실리콘 벨리 스타트업 기업 유망 투자사 500의 중역 애린임

My name is Aerin Lim and I lead Investor Relations at 500 Startups, an early stage venture capital firm and an accelerator based in Silicon Valley.

1. 간단한 본인소개 (Self introduction)

I was born in Korea and studied at Kyungki Science high school and moved to Canada when I was 17. I then went to Brown University in the east coast, worked in New York and now live in California. I joke that I have a location ADD as I have never lived in one place more than 5 years in my life. The longest - and also my favorite - city I have lived is New York City.

2. 어린시절의 꿈, 기억나는 추억 (Any memorable episodes when you were young)

Growing up, I thought the coolest job was chemist: You get to experiment in the lab endlessly and come up with theories to explain what happens in nature. While I was a pretty good student in general, I had received good amount of attention particularly because I was one of the few girls who excelled in Science. This attention in return even further fueled my interest in the subject. Plus, when I was in middle school, this Korean Drama called "KAIST" got very popular; "KAIST" was about students at KAIST, the MIT of Korea. This show mesmerized me, resulting in convincing my not-very-supportive parents so I could go to a science high school.

3. 지금 직업을 갖게된 계기, 주요 멘토나 에피소드. (The motives/mentors/episodes to get the career)

I have been very lucky in my career. In 2011, I was working at an investment bank in New York and wanted to explore something different. Not knowing exactly what I wanted, I started traveling and my first designation was San Francisco. When I landed SFO in early 2012, I got an email from a friend that this online video technology startup, Ooyala, was looking for a Korean-English bilingual speaker. I reached out to Ooyala and met with them the following day. Next thing I know, I got hired and worked for them until it got acquired in 2014. If it were't my manager at Ooyala, Chris Wong, who believed in me -- someone with little technology background but willing to follow passion, learn quickly and work hard -- and gave me the chance, I wouldn't have been here today.

4. 현재 직업의 힘든점과 좋은점 (How do you like your job?)

I love my job at 500 Startups because of the amazing people I work with and because I strongly believe in the innovation we are leading. We move fast and what we do may seem unconventional. While I enjoy this very aspect of what we do, it can be challenging at times to convince others on our strategies.

5. 인생에 중요한 점은? (What are important things for your life?)

I firmly believe in being true to who you are. I have lived in multiple cultures, worked across multiple industries and dealt with people from various backgrounds. In this ever-changing environment, it is important to continue to adapt. Yet, in doing so, you can't lose yourself. So I try to anchor myself by reminding myself of who I am and what truly matters to me.

6. 인생에서 가장 행복했던 순간:?, 인생에서 가장 힘들었던 순간? 어떻게 극복 했는지? (Most unforgettable happiest moments in your life?, Any obstacles? How did you overcome?)

I think this is the happiest moment in my life . I have a great job that is always challenging and fun. The hardest time in my life was probably the last year I was in finance. There was complete lack of trust in the team and a lot of personality clash in the one of the worst trough in the market. I tried to overcome it by becoming who I am not in order to accommodate the team's request but at the end of the day, I ended up quitting the job. In retrospect that was probably one of the best decisions I made. I hate to be a quitter but sometimes there is no other way around.

7. 여가시간에 하는 취미는? 스트레스 푸는 본인만의 방법은? (Your hobbies when you have time? Your own methods to get rid of any stress?)

I find anything outdoor helpful when I am stressed. There's something about being in touch with nature and sweating out.

8. 앞으로의 꿈은? 그 꿈을 위해 어떻게 노력하고 있는지? (What is your dream, and how you put efforts on it?)

I want to grow into a COO role at a fund, hopefully at my current company in the next few years. To me, a COO is effectively a Team Mom - taking care of the organization, helping each department successful, and solving problems that nobody wants to own. Since I am still new to my current role, my immediate goal is to master what I do and continue to push forward for us to become better.

9. 같은 직업을 꿈꾸는 학생들에게 조언 그리고 독자에게 전하고 싶은 말(Any advises for young generations who wants to have a same career like you, any comments to the readers?)

First, any job you have, do your best and do not hold back. How small and tedious a job seems, you will learn from the experience (at least you will develop a great work ethic!) and will understand what the junior folks go through once you reach the position to manage them.
Second, never stop learning. Try new things in life, don't be afraid of failing. I'd rather say "what an adventurous life" than "I arrived safely" at my death bed. You live once and it is yours; Have fun and own it.
Third, know who you are. Think about what ticks you and what matters to you. Lastly, always be kind.