I love admitting people to UCLA who are WAY more intelligent than me–of course, that happens a lot–but when I read the application of Jeff Chang, MD, FEMBA 2012, I literally went to the Faculty Committee and said, “I’m not qualified to evaluate this guy! He successfully skipped high school, went straight to college, and then on to medical school. He’s a working radiologist who is ready for UCLA FEMBA, but he’ll still be the youngest guy in his class. Help!” (To be accurate, there were one or two younger classmates his year; Jeff was a ripe old 25 when he started FEMBA.)
Fortunately, our Faculty Committee had no qualms whatsoever. Jeff was admitted and flourished here. He set out to be one of the most active FEMBAs, ultimately joining ALL 17 professional clubs, plus Anderson Toastmasters when it was founded and unofficially the Anderson Investment Association when it spun of from IFA. Why?
“I joined all the professional clubs mainly to put together the FEMBA-friendly calendar, since that was the only reliable way to keep track of all the events going on & convince others to join clubs. I think the combo-calendar died after I left…maybe it was too laborious, but I know we increased participation.”
I love following Jeff post-FEMBA. Jeff is forever assisting admissions, speaking on panels and interviewing even now as an alum. I thought this would be a great inspirational story to share and Jeff happily provided the details.
Dylan: Thanks Jeff for replying and letting me blog about you. There’s so much, that I’m not sure how to weave it all together. Maybe we should go chronologically, to help people see what you’ve been up to the last 21 months since graduation.
Jeff: Great. Let me see how I can describe it.
Late 2012 – early 2013 (LA & travel) — Explored (trying to figure out what to do, and how the world works) … checked out ChefConf & AWS Summit in SF, the Clean Water & Smart Cities Global Congress in Dublin, SXSW & SXSWEdu in Austin, machine learning conference in Espoo, NEXT13 startup conference in Berlin, etc.
Fall 2013 (Edinburgh, Scotland) — Started pursuing an MSc in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Edinburgh (Learning from Data specialism), with some work in startup infrastructure.
(Weekend trips – Oslo, Glasgow) … Helped with the weekend launch of two new startups — Surfer mobile ad delivery lockscreen app (at Startup Weekend Oslo), and Cloudlet / ION 14 — a Docker / lightweight Linux container company for abstracting startup infrastructure (at Startup Weekend Glasgow).
(Edinburgh & London) … Also helped build Give in Kind, a nonprofit web app for the Edinburgh Cyrenians (one of the most innovative charitable foundations in the UK) — a just-in-time donations system. And an education infrastructure web app for South Sudan on behalf of UNICEF (Barclays hackathon in London — though we lost pretty badly … the winning team actually built the same app, but slightly better, and had an awesome presenter).
end of 2013 – early 2014 (SF) — Dropped out of U. Edinburgh to help launch a wearable tech startup (Mobius Labs) — a wristband that tracks your emotions from physiological signals … applied to incubators, built the prototype, moved to SF to get it all started.
Feb 2014 — after a stressful month, a couple “so-close” rejections from hardware incubators (“you were among the top three startups we rejected, so we wanted to give you a call”), and various team issues, we break up the Mobius team — two of us start doing research into different hardware & software ideas for startups.
Mar 2014 — I get recruited to be a co-founder at Doblet. We’re making a portable and smart battery charger that ensures your smartphone has access to charging, right when you most need it.
Dylan: Thanks Jeff. I can’t wait to hear what happens next with Doblet. We’ll have to do a follow up story.
Jeff: Sounds great. On another note, bought a 1-BR condo in SoMa this past month — it’s really nice, and awesome location. 🙂 Feel free to visit whenever you happen to be in the neighborhood!
Dylan: Will do!
Post Script: Jeff is one more great example of the amazing human beings who walk the hallways of UCLA. In addition to the bridge-building Jeff catalyzed with increased FEMBA involvement in ASA student clubs, there is also an MD/Healthcare footprint since he was here. I can’t for sure claim a causal relationship, but the current FEMBA student body has 8 MDs, 3 Dentists, an Optometrist and numerous nurses, administrators and health care consultants. We could start a FEMBA hospital!