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Life and Work with Vicki Chen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vicki Chen.

Vicki, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve always been into creative arts ever since I was young. Growing up, I took a lot of performing arts classes which led me to become more open and interested in artist/creative careers. Technology was also something that really shaped my childhood. From wondering how different softwares on my laptop are developed to how they were utilized, my mind was shaped at a very young age to view everything in a technical aspect. When it finally came down to choosing my major for college, I promised my mom I would pursue a STEM field, and in return, she’d trust me with my choice of path after college.

I started my journey as a Content Creator last summer when I was also working a web/software development internship. It was always something I took an interest in, but I finally had the push I needed to jumpstart it after talking to a friend. From there, I started getting more collaboration opportunities and got to work with brands I never even thought would know of my existence. I got to meet so many talented and amazing individuals who continue to inspire me to pursue what I love doing, who also helped me gain the courage to take a leap and turn my passion for technology into a startup.

What I’ve chosen to work with are two very different industries. However, I find myself more fueled and motivated after my creative work, which in return helps me view my technical work with a more innovative mindset.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Working with Social Media hasn’t always been a smooth road. Everything feels refreshing in the very beginning when you’re just dipping your toes in. As time went on and the business aspect of it took over, it became a daunting task to provide content that satisfies both your expectations and the brands you’re working with.

I encourage anyone who wants to start their own online journey to simply pursue it without any expectations or fear. Be your true, raw self and you will find success along the way. When you realize you’re starting to compare yourself with other people, that’s when you need to take a step back and reflect on your own goals. Everyone has their own pace and their own experiences to live with their respective journeys. Ride it out at your own pace and understand that the only person you should try to be better than is who you were yesterday.

I believe that there should always be some balance in life. Even though finding a stable job is an overarching goal for most individuals, I strongly encourage everyone to not give up on their true passion, as it will definitely lead you to opportunities that you otherwise would’ve never known.

Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow.

What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
I recently graduated from UCSB with a degree in Computer Engineering. Currently, I’m a Software/Web Developer and Content Creator.

I would definitely say what sets me apart are my skills as an Engineer. I have a unique vision and love getting technical when it comes to working on different projects. For example, if a client needs a website done, my mind would automatically think of ways to incorporate current eye-catching trends on social media along with the brand’s own voice and vision to create a distinctive masterpiece.

I hope to inspire those who are pursuing a stem field to pursue their passions and interests even if it seems beyond your reach.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
I listen to audiobooks whenever I’m driving. My collection is actually pretty long but some of my favorites include “The culture code” and “The Richest Man in Babylon”.

I feel like this one is pretty generic but Gary Vaynerchuk’s podcast is great for anyone seeking that extra motivation.

I also meditate. Which I believe was what really changed my productivity throughout the day. I use the app “Calm” and the first thing I do every morning is to just meditate for 15 min (or however long the current session is). It was definitely hard in the beginning since I’m someone that gets easily distracted, but I managed to force myself to pick this up as a habit.

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Image Credit:
Minh Dang, Spencer Sun, Chris Lee

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