Prior to founding Sondist, I spent nine years working at Shopify - Canada's most valuable company in 2020. I started off as the first employee on the Support team. My ability to think calmly and creatively in the face of chaos coupled with laser-like decisiveness allowed me to grow my team internationally to 400+ employees in under four years.
I have a wealth of hands-on experience with hiring, developing and retaining great managers. How to manage with demanding executives and build high performance teams. I’ve earned battle scars through a few mutinies, poor hiring decisions, rigid compensation structures and everything that can go wrong when you have to make a decision in a room rife with opinions (or dead silence).
Growing up, I never felt like I fit in anywhere. My parents escaped Vietnam before I was born and struggled to assimilate with Canadian culture. I still remember the looks and whispered rumours whenever I opened my “stinky” lunch at school. Being from an immigrant family, it is common to be compared to others and told you missed the mark. I quickly learned the lesson of internal validation, and the title of black sheep, as a way to give the world a middle finger and prove that I was unique and worthy. From my earliest experiences I have pushed the boundaries and dreamed big.
In my twenties I got knocked up and, to preserve the family honor, hid my pregnancy. As an outlet I captured and wrote my story in a blog. This blog landed me a job at Shopify. With the energy you can only possess in your 20s, I juggled all the above while completing my Bachelors in Business.
While riding high on my career I gave birth to a medically fragile baby. I stepped away from my lucrative career and took on the caregiver role for my daughter. I faced a whole new set of challenges that I’d never imagined - hospitalization, isolation, anxiety, depression and PTSD. Through this experience, I have gained a deeper understanding and empathy for those struggling with mental wellness and just doing the best they can.