Tech Candidate Spotlight - Sandy Zhu

From Finance and Marketing to Product Design, Sandy Zhu is creating a new path

Candidate Spotlight Sandy Zhu Product Designer

Can you share a little bit about your educational background

I double majored in finance and marketing from the Stern School of Business at New York University. I’m self taught as a product designer

Which, if any, educational opportunities, have made the biggest impact on your tech career?

The most impactful educational opportunities I’ve had the good fortune of experiencing is showing a natural curiosity. I've also learned so much from design mentors who graciously taught me the ins and outs of product design. My education was more in the act of doing, and I took it upon myself to learn the theory side of design based on recommended readings shared with me.

What would you like to learn more about (can be tech or non-tech related)?

I’m incredibly interested in Web3 and all of its applications, whether it’s blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, AI, ML, etc. 

Related: Learn more about blockchain and other emerging technology with our partners.

What led you to pursue a career in tech?

I wanted to pursue a career in tech because the world was moving in that direction. Plus, I always wanted to help people solve complex problems by creating experiences that simplify as much as possible, regardless of problem space. The tech field felt like an industry with limitless opportunities for me to achieve this.

Share a little about your journey in your tech career…

My journey into tech, like most, is a convoluted one. In college, I double majored in finance and marketing thinking I was going to join Wall Street. After realizing I wasn’t a good fit, my first role out of college was working at a global advertising agency in NYC on the account side.

After seeing what my creative partners were doing on their screen, I was more and more drawn to the creative side of things. So I would bribe them with pizza and beer to narrate what they were doing in Photoshop and Illustrator.

From there, I went home and taught myself those programs, and then did that later with Sketch and now Figma. But from advertising I moved into the personal finance industry, and then moved into fantasy sports, then moving and all its myriad industries, and now biopharma.

I’ve always had a desire to solve complex problems in a ton of different industries because I’m interested in entering wildly varied problem spaces. 

How has your skillset evolved over the course of your career?

At the onset of my career, I focused on specific discipline areas to build my capability out. Whether it was UX wireframing, UX research, interaction design, etc, I collected design capabilities as I continued to ask for more responsibility with the ultimate aim of owning the entire end-to-end design process.

If you chose to specialize in one area, what was it and why?

My skillset has evolved to become much more of a generalist instead of focusing on one particular area in product design. What this has done is allow me to become a “full-stack” designer capable of researching, synthesizing, and then visualizing and making pixel-perfect the final product in a variety of screens and spaces. 

Is your new role different from previous ones?

New role is a massive change in industry. My previous industry was in the moving space, but it touched telecommunications, moving services, renters insurance, utilities signup, and general e-commerce. My new industry is in biopharma and will touch AI, clinical trials, and pathology. 

What are some of the things you’re most excited about in your new role/career?

I’m incredibly excited to solve real, hard problems at the intersection of health and science and the bleeding edge of technology. I’ve always been interested in how technology can be utilized to improve the human experience, and knowing the company I’ve joined is in a concerted effort to help improve both diagnosis accuracy and treatment efficacy, I couldn’t be more excited to help the team accomplish all its goals. 

What was your job search experience like before you joined Hired?

Before joining the Hired platform, my job search experience was incredibly fractured and time intensive. I had to reach out to companies I either knew or searched for, then had to go to their careers page, and then filter to see if they were looking for my role.

LinkedIn helped a bit, but LinkedIn also feels weirdly impersonal given the scale of the platform and the paradigm of the experience.

What Hired has done is shift the conversation to have companies reach out to you, and you get to decide if you’re interested in continuing the conversation. I think that democratizes the experience much more since a job search is an honest two-way assessment for both parties to assess fit.

What’s your best advice for job seekers registered on the Hired platform? 

Stay active and respond in a timely manner, especially when your profile is being highlighted. I think it helps move the process along if you’re actively looking

What would you tell someone who’s curious about Hired?

Sign up for Hired if you’re a tech professional looking for a platform that specializes in actual tech job offerings. Hired is far and away a better resource than going to somewhere like LinkedIn or Indeed to find roles since the Hired platform does a better job at collating it all in one place.

It doesn’t have every role out there, and that’s probably based on companies being willing to sign up for Hired, but it’s a fantastic reference that drowns out the noise and allows you to see super relevant job postings

Any general advice you’d like to give other tech professionals?

Lean on your network, but also never be afraid to see what’s out there. There are smart people everywhere solving fun, tough, paradigm-shifting problems. And in this particularly market coinciding with our industry potentially evolving into a new web space (Web3), it’s a really interesting time to explore all potential avenues to grow your career.

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About PathAI

Founded in 2016, PathAI is headquartered in Boston, Mass., and has a mission to improve patient outcomes with AI-powered technology. Their platform promises substantial improvements in the accuracy of diagnosis and the efficacy of treatment of diseases.

Tech Stack: Python, Java, Vue.js, PostgreSQL

Benefits: RSUs, 401k, health, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance, PTO, flexible working hours/WFH, maternity/paternity benefits, hackathons, and more.

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