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Sep 20, 2022
Senior Manager | Chi

Meet the person behind the role. 


Hello everybody! My name is Chi and I joined the Partnerships and Business Development team at Upwork this July. I am a dog dad of two, Huey and Hank, and live with my partner of two years. We love exploring the outdoors and traveling the world with family and friends. This year, we enjoyed spending time in Australia, Hawaii, and National Parks around the country. 


I love playing and watching sports, and am at the moment particularly excited about the start of the football season, upcoming UFC flights, and improving my golf game. I’ve also had the opportunity to advise a number of sports tech startups focused on connecting athletes around the world with quality coaches and technology to unlock their full potential. 


It has been a mission of mine of late to continue to improve myself and create a positive impact on those around me. I have been more intentional about focusing on both my physical and mental health, through virtual mentorship and coaching as well as health and fitness apps. I’m also involved in mentorship programs aimed to help students of diversity and underprivileged background advance in their personal and professional lives.


Take us on a journey. 


Prior to joining Upwork, I was on the strategic partnerships team at Via, a mobility tech company focused on providing accessible and affordable shared transportation solutions to clients across 35+ countries. I also had the opportunity to work with a number of sports tech startups across basketball, soccer and golf, driving user and revenue growth through various partnership and marketing efforts. I started my career in investment banking, where I spent five years in Hong Kong, leading cross-border M&A transactions in the tech industry. 


I received my bachelors degrees in finance and accounting from the University of Maryland, and an MBA from Berkeley Haas School of Business.


How did you know you wanted to do this work? 


I was a first-hand user of Upwork in my prior role at a sports startup. While I was impressed with the user experience and functionalities on the platform, I was incredibly moved by the level of genuine appreciation as well as attentiveness that every freelancer has shown. As such, I was intrigued and motivated to be a participant in building out a platform that provides the economic and career opportunities that benefit so many around the world.


Digging into your role.


As the first member of my family to go to college in the US, my biggest priority was to always make my folks proud. I had always thought that this meant simply getting the highest paying job at the most reputable company.


Frankly speaking, it took me a while to realize that these assumptions were far from the truth. It came to me after some time that success comes in many flavours, that it was up to me to create my own definition, and that my family and friends always had my back in pursuing a career that brings me happiness and a sense of accomplishment. 


In a memorable interview with Lily Ng, she challenged me to reflect on what my “calling” has been leading up to this position. It was this very moment when it became clear to me that this was indeed the perfect opportunity - from the mission of the company to the analytical and product nature of the role, to the culture and cross functional collaboration from Upwork team members.


Advice for your younger self?


I would tell my younger self a few things: life comes at you fast, so try to appreciate all your experiences both personally and professionally, both good and bad. 


Don’t always look around you to see what others are motivated by, but rather dig deep to find what gets you excited to get out of bed.


Don’t let comparison steal the satisfaction of your own life and know that perfection can be the biggest enemy of progress.


Advice for the future partnerships and Business Development position:


1. Being hands on and doing the job is the best way of evaluating any position or career path, so try to engage in internship, part-time and shadowing opportunities early in your career and during school.

2. Listen and ask questions. There is always something you can learn from the person across from you.

3. Industries are evolving faster than ever before, so always be intellectually curious and humble.

4. Be resourceful and go above and beyond to support your teammates.

5. Do the right thing when no one is looking (learned from golf), it’ll keep you on the right path.


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