Shufeng Ren (PhD ’16, Electrical Engineering)

What is your current profession/job? What did you study at Yale? When did you graduate?

I am working in the Strategy department at Tencent in China, focusing on AI, & Cloud businesses. I studied Electrical Engineering, doing CMOS technology research while in my PhD program at Yale. I graduated in 2016.

What do you like most about your current role? What do you find most challenging and/ or rewarding?

What I like most is that I have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of technology development and commercialization processes. It gives me a broader perspective on the technological world. Also my roles and functions are quite diverse, ranging from project management, market research to strategic investment. What I find most challenging is that I have to adapt myself into the business world, which is much different from doing research in a lab setting. The most rewarding thing is that I can actually help higher management to decide where our tech roadmap should go and what we should do.

How did your time at Yale shape your career trajectory?

1. My Yale PhD program gave me great training in critical thinking and reasoning, which is very helpful in my current role.
2. Working with a group of people with diversified technical backgrounds at Yale helped me better grasp many trends of the tech world, which is my distinct advantage compared to my colleagues.
3. I am more grateful of what I learned at Yale, which is always keeping an open mind and be curious to learn from others.

Did you acquire any professional experience related to your line of work while in graduate school (either through part-time work, volunteering, networking, or other forms of training)?

Yes. Through internships and experience sharing from senior students.

What advice would you offer international PhDs who are interested in your line of work?

Before deciding to choose a career, you have to listen to yourself and follow your genuine passion. If you want to pursue a more business-oriented career, it is better to start following the business developments in that field and analyze them. This will help in your job interviews and networking pursuits.