Putting a Face to the Framework: Yan Zhu

Hyperscience | Posted on June 10, 2021

Hyperscience grew 3x in 2020 – and we’re just getting started. We believe in filling our company with exceptional talent and giving them the tools to innovate. We strive to create a meaningful and inclusive work environment that is reflective of our core values, and we welcome anyone who demonstrates imagination, empathy and a willingness to grow.

One such individual is Yan Zhu, an Engineering Manager out of the NYC office. Yan is new to the Hyperscience team, joining us in March 2021, and despite her recent onboarding, we chatted with her about her first few months, what she loves about her new team, #LifeatHyperscience, and where she stands on the age-old Mac vs. PC debate. 

Engineering Manager Yan Zhu

Welcome to Hyperscience! What first interested you about the company and role?

I was fascinated at how quickly Hyperscience has grown. I had come from an early stage startup. While it awarded me much independence and growth, it had not settled on its long-term vision. Hyperscience, on the other hand,  has a detailed vision, focused on  offering higher accuracy and increased flexibility to our customers.

As a woman and a person of color, workplace diversity is also incredibly important to me. I could tell right away that Hyperscience prioritizes equality and giving each team member a voice, regardless of role or experience level. 

Talk us through the interview process. What was it like and what steps did it entail?

The entire process was seamlessly executed from start to finish. It started with a phone screen with a recruiter, followed by a behavioral interview with an Engineering Manager. For the final round, I was invited to a virtual onsite. The “onsite” focused on four areas: coding, system design, and two behavioral interviews. At the end of the process, I had a debrief with the recruiter, where she answered any questions I had. The final touchpoint with the recruiter was a thoughtful touch. Not all companies do such a thing and this showed me they really care about their candidates. 

What was it like starting a new job while we’re still remote and onboarding virtually?

I’m pleased to say that I had no issues starting while remote. When compared to my previous experiences, I was surprised how organized the virtual onboarding sessions were. I really liked that there were many opportunities for new hires to share feedback and suggestions on the onboarding process for future employees, as well. That culture of continuous feedback – and improvement – is something I’ve picked up across the company, and I love that in some ways it harkens back to our ML product and human-in-the-loop functionality. 

How have your first few months at Hyperscience been?

It’s been overwhelmingly wonderful. There has been so much to explore.

While much research and understanding has to be done, the only limit to how fast one grows is how hard one tries. 

– YAN ZHU

I quickly realized that Hyperscience is at an interesting turning point, where the hustling hypergrowth speed needs the support of a nurturing culture and organized management style. As an Engineering Manager, this means there are endless opportunities for me to make an impact on the team. 

Talk to us about the Engineering team. What’s your favorite part about working with this team thus far?

What I look for in a good Engineering team is intelligence and humility. I want to work in a stimulating environment that pushes me forward, but the humility aspect is what ties talents together. This combination reduces friction and encourages communication. It’s essential to a happy, resilient team. Our Engineering team has provided me with all this and more; I’m so thrilled. 

What’s one piece of advice you have for aspiring women in tech? 

Build your support group in the workplace. In addition to having a place to share resources and connections, the psychological benefits of a support group are real.  It stabilizes your emotions, validates your feelings, and boosts your confidence in difficult situations. 

Although these benefits apply to both genders, women are more prone to these problems than our male counterparts. Because we’re the minority, we’re more likely to feel isolated and look for a stronger presence at work. That’s why supporting each other at work is so important and worth putting in extra effort. 

What excites you most about the future of Hyperscience? What challenge are you most excited to solve and tackle with your team?

Machine Learning is leading the next revolution of technology, and the grandeur greatly excites me. The work my team does can help automate some of the repetitive tasks so humans can spend their precious time in more creative, fulfilling ways. I feel like I’m helping companies in need, and it’s rewarding to see the positive impact in the lives of our end customers. The current challenge is how to realize our full, ambitious vision and continue to evolve the Hyperscience Platform, which involves many cutting-edge technical problems! Implementing our flexible, minimal-intervention automation platform at more and more customer organizations allows more of the world to benefit from the power and potential of intelligent automation.

BONUS: Lightning round questions

Do you have any favorite productivity hacks?

I find meetings more productive and resourceful if I spend a few minutes going over each meeting in my head right after it ends.  I write down the action items I need to complete, which helps close the loop on tasks and strengthens my memory of important topics. 

What’s your favorite Hyperscience company value?

Seek and share feedback. I love that it’s goal-oriented and helps us invest in our success as a team. It’s common enough for all companies to agree on its importance, but Hyperscience goes one step further in emphasizing its impact by making it a company value. 

Mac or PC?

Mac. 

Coffee or tea?

Tea.

Favorite programming language?

Java.

Yan is an Engineering Manager and part of our NYC team. Connect with Yan on LinkedIn

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