Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Shanghai. I moved to the U.S. at the age of 10 and have since lived all over the country.
Where do you live now?
What have you been doing since you graduated?
I had a brief stint in Boston, but for the most part, I’ve been living and working in Atlanta.
What is your current job? In 2 or 3 sentences, can you explain what your position is and what some of your responsibilities are?
I work at Turner Broadcasting, where I oversee an innovation team called Insights & Inspiration. Basically, I have this wonderful job where I get to look around the globe, look to other industries, geek out about new technologies/startups, check out anything new and innovative — and bring all of that information back to Turner & creatively advise all our brands on how to tap into those new opportunities. I’m interested in global movements and cultural shifts, such as the maker movement. At some companies, this type of role is called a Futurist or Trendspotter.
Personally, I just love that I have the word “Inspiration” in my job title!
Can you tell us about a recent project you’ve worked on that you were really excited about?
A couple of really fun ones, actually! I’m passionate about creating a more playful workplace culture – happier, more playful employees = more creative employees. I recently partnered with several other Turner divisions (plus a newly established Turner Makers group, which I co-founded) to turn a 36-step staircase at the CNN Center into a giant piano keyboard that actually plays when you step on each key! I also secured the first-ever corporate license granted by Maker Media, Inc. and produced the inaugural Turner Mini Maker Faire. You can read more about these initiatives on the Time Warner blog here.
How do you think the program helped prepare you for your life after Georgia Tech?
The program helped me to look at computation as an expressive medium, with endless possibilities. It also helped me to understand that everything is connected, and that true innovation happens when you cross disciplines like fashion with technology, or design with biology, or when you toss an English major into a room with a mechanical engineer, a philosophy major, an advertising copywriter and a schoolteacher (true story). When you can make connections where others can’t, that’s magic. And the Digital Media program taught me to see the world that way.
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom you would like impart to current or future Digital Media students?
Be wide open to possibilities and don’t worry too much about having a master plan. The jobs you will have in the future may not even exist yet, or they are waiting for you to create them!