My name is Kai, and I’m a Global Nomad - born in Taiwan to Taiwanese parents, grew up in Japan, went to a Catholic international school with students from all over the world, and now attending Santa Clara University in the United States.
My life never really started until I made the single biggest decision that has turned my life upside down - dropping out of high school. I was suffering from anxiety and depression, and I had no motivation or sense of purpose in my life. After leaving school, I tried all kinds of jobs and hobbies that interested me.
Dropping out of school marked the beginning of the most challenging, yet rewarding chapter of my life. I was exposed to all kinds of challenges that I had not been exposed to yet: learning to speak Japanese in a professional manner, cold calling hundreds of businesses in a day, and selling all kinds of things from phones, clothes, to real estates. Among all of the challenges, the biggest one was going to job interviews and trying to convince people to give me a job, while they stared at my resume - which only had one line under "Education." On the job, I desperately learned and devoted myself to becoming at least 1% better everyday. Being a drop-out meant that I had to improve faster and perform better than anyone else. I learned how to cold-call and make appointments; how to sell things and retain customers; how to design the layout of a store to optimize customer experience and sales; how to take beautiful photographs; how to allocate time and people to different tasks efficiently, and the importance of communication beyond verbal. To me, being out of school was like going to a different school - one where I could study whatever subjects that I wanted, when I wanted, and be rewarded for it. I became intrigued by human behavior, the decision-making process, and how that is influenced by things like interaction, experience, design, color scheme, and atmosphere. By dropping out of school, I fell in love with learning. The more I learned, the more curious I became.
Around this time, I picked up photography as a hobby - which has now turned into one of my passions. I like photography because every artwork that I create begins with a vision in my head, and is brought to life by hardware and software. The thing about photography that has continued to intrigue me is that every artwork, at it's core, is just a statement or a perspective. Through my artwork, I am simply showing the audience a new way to look at things.
Through dropping out of school, I fell in love with learning, was exposed to new challenges, gained confidence and resilience, found passion in photography, became intrigued by the relationship between perception and experience, and technology and design. I still wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life, but I was finally able to narrow down my focus: the intersection between technology and design, and how that shapes human experience and perception.
In pursuit of depth and breadth of knowledge, I got my GED, traveled across the Ocean, and moved to San Francisco Bay Area to attend a community college. I am now a Senior at Santa Clara University, majoring in MIS, and studying Data Analytics and UX Design on my own.
Whether in business or photography, I see things not as they are, but as what they could be - because the way we choose to see the world creates the world we see.