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Michelle Wang

Palo Alto
Michelle Wang

Cultural anthropology prepared me well for investing

I was always interested in what makes people tick and how they connect. This fascination with people drove me to study my first degree in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. While I was there, I had my first exposure to business during an internship in the tech practice at Morgan Stanley. I loved the connection between people and ideas and the pace at which everything moved. There were parallels between this experience and my anthropology studies, and it made me realize how fast the world was moving – it felt exciting to be there at the time, studying this intersection of finance and tech. After that, I went on to take the more traditional route into finance with a BS degree in Economics from Wharton.

I love big city energy

I grew up living in a lot of places – Canada, Beijing, Dallas – and was surrounded by different people and perspectives. I loved the constant change and big city energy. Growing up in so many places taught me to adapt and stay resilient. There are parallels with investing: our job is to find companies that can adapt in a rapidly changing market but are also resilient enough to endure. This concept of being adaptive is something that really resonates with me. That constant dynamic between adapting to an ever-changing world while staying true to enduring principles is something that also applies to tech companies.

We get to change the world

We’re making a huge impact by helping to scale businesses that will change the world. Technology is the most democratizing force, and we’re in the front-row seat helping to drive this transformation. Personally, it’s a very exciting place to be, because I’ve always loved learning at pace, and here I get to learn every day. On the human side, you get to develop relationships with inspirational founders and management, and constantly exchange ideas with peers. I also love the deep analytical numbers side of the work. It’s just the perfect combination for me.

If you’re not going to change the world, who will?

When I was at my first job at Morgan Stanley, two people had a big impact – my boss and the founder of the business we were taking public. Both really believed in me and said to me in slightly different ways, ‘If you’re not going to change the world, who else will?