Junhong Liao
Junhong Liao

Hello, and welcome to my personal website! My name is Jun, and I’m currently a third year undergraduate at Columbia where I study computer science.

When my mom and I immigrated here to the states, we barely spoke English. Over time, my mom worked part time and was able to save enough to buy me a set of CDs with english lessons.

Every evening after my mom got back from work, we’d sit in the living room of our one bedroom apartment and go through English lessons together. We didn't walk out of the experience with perfect English, but it was a pivotal foothold in this country for my mom and I, and I don’t think we’d be where we are today without the transformative impact that those CDs had on our lives.

So at the age of four, I learned that even in its most humble forms, technology had the potential to bridge vast divides and change lives.

When I enrolled at university, I brought that passion for technology with me, and I chose to study computer science. During my time at Columbia, I’ve managed a mentorship program of over 50 students and helped double the size of our alumni community in the tech industry to over a thousand active members by way of leading a monthly newsletter to hundreds of readers.

My career didn't start in tech. It began in the fast-paced sector of Investment Banking at JPMorgan, and continued with a summer in the rigorous world of Private Equity at TPG. In these roles, I honed my skills in strategic thinking and teamwork, working with a spectrum of clients with a diverse and dynamic sets of needs. Yet, throughout these rewarding experiences, there was an underlying, persistent draw – towards technology, a field that resonated more deeply with my personal values and early experiences.

My initial experiences fueled a lasting passion for technology as a means to genuinely improve people's lives and create positive change in the world, just like my family's English CDs.

This desire to build led me to a HRTech company called UKG, where I worked across the stack to deliver developer tools to 40+ engineering teams. I got the opportunity to work closely with product managers and my engineering manager, and got the chance to own and lead two of my own projects.

As soon as my internship ended, I got to building. I recently published my first chrome extension to the web store, focused on bringing accessibility to the web reading experience for people with ADHD, as someone who’s battled ADHD my whole life.

When I think back on these experiences and I try to connect the dots, I’ve realized several things I’d like my career to center around.

I’d like my career to be focused on cutting through ambiguity and noise, and identifying the signals that really matter.

I’d like my career to be focused on being a great leader, no matter what my title says.

Above all else, I’d like my career to be centered around building products that solve real and meaningful problems for people.