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Jia-Yan Gu - WISE Young Women's Board 2015/16

Jia-Yan Gu

Executive Director in Technology at Goldman Sachs

Jia-Yan Gu is Executive Director at Goldman Sachs and leads a team of software engineers in the Technology division to build systems that optimise trading activities for best efficiency. Jia-Yan joined as a Technology Associate in 2013 after working at BT as a Senior Research Scientist where she used semantic web technology to develop business intelligence applications. Jia-Yan is a member of the WISE Young Women's Board and actively promotes opportunities for women in Technology.

Jia-Yan graduated from Cambridge University in 2008 with a master's degree in Electrical and Information Engineering. She was awarded a place on a prestigious international exchange programme at MIT where she joined CUER on the founding team that built UK's first road-legal solar electric car and raced 3000km across Australia in the World Solar Challenge 2009. She became an ambassador for One Young World after representing UK on world development issues at its annual global Summit in 2011. Jia-Yan won a WISE Award and an AWA Award in 2012 for technology leadership and contributions to social causes.

I am a creative developer of technology. I feel very lucky to have chosen a career as an engineer because I’ve had some incredible experiences from building solar cars and racing across the Australian Outback to now be building exciting software platforms to optimise trading activities in the fastpaced industry of investment banking.

My favourite part of the day is when I meet with people on the trading floor to design ways of solving interesting challenges by working together with other technologists, operations experts and mathematicians to combine our different skills as a team. It’s very satisfying to be able to automate a process or to make a system faster because this helps to make business more efficient and creates lots of new opportunities.

At school, I studied Art (design), Geography (environment & society), Maths (logic & problemsolving), and Science (everything in the universe) and because engineering connects all these things together, I went on study a master’s degree in engineering at Cambridge University and MIT where I really started to get stuck into building robots, designing bridges and entrepreneurship. My first job was as a researcher in the latest web technologies at BT (British Telecom) and this where I discovered apprenticeships as another great way to start a career in technology.

To me, being an engineer means endless possibilities to change the world. The word “engineering” stems from the Latin word ingenerare, which means “to create”. Engineers are ingenious, inventive, enterprising, imaginative and inspired. All the girls I’ve met during my time as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) ambassador are inquisitive and full of ideas. If any of this sounds like you, explore #PeopleLikeMe to learn about the huge range of roles in STEM that could be a perfect fit for you because there’s a rewarding career in STEM for everyone.

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