Meet #bartaileboss Yingsi Zhang, a product marketing manager who works in tech.
1.) Basic, simple question: who are you and what do you do?
I'm Yingsi, and I'm a Product Marketing Manager at a tech company.
2.) Where is your favorite place to work?
I find that where I spend my time makes a big difference on how I spend my time. Bright, open, warmly decorated spaces help me focus and even boost my mood. My old apartment had this lovely corner sunroom with oversized Victorian-style windows facing the Mission. You can find me there with my Macbook, Tartine pastries, and Jason Mraz playlist on repeat most Sunday mornings.
3.) How do you bounce back from a tough day at work?
I’ve had different types of “tough days” between working in NYC and now, Bay Area. On some days, I could feel myself becoming jaded and doubting the choices I’ve made, replaying every word and interaction in my head over and over again.
But I learned that it’s not really about bouncing back after a tough day—it’s about loving yourself and being your own cheerleader, on both the good and bad days. I love interior design, and when I wrapped up a big project milestone or delivered a kick-ass group presentation, I treat myself with a small piece of decor. Our brains register bad emotions more easily than good ones, so I make it a point to celebrate small victories and keep a library of positive affirmation for those rainy days.
4.) What led you to your current career path?
My career path is a series of deviations that came together better than I could have planned for.
All my life, I’ve always chosen the safe route. I ordered the same sesame chicken dish at the Chinese restaurant across the street for 3 years. I took the same E train to work everyday. I even had the same bob haircut since sophomore year of college. But in the summer of 2015, I got into an accident that changed my life. When I had nothing else to lose, I started to be brave.
I put my Upper Eastside apartment on Craigslist and moved into my childhood home where I had to share a bedroom with my mom. I took on a part-time role at IDEO as an entry-level coordinator. That same year, I got promoted and my project was featured on publications like Fast Co. and Forbes. I was raised to think that there’s one linear path to life, but you get to see so much more when you aren’t afraid to make your own adventure.
5.) How do you remain motivated, inspired?
Having a sense of curiosity. As kids, we were once so excited about just everything. The older we get, the more we lose touch with our curiosity, but it’s something so profoundly important. I’m fortunate to be in a space where innovation happens in every corner, but curiosity isn’t just about building the next prototype. Curiosity is having empathy to listen to others, to recognize that there can be more than one answer, and to know that there’s always more out there that we don’t know than what we do know.