As far as career cachet goes, Jiayi Ying earned her fair share, scoring hot jobs early on with both General Assembly and Undercurrent NYC, the now-defunct wunderkind strategy consultancy that took New York and the world by storm in the mid 2000s.
But when Undercurrent met that certain startup fate, Jiayi took a different path.
Actually, it was a track. A train track all the way from NYC to the west coast. Her friends call it her Eat, Pray, Love moment - but for her it was just life presenting an opportunity to go west (she'd always wanted to visit Portland).
I came to visit Jiayi (and Clifford) at Scholastic to talk about her role as International Product Manager. What unfolded instead was a beautiful and honest meditation on the pressure to start and advance our careers, the danger of identifying too fully with our professional selves, and the beauty of being and seeing what comes.
Press play to hear the whole conversation with Jiayi, including the rise and fall of Undercurrent NYC, grinding your way toward shared understanding, and all about "the head and the heart."