I spoke with Julian Chen in a wide ranging conversation about existing in the startup world and his very brief stint in the corporate world.
Julian is is a lead designer at Privé Technologies in Singapore and studied Interior Architecture and Design at the Temasek Polytechnic. His particular focus is on Web design and UI / UX. We talked a bit about how these seem like unrelated to his diploma course of study, but this was a conscious decision that Julian made while doing his National Service.
Even his entrance into National Service, which is mandatory for every Singaporean male, was an interesting one. Presuming enough of a gap to get some professional experience, Julian accepted a job as a junior interior designer, but was only there for a short period of time before receiving notice of his entrance into National Service.
That short stint was Julian’s only real exposure to non-Start Up life. Frankly, he finds working at a start up so much more refreshing, particularly after listening to others discuss what it is like to work at a full-on corporate job.
Even more interesting was how Julian got is first start up job. He explains that while most have had to go through the traditional application / interview process, he was quite lucky. His Officer in Command during his National Service introduced him to Qiuyan Tian and he began working for her first start up almost 10 years ago. He has continued to work with her through multiple ventures and acquisitions…he has truly been working in start ups his whole life.
We finished with a great conversation about Julian’s design philosophy, his own learnings around financial literacy and the challenges of working in a rapidly expanding FinTech company.