By Maya RectorTony Chang graduated in 2012 with his MEng degree in Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences (EECS). He is currently a senior product manager at Intuit, where he works on expanding the developer platform and connected app ecosystem. Tony attributes his resilience and confidence when it comes to solving problems and working with others to his time spent at the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership.
Do you have any advice for current Berkeley MEng students?Enjoy and cherish the experience — it goes by faster than you expect. Perhaps you’re currently thinking about the future, about job applications, about what field you’ll enter and where you’ll end up next year. In reality, you’ll probably change jobs and fields multiple times in your life, but you’ll only go through the MEng program once. And I guarantee you’ll be hard pressed to ever find a group of colleagues as diverse and talented as your cohort around you right now.
What did you do after graduation?I went back to Australia for one last vacation to see my family and friends before diving full time into work in the Bay Area as a Software Engineer.
What are you currently working on?I’m now a Product Manager at Intuit working on expanding our developer platform and connected app ecosystem to help small business owners work more efficiently.
What do you miss about being a student at the Fung Institute?The daily commute (walking up and down a hill whilst passing by a bunch of beautiful and historic campus buildings), the amazing people I got to work with, and deciding what to eat for lunch.
What have you found most rewarding about the work you’re currently doing?The most rewarding thing about my current work is the privilege of seeing first hand how the software I create with my team can mean so much to small business owners who are pursuing their passions and crafting the life they want. What starts as an intellectual exercise of transforming customer and data driven insights into designs and working software becomes an emotional achievement when a customer is telling you she can now spend half an hour more each day with her family because of the work you helped reduce.
How has the Berkeley MEng program helped you prepare for entering the field you’re currently in?First, the MEng program showed me how great things can be achieved by working alongside people from diverse backgrounds, skillsets and cultures to deliver meaningful outcomes. Second, I learned to be resilient. There were many moments during MEng where there didn’t seem to be enough hours in a day to achieve the work we needed to do! Not to mention the severe feeling of imposter syndrome when you’re attending classes with PhD candidates. But through this experience I now have the confidence to tackle any problem in my profession and find a way through obstacles and difficulties by working together.
Do you have a fun fact about yourself that you’d like to share?When I first arrived in Berkeley (which was also the first time being in the US), I was unable to order the right drink from the Shattuck Avenue Starbucks because of my Australian accent. Less than a year later, my friends back home were teasing that I had ‘changed’ and they couldn’t understand my apparently thick American accent. Nowadays, my work colleagues have guessed incorrectly that I’m from places like the UK, South Africa, New Zealand, Hong Kong or even just the East Coast!
Alumni Highlight: Tony Chang, Class of 2012 was originally published in Berkeley Master of Engineering on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.