry-leading firms, academia, venture capital, equity research, and more.
How did you find your way to this position?
I started my career in one of GE’s management training programs, which allowed me to work in a variety of different industries in four different countries. This broad exposure helped me realize where I wanted to steer my career, so I quit and made my way to Silicon Valley. During business school at Berkeley, I had a venture capital fellowship which solidified my passion for high tech. However, following the dot com bust, opportunities in Asia seemed more attractive, so I moved to Korea to work for Samsung. After ten years in Seoul, I was drawn to Hong Kong/Shenzhen, where a new wave of innovative Chinese firms were poised to enter a period of rapid change and growth.
How do you remember your experience at NCSSM? Did it influence your path to your current professional role or place in life, and if so, how?
My time at NCSSM was a blessing. In addition to developing a strong academic foundation, my time there helped feed my curiosity and shaped my attitude towards learning and trying new things. This mindset has led me to chase new and interesting things no matter how far outside of my comfort zone they might be.
Do you remember getting your acceptance letter?
I remember feeling a rush of emotions. At first, I was excited and proud to have been accepted into such an amazing program. However, once the initial euphoria wore off, I started to get nervous. I started to worry about a host of issues like whether or not I would measure up against some of the most talented kids in the state and whether or not I wanted to switch schools and leave my old friends behind. In the end, I recalled why it was that I applied in the first place and excitement won out.
What would you tell your 16- (or 18-)year-old self, if you could?
Take this opportunity to explore outside of your comfort zone — beyond signing up for challenging electives. The size and intimacy of the school gives you the unique opportunity to meet many kinds of people. Get to know people who are different from you. The small size of the school, coupled with great staff and resources, gives you the opportunity to get involved in and get mentorship on a wide range of things. Try new activities, explore topics in-depth, or discover a new passion.
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