Stratifyd Spotlight: Valerie Hu

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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Though Solutions Architect Valerie Hu can be soft-spoken in the office at times, she's a smart, EDM-concert-going fashionista.

She was born and raised in Guangzhou, China, where she received a bachelor’s degree in finance from South China University of Technology. Since she had spent her entire life in China, she wanted to continue her education and experience life in another country.

“My family actually encouraged me to travel abroad after school,” Hu said. “Before the move, I never spent more than a week away from home. I was a little nervous, but excited to venture out on my own.”

She briefly considered a move to Europe, but wound up setting her sights on the U.S.

“I knew that I wanted to come to the U.S. because of its reputation for higher education,” Hu said. “But I was also drawn to the country’s culture. TV, pop culture, and social media gave me a better idea of daily life, and I knew that I wanted to experience it for myself.”

Hu was accepted to a master’s program for data science and business analytics at George Washington University, which brought her to Washington D.C. in 2016.

“My parents played a large role in deciding what I studied in undergrad,” Hu said. “I was okay with finance, but I didn’t want to pursue it as a career. During undergrad, I attended a conference about data changing across industries. I think this sparked my interest in how data will affect human life on a broader scope, ultimately leading me to study data science in graduate school.”

She originally planned to return to China after graduation but changed her mind after being introduced to Stratifyd Research Scientist Luke Liu and encouraged to apply for a Business Analyst opening. Not surprisingly, she was offered the position and packed up her life in D.C. to move to Charlotte.

“Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) were my favorite subjects in grad school,” Hu said. “When I was searching for career opportunities, I was specifically targeting companies working with NLP. Stratifyd was the perfect fit.”

Hu was recently promoted to Solutions Architect (SA). In this new role, she’ll be working alongside the product management and engineering teams to assist in the development of data connectors and automation tasks. She will have the opportunity to work with API requirements and assist with coding minimal viable solutions for various projects.

“I’m really excited about this transition,” Hu said. “I’m the first person to fill the SA role, and I get to play a part in developing the position. It’s rare to find a company that truly cares about the employees and their personal and professional growth. I can’t wait to see what the future holds at Stratifyd.”

She plans to celebrate the promotion and take a well-deserved break from work with a trip to Las Vegas in May to go to the electronic dance music festival, Electric Daisy Carnival.

Q&A With Valerie Hu

Q: What’s your favorite thing about living in Charlotte?

A: The people here are extremely nice and welcoming. The city itself is growing like crazy and I can’t wait to see what it will look like in the next few years.

Q: What sparked your interest in Stratifyd?

A: Our company culture. The company offers us space to learn and to grow. Plus, it’s great working with a team that loves to share their work and life experiences!

Q: What is your favorite brand to follow on social media and why?

A: Who What Wear. It's a super cool account that produces fashion trend reports, outfit guides, and shopping bucket lists.

Q: What’s on your travel bucket list?

A: Florence, Manchester, and Belgium. Florence is famous for its cultural heritage and good food. Manchester because my best friend lives there. I also want to go to Tomorrowland [music festival] in Belgium.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

A: Try to live with uncertainty with a grateful heart. If we want the best, we must also accept the worst. Even if something fails it will still be a great experience.

Q: What's one thing you can't live without?

A: A music speaker. Music brings me energy.

Q: What's the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

A: This may not count as a “brave” thing, but I worked part-time delivering food and groceries at night while in grad school despite my parent’s opposition.

Q: What’s your spirit animal and why (this can also be a person/role model)?

A: A White tiger. It’s the combination of strength, elegance, and wildness.

Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

A: Teleportation so that I can go visit my family and friends no matter how far they are.

Q: One cause that you’re passionate about?

A: Medical Science. Especially studies for cancer treatment and genetic diseases.