Linian Yen, Women in AI Taiwan Ambassador says:
”Julia has been invaluable to our team since day one when we started WAI Taiwan. She is a trustworthy team member that you know you can rely on to complete her missions. Her passion to grow our community and her ideas for the events are highly appreciated. She also helped us design the template for our Instagram posts. She took the initiative to host our ever-first AI coding program for senior high school students. It was a bumpy journey but we made it, all thanks to her resilience and fantastic organizational capabilities.”
Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a Product Manager with 3+ years of experience in building software products, currently working at Rakuten. I used to work in the FinTech and e-commerce industries, where I came across AI, this new technology.
My background is not technical. I have studied Foreign Language and Literature at National Tsing Hua University, and majored in Communication Studies at National Chiao Tung University in Hsinchu, Taiwan.
Q: What motivated you to take an active part in WAI?
Before I joined WAI, I had been involved in a mentorship program organized by a women tech volunteer organization. I was inspired by the vision to increase women tech capabilities, and I believe taking part in volunteering service would be a great way to increase women’s participation in technology. WAI and I share the same vision, so I decided to join.
Apart from technology, AI is also a field where women are not as involved.
Q: What did you do when volunteering for WAI?
At the beginning, I was responsible for creating social contents on Instagram and Facebook. As we launched the first events in Taiwan, I also helped out with some events on site. Until this year when I took the initiative to plan a coding workshop and a speech session for high school students by myself.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your volunteer role?
I think that would be delivering impact to our audiences, whether it’s people that read and like our social posts, or people that attend our events, or students who participate in our introductory coding workshop. We, as a team, create value by reaching out to them, and by motivating them to come to our events that gives them access to tech information and knowledge.
Q: What have you found challenging when volunteering?
The coding workshop planning was very challenging. At first, we decided to co-host this event with a school partner. We planned to develop a friendly partnership with high schools, so we could easily recruit participants from the school and the school can help us organize the event. We even planned to tailor our workshop design to these targeted students.
Earlier this year, I called a number of schools for potential partnership; a month passed, then I realized why it didn’t work. Therefore, we made a pivot and decided to recruit students directly by publishing on social media and requesting followers to share to their network. It was great that we recruited over 40 senior high students to sign up for this workshop! Also, I was lucky to meet a data engineer, who was willing to teach a lecture in this workshop, and she was my hero.
However, 2-3 weeks before our AI coding workshop, Taiwan entered a lockdown. We had postponed our workshop twice until we decided to host it online and divide the workshop into 2 subgroups.
Q: Would you have any advice for anybody looking to volunteer?
Although it has sometimes been challenging, volunteering is a self-motivating way to help both yourself and other people to become stronger.
I have become more confident hosting events myself and it helps me in my professional career too.
We’d like to sincerely thank Julia for her initiatives and her great work!
If Julia's story inspired you and you’d like to volunteer too, you can easily apply here: