The year passed by in a blur (just like the quality of this photo but I love it anyways). I remember back at the start of 2020, my friends and I crowded around in a tiny dorm room, sipping on wine and thinking about the future of sophomore year and wondering what exactly was going to happen. I had a rough fall internship recruiting period, some of the strongest anxiety I’ve ever had, and general self-doubt.

My friends and I ended up reviewing some of the goals I set for 2020, which are listed below:


Image from undraw

I think being honest and vulnerable is a hard thing to do. It’s hard to be introspective, to realize that at the end of the day, we are all humans making our way in this world. I guess I was feeling sentimental and a bit emotional, but in honor of National Coming Out Day, here’s an essay I wrote for a queer scholarship I applied to. Although I didn’t end up qualifying, it meant a lot for me to process these emotions and get them down. I hope it helps someone out there.

I flopped on my bed at 5pm…


Understanding the history of distribution and how new technology is going to change it.

Image provided by UnDraw

The travel, tourism, and hospitality industry has been extremely hard to define. With the growth of giants such as Airbnb and Expedia, which allow a one-stop shop for all your travel needs, it has become increasingly easier for individuals themselves to book their own trips, rather than using traditional methods. In 2019, travel and tourism alone contributed approximately 2.9 trillion dollars to GDP in the U.S. Additionally, the U.S. leads the world in international travel and tourism exports and ranks third in terms of total visitation. However, the current industry leaders for the technical side of distribution aren’t adapting to…


Moving from finance to tech, making a lateral switch to PM, getting into HBS 2+2, and turning hobbies into products

Members of the Remote Students Community had the opportunity to meet Kristina Hu this week and ask her questions about her experience as a PM at Uber, transitions from banking to tech, and her journey to business school. Apply here to join our invite-only community and meet our amazing lineup of guest speakers!

Kristina Hu is a Product Manager at Uber working on Uber Pro, Uber’s global driver loyalty program offering rewards such as cash back on gas and free university tuition to 4 million drivers in 58 countries around the world. Before becoming a PM, Kristina worked in Uber’s…


A couple weeks ago, I had the fantastic opportunity to attend IDEO CoLab’s Makeathon, a full day of furious thinking, prototyping, and conceptualizing. Not only was it an amazing experience for someone who has had little to no design experience, but I also had the opportunity to meet some extremely talented and creative people. If you’re ever in Boston or near the Boston area, I highly recommend checking them out. They’re super cool, work on amazing projects, and are constantly at the forefront of innovation. The thing was, after their entire case brief and the steps they made us go…


Because sometimes it takes moving across the U.S. to reevaluate yourself and your relationships with others.

Everyone says that college is a time of fun, exploration, and self-improvement. It makes sense. It’s the first time that many of us go out into the world, sometimes on the other side of the country (or globe) without our family, without our friends, and without the home that we grew up in. It’s a weird transition for sure, but today I want to focus on one aspect of my life that’s changed dynamically: friendship and its inherent value.


A bunch of kiddos on a nice Providence Day

A couple of weeks ago, I wrapped up my first year of college. It was a whirlwind of an adventure and went by waayyy too quickly, but I’m super glad it happened. Freshman year, to say the least, was a lot. I learned that 9am classes are way harder to get up for than I initially thought (and 8:30am classes are actually the worst). I learned that motivating yourself to do work can also be really difficult, even if you have two midterms that week (woops…welcome to Procrastination Station). But most importantly, I learned that the people you meet and…

Ivan Zhao

engineer | designer | baker | dog-lover | http://ivanzhao.me

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