Photo credit: Damon Winter for The New York Times

I spoke with Hannah Yang, Chief Growth Officer at The New York Times. Hannah moved to the US from Korea when she was 9 years old. As an immigrant, she grew up hearing only about the most traditional career paths of doctors, lawyers, and engineers. While studying social studies at Harvard College she took a year off to help her father with his political campaign in Korea, where she experienced firsthand how law and policy could shape society.

After graduating Harvard College, Hannah attended Harvard Law School but quickly realized that law was not a fit for her. While she…


I spoke with Nora Staebler, Senior Vice President of Global Digital at PIMCO. After graduating business school, Nora joined Campbell Soup. At that time, the internet was just emerging, so Nora was a part of the group at Campbell Soup that first thought about how to leverage the internet for branding and how to execute on email marketing. After her time at Campbell Soup, she worked with many startups as well as large corporations to formulate strategies for how they can leverage their online presence to generate results.

One of Nora’s colleagues at Campbell Soup (Ainslie Simmonds, HBS ’97) was…


I spoke with Nick Hotchkin, Chief Operating Officer at WW (formerly Weight Watchers). WW is a direct to consumer digital subscription company powered by the world’s leading weight loss program and platform. Since its founding 58 years ago, WW has transitioned into a digital first company (WW has over 400 digital product specialists and software engineers across 4 global hubs!) but its mission remains the same: to inspire people to adopt healthy habits for real life. WW has built a digital wellness ecosystem that you can access in the palm of your hand, spanning categories from nutrition, activity, mindset and…


I spoke with Russ Heddleston, co-founder and former CEO of DocSend and now head of commercial for DocSend at Dropbox. In March of 2021, Dropbox acquired DocSend for $165 million.

Russ grew up in South Dakota and studied computer science at Stanford where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. During school, he worked at many tech companies from Trulia (when they were just 5 people)! to Microsoft. After graduating from Stanford, he joined Greystripe, a mobile ad platform, as an early hire and went on to run their engineering team.

Russ then went to Harvard Business School. While there…


Jay Parekh, VP of Business Development at Chime

I spoke with Jay Parekh, VP of Business Development at Chime, a fast growing fintech focused on helping people achieve financial peace of mind.

Jay started his career in finance first in investment banking and then in growth equity at General Atlantic. At General Atlantic, he learned more about the exciting impact tech companies were creating and felt his interests gravitate more toward tech than finance. So after graduating from Harvard Business School, he joined Zynga as a product manager.

After some time on the product side, Jay shifted to business development because he wanted to partner more closely with…


I spoke with Heath Hohwald, Head of Data and Data Science at AlphaSights, a global leader in knowledge search. AlphaSights is pioneering a novel knowledge-on-demand offering, assisting professionals with highly specific research needs.

Heath has spent the past 20 years of his career in machine learning, data science, and search, straddling the intersection of industry and research. He has always been fascinated by the application of statistics, computing, and math to novel problems.

After graduating from Harvard, Heath started his career at BlackRock as a financial analyst and later studied AI at UCLA for graduate school. After UCLA, he worked…


Evan Johnson, Director of Analytics and Insights at Steady

I spoke with Evan Johnson, Director of Analytics and Insights at Steady, the AI-driven platform that empowers 3 million American workers to find the best hourly and gig jobs.

Prior to Steady, Evan was Director of Data at Andela. He joined Andela as Director of Marketing shortly after raising it’s Seed round, and he stayed and grew with the company through its Series D. Over the 6 years Evan was there, the company grew from 240 thousand in annual revenue to over 50 million. He also switched roles around their Series B, moving from the Marketing to Data. Throughout that…


Jim Haughwout, VP of Platform at Peloton

I spoke with Jim Haughwout, VP of Platform at Peloton. Jim has previously led global teams at six #1 companies in their sector (including Spotify, Amgen, and AOL) as well as a range of early-stage startups across many tech and business domains (IoT, two-sided marketplaces, social media, and mobile medicine).

Jim has always looked for companies using technology to transform how people work and live at a global scale. Ten months ago, in the midst of quarantine, Jim saw many of his friends using Peloton as a way to stay healthy during the pandemic. He realized how much Peloton was…


Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content at YouTube

I spoke with Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content at YouTube. Prior to joining YouTube, Susanne was President of Entertainment at MTV Networks. After three years there, she was driving to work one day and saw a billboard featuring a YouTube creator with 12 million subscribers and another creator with a similarly high number of subscribers. She was incredibly impressed with the massive followings of creators on the global platform. She had been working on a show that was not getting the ratings and viewership she had hoped for, so she brainstormed with a friend who mentioned YouTube as…


I spoke with Laura Schaffer, Head of Growth Product at Twilio. When Laura graduated Harvard, her grandfather gave her two pieces of advice that shaped her career: 1) start your career in sales in order to get really close to the customer and 2) pick an industry that is clearly behind. So, Laura started her career in sales at a small startup (Bandwidth, now a public company) in telecommunications, an industry she felt was ripe for change. It was clear that telecommunications, which had been largely unchanged in the business world for decades, was on the brink of significant technological…

Jess Li

Chief of Staff at Beacons | Harvard alum | https://beacons.ai/jessicali

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