Q&A with Shihua Wu,
Silicon Valley Bank
Once a month, Steppingstone Alumni/ Board Members will share insights on their career journey and provide career tips and guidance for Steppingstone Scholars. For this month, Scholars will get a chance to learn more about Shihua's career journey in the field of investment and finance!
Q: Tell us about yourself! Where are you from? What were your post-graduate high school plans? What year did you commence from Steppingstone (if you remember)?
My pronouns are he/him. I was born in Guangdong, China but immigrated to Boston, MA
when I was two. I grew up in affordable housing in Charlestown. With the help of
Steppingstone (‘10), I was able to attend BLA for high school. After high school, I went to
Boston College where I majored in marketing and finance. After college, I spent a couple of months at an investment firm before joining Silicon Valley Bank, where I’ve been for almost two years now. In my current role, I work with startups to maximize their probability of success, and I help them with their banking needs.
Q: What has the journey to your current role been like for you?
I’ve always had a passion for startups. I was a founder at one point and have also done
multiple stints at various startups. Knowing that I always wanted to work with startups
helped guide my journey to being in my current role.
Q: If your plans after graduating high school involved pursuing a college degree, how did your experience or studies while in school prepare you for the roles you have been in and/or are currently in?
My experience at a school like Boston College is what mainly prepared me for post-grad.
Boston College was where I experienced predominantly-white settings for the first time.
Being able to navigate those types of settings prepared me with the perspective and
skills to be in my role today.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your current position?
I get to meet new people every day who have the goal of creating something for a better
Q: What tips might you have for Scholars hoping to pursue a similar career path that you’ve taken?
Read a lot and be intellectually curious.
Q: What tips might you have for Scholars looking to strengthen their resume-building or interview skills?
Utilize Steppingstone and resources at school.
Q: Networking can be hard…how do you recommend Scholars connect with others in the fields they’re interested in and strengthen their relationship-building skills?
Meet with a new professional every week. Practice makes perfect.
Q: What are some questions to ask of your future employers?
What don’t you like about your role?
Q: What advice would you give to Scholars hoping to strengthen their negotiation skills?
Learn to be comfortable with silence. Learn to ask for more. You don’t ask, you don’t get. The worst thing is they say no. Leverage other offers to strengthen your position in negotiating.
If you want to connect with Shihua to learn more about his experiences or for more advice, feel free to reach out to Thai Luong at [email protected].