Winnie Hien '12 was a math major and Spanish minor at Bryn Mawr and is now a principal technical consultant at HubSpot.
On Thursday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m., Winnie will join Lynda Pak '90, and Lisa Redakop '83 for "Mawrters in Tech" as part of the Career & Civic Engagement Office’s remote Alumnae/i in Residence program. For a current list of guests, dates, and registration, log into Handshake.
In the below Q&A, Winnie talks about finding her career passion, the value of attending a women's college, and more.
How did you get involved in your current field?
I got into the tech field accidentally. While working in government in 2017, I was asked to take over a software project for a case management system. I saw the parallels of what I loved in math in software: you have technical constraints but within those constraints, you have unlimited creativity and flexibility to achieve your goal. It becomes a balancing act between developing features, fixing bugs, and managing stakeholders, much like an optimization problem. I love the challenge and haven’t looked back since!
What part of your Bryn Mawr experience has been most important to your professional development?
At Bryn Mawr, I learned how to tackle hairy and abstract problems with a sense of eagerness. I love diving into the unknown and making sense of it through problem solving, logical reasoning, and pure resilience. That love of learning combined with knowing how to lean into your network of classmates and professors to amplify your learning are a lethal combination once you enter the professional world.
What career advice do you have for current Bryn Mawr students?
Picking your next job or career is similar to picking a college; It’s all about the right fit.
I jumped into roles early in my career without understanding the day-to-day role or whether I could grow my career. The dynamics of work are different from academia, and I wish I knew that landscape earlier.
My advice to current students is to reach out to people and ask questions. It’s awkward at first, and your questions are generic to start, but with practice you glean a lot of insights that help turbocharge your career choices. I’ve found a lot of help from my Bryn Mawr and Posse network, and by cold emailing people on LinkedIn with interesting experiences.
My second piece of advice is to “Build Your Own Personal Board of Directors.” This was advice I heard recently at a career panel by an exec at Facebook (Haverford alum) and I 100 percent plan to follow it.
What made you choose to attend Bryn Mawr?
I chose Bryn Mawr because I knew it was the best place for me to grow. It was strong academically and committed to inclusivity, social justice, and personal integrity in a way that resonated strongly with me.
I’m grateful for my time at Bryn Mawr. I’ve built long lasting friendships, and I lean on the academic resilience I developed at Bryn Mawr every day in my career in tech.