This week’s interview is with Serena – an incredibly accomplished entrepreneur in the entertainment/tech industry who also just happens to have impeccable style. Serena and I went back and forth on this interview for months, trying to gather her thoughts and photos during breaks in her hectic schedule. Her taste in everything is just wonderful, but I have to especially call out her jewelry….just WOW. Enjoy meeting Serena!
Who are you? What do you do, and where do you live?
I am an Asian American living in SoCal and I am currently the founder and CEO of a technology-based company working within the entertainment industry.
You have a very accomplished background. How did you land in your current career?
I appreciate that words…however, I would say I am far from accomplished. Our company is still very young, growing, and we are facing many challenges as we move on to the next phase. My personal goal is to build a brand which stands for the combination of most cutting edge technology combined with the highest level of quality services that our clients deserve.
However, I did not start from a high-tech background at all. I come from a family with deep roots in art but who later on became successful entrepreneurs in different industries. I was quite well versed in calligraphy and painting at an earlier age but my parents, from their protective nature, wanted me to have an easy and no-stress life. I graduated with a finance degree because of that, and landed a job in one of the biggest banks. Life was easy but boring (at least to me) and I wasn’t enjoying it.
I told my parents I wanted to try for a doctorate. My parents were supportive. However, the tiny little twist was that I had applied for (and was admitted surprisingly) for a Ph.D program in engineering, and not finance! My parents were shocked when I got the letter and horrified that I wouldn’t make it, but they did not intervene.
However, in the beginning, I had a very hard time with barely any knowledge in engineering. That’s when my now husband came in and devoted all of his spare time to help me catch up with the basic courses. He proposed after we knew each other for only two months and I knew that he was the one (another shock to my parents!). During those years, both my husband and I both were students full time, while at the same time worked at quite a few start-ups and traditional companies.
By the time we finally graduated with our Ph.Ds, we faced the option to work for various start-up “unicorns” or high-tech giants. Both would guarantee high salaries plus bonuses, stock options, etc. I know it sounds crazy, but my husband and I decided to let go of these opportunities, take a risk, and start up our own company. During the working/school years, we accumulated a lot of insights and knowledge. We found that the technologies being used currently were very dated and extremely inefficient in our industry. We decided that our expertise and strength in research and technology could help improve the current processes and most importantly, deliver the most amazing results. Continue Reading