Cynthia Tuan

Alumni on the Move - April 2017

Hang Chen   Asian Discovery, Class of 2008

Hang Chen

Asian Discovery, Class of 2008

Hang Chen recently became a logistics engineer in product support of commercial derivative aircraft programs at The Boeing Company. The career transition presents an excellent opportunity for Hang to bring his technical and leadership skills in a diverse talented team in a growing business. Hang is currently leading a process development effort in his new team and looks forward to working with his new manager and team.  Hang previously was a structural analysis engineer at Boeing, where he supported and led projects and teams in aircraft development, testing, production, and sustainment.

Throughout his career, Hang credits his managers, mentors, peers, EDI, NAAAP-Seattle, Boeing's Emerging Leaders Development Program, BAAPA, and Boeing's 6 Step Group Mentoring Program in providing him the training, networks, and experiences to grow his career and to help others. Hang thanks the late Ted Yamamura, BAAPA Puget Sound past-President Michael Vu, and other mentors and role models who provided him encouragement, opportunities, and mentorship.

For career development advice, Hang recommends the following three items: Be a continuous learner, try new things, and help others grow. A great vehicle to facilitate all three is to take on and to lead side projects. Side projects can lead to Nobel Prizes (like James Watson and Francis Crick's DNA double helix model); improve ways of doing things (like Gmail thanks to Google's 20 Percent Time); revolutionize new business (like Bill Boeing's passion for aviation that led to The Boeing Company); or can open new career opportunities. As a side project, Hang led a team/project to improve first time quality in aircraft production, and the side project helped his getting the new job. So take a risk and create a future for yourself and others!

Cynthia Tuan   Asian Discovery, Class of 2014

Cynthia Tuan

Asian Discovery, Class of 2014

I was part of the EDI 2014 Portland class. Since graduating, I’m still working at the same design agency as before, Tether. What I enjoyed most about EDI was how each class gave insight and practical tools that you could incorporate into everyday life. About a year and half ago, I earned a promotion and am now Associate Creative Director for their Portland studio. Often and at random moments, learnings from EDI comes up. But the most valuable thing I learned, is the importance of speaking up. Especially in today’s political and social climate, it’s become ever more important to stand for who you are, be able and willing to talk about race and stand for equality.

PechaKucha was founded in 2003 by a multi-lingual architecture company in Tokyo. They wanted to create a fun but succinct format for presenting. A PechaKucha is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. You talk along with the images, but the trick is that the images advance automatically (whether you’re ready for it or not!)

PechaKucha Nights brings people together and allows them to informally share stories. Since its origin, it has grown to over 900 cities around the world. Last fall, I was invited to share my story at PechaKucha Night in Portland. I hadn’t spoken in front of an audience since representing my EDI classmates at graduation so I jumped at the chance.

Each PechaKucha Night has its own theme. That night, ours was around “Voyages.” I shared what it was like growing up bi-cultural, my journey, and what that looked like for me. It took about a week to put the presentation together, it entailed multiple text messages asking my dad for this photo or that. Leading up to the night, I practiced several days before. It was crucial to time the content well and be concise because the slides advance automatically!

There were ten people lined up to speak that night. A week or so before the event, the PechaKucha organizers sent out an email regarding presentation order; if anyone had preferences on when they’d like to go up. I immediately volunteered to be one of the first, I wanted to get it out of the way! I knew with my nerves, going later would mean it’d be nearly impossible to enjoy anyone else’s presentations. That morning, I got an email saying due to a scheduling mishap I was slated to go second-to-last. Just before panic set in completely, they wrote back, all was righted and I ended up being the first to go!

My advice to others is to always test the A/V beforehand. An inopportune time to find out the microphone you’re speaking from needs to be held really, really close is when you’re already live, in front of audience, giving an auto-advancing presentation, there’s no pause button!