If you told me a few months ago that the next chapter in my career would be in venture, I may not have believed you. But now, it makes perfect sense.
Working on my PhD was often a lonely activity. I found myself seeking human interaction by leading every committee, captaining every team, and teaching every course that I possibly could. Through these experiences, I discovered my passion for leadership development and championed it into University of Toronto Engineering in two ways: a program that equips graduate students with leadership theory and practice, and what is now an institute for leadership education in engineering – the first of its kind in Canada.
This crusade was fun and absolutely rewarding, but certainly affected my academic productivity. Fortunately, I was able to make a move to the Bay Area after getting married. With over 4000km between me and my family and friends in Toronto, I was determined to write my thesis without distractions.
And I did! With an interest in quantifying qualitative factors, I proved bankruptcy prediction models are more accurate when variables reflecting managerial decisions are included with financial data. I also learned how to draw actionable insights: to not just focus on the numbers (i.e. output), but to address the cause of a problem (i.e. input and process) in order to offer tangible targets for improvement. Overall, I gained a great appreciation for data science.
With high enthusiasm after graduate school, I partnered with the founder of Insight Data Science, and together, we launched a training program that places PhDs as data scientists at the top tech firms in the Bay Area. Running and growing a company was an incredible experience, but as the PhDs ramped up on their math and programming skills through the data projects that they worked on during their training, I felt the urge to be a nerd again. I was inspired by the ability to create products from openly accessible datasets and open source tools, and how this can empower anyone, located anywhere, at anytime, to make a difference.
I left Insight to search for opportunities to work at the intersection of data science, people development and entrepreneurship. Along the way, I met Boris and knew that joining Version One would be the best move forward. Today is my first day, and I’m very excited about identifying up-and-coming startups with a data-driven approach, interacting with and supporting portfolio companies, and working on a small team where I can make the greatest impact in a rapidly changing world. Above all, I’m looking forward to learning from the brightest minds while pursuing the things I’m most passionate about.
- Introducing Version One’s new analyst: Angela Tran Kingyens (version1v.wpengine.com)