My whole life has been an journey of discovering my “true love”, which means the field I really want to go deep into, and after several attempts I ultimately found that technology business is my true love.
However, the process of finding it was not easy.
I was a liberal arts student in high school and it’s a common sense in China that students like me should continue to study liberal arts in university. Having no propensity for any professions, I choosed German as my major, which seemed to be the most suitable choice for me then. Suitable as it was, but I still couldn’t get myself intersted in it, even though I have tried one year.
I became the VP of AIESEC in my freshman year, which is the world’s largest youth-run organization and functions as a bridge to connect youths all around the world by providing them cross-cultural internships and volunteer exchange experiences. During my tenure, I successfully provided volunteer exchange and internship opportunities for 15 chinese youths, all of whom reported that they benefited a lot with their word citizen and cross-cultural understanding greatly enhanced. That was the first time for me to realize that an 18 years old girl as I was, I was able to empower others and make a difference to the world through my efforts, which brought me great sense of achievement.
What’s more, during my first summer vacation in university, I myself also became an international volunteer in Malaysia for 2 months, during which I with other 18 foreign volunteers from 7 countries delivered classes, promoted our diverse cultures and held leadership conferences at many needy local primary and middle schools. The eyes of the poor children, full with curiosity about diveristy and thirst for the unknown, shocked my heart then and inspired my goal of devoting my rest life to creating value for human beings.
With my vision setted, then comes the problem, what’s the best way for me to empower the world?
Of course, history has shown that technology has the biggest power to make the widest and deepest inpact to the human society, and in current era technology is computer science in a way. Hence I decided to switch my profession from German to Computer Science (Second major), which is an extremely huge transformation. Even though no one was optimistic about my decision and the process of the transition was exceedingly harsh, I stuck to my path without any hesitation. Hundreds of days have seen my coding till the midnights, finally I managed to acquire the technical skills and knowledge needed to become a programmer.
While the status of modern women is on the rise, we can see that the percentage of women leaders in technology is still very low. My mission is to become a leader in the technology industry in 15 years in order that I can better realize my vision. However, currently most programmers in China only code and function as a pure requirement implementer, which regrettably is the current situation of Chinese programmers. So I realize that maybe being a programmer cannot fullfill my mission well.
Thus I transformed again into a product manager because of the more dominant right it has in creating products in the Chinese internet industry. As a product manager, I position myself as a fusion of technology and humanities. What I do includes mining customer’s demands, designing product solutions and viable business models, realizing the commercialization and landing of products. I create value for the company and the society by creating better products for users, which is also where my personal value lies.
Furthermore, under the background of the rapid development of artificial intelligence in 2017, I timely become aware that the AI industry might be a promising field for product managers to realize our values, for the reason that the development of AI products lags far behind technological development. Therefore, I further focused my career scope on AI product manager.
A lot of efforts have been done by me in order to become an AI product manager.
Firstly, I established the Unique AI Lab, which is the first AI student group in my university, so that I can create an environment where not only I but also more students can study and research AI together, as well as develope AI products. Lots of achievements have we made, including an intelligent memory system, an image style transfer application, several awards of AI contests, and so on. Apart from these, I also launched AI salons and classes facing all interested students, especiallly the underrepresented groups such as women. Till 2019, we have gotten at least 500+ undergraduate students interested in AI.
Secondly, I took two internships as an AI product manager in the toppmost Chinese AI companies. One is in the AI Labs of Didi Chuxing, which is the world’s largest travel service platform. The products I worked on include Intelligent Customer Service Chatbot System of Didi APP, Hotline Customer Service Intelligent Assistance System, Travel Safety and Compliance Intelligent Monitoring System. Especially the third one, which integrated applied CV, ASR and NLP, to monitor and identify the high-risk and non-compliance scenarios in order to improve the travel safety of users. Another one is in the smart retail department of Face++ (Megvii), which is one of the world’s leading AI startups. The product I was in charge of is an important module in the Smart Retail System, which uses CV Techniques to identify consumer behaviors in order to improve the operational efficiency of retail stores.
It seems that my whole life is a journey of pursuing and knowing the actual self, just as Socrates said. Every experience seems to have a cause and effect, leading me to grow and to my destiny. Empowering more people is my mission, for which I will definitely fight all my life.