Growing up in a family of engineers, I spent evenings observing my mom turning hundreds of designs into lines of code to build oil refineries in Iran. She inspired me to use code to solve problems, which I combined with my passion for behavioral economics to engineer exotic derivative products for insurance companies at Deutsche Bank. However, after three years, I realized that without a human-centered approach, the end-user might not perceive a practical product as what they want.
Since then, I have been building solutions that bridge the gap between desirability, usability, and viability at Activision Blizzard, JD AI Innovation Lab, and Penn. I enjoy leading interdisciplinary teams to create products that make day-to-day tasks more enjoyable for everyone. You’ll find that my projects cover a wide range of topics: from wooden ice cream scoop to shower chair to tissue engineering. Along this journey, I have led my teams to win the Gensler Design Challenge (2018), the Y Prize New Venture Challenge (2019), and the Tangen Hall Furniture Competition (2020).
I’m most passionate about how nascent technologies can enhance the way we interact with the world. To equip myself with the cutting-edge tools in programming, I’ve been taking computer science classes at PennEngineering. For example, I used Natural Language Processing (NLP) to code a predictive typing machine, the Empathy Writer, so that people can communicate in a way that resonates with their audience.
At Penn, I'm active in the tech and design community, serving as a co-president for the Wharton Innovation & Design Club. I have led over 100 MBA students to explore careers in tech, startup, and design in New York and San Francisco, attracting sponsorships from companies including Google, Uber, IDEO, Electronic Arts, PayPal, Gensler, WeWork, to name a few.
I care about economic empowerment and aspire to shorten the distance between good intentions and reality. This is especially challenging for the local businesses, who struggle to show their impact beyond their communities. To try and solve this, I volunteered at Work for Good in London, a social enterprise that empowers local businesses to give to the causes they care about in an easy and visible way. This spring, I'm also designing products and services for InSupply, a social enterprise in Tanzania, so that local doctors and nurses can have better access to the tools and medicines their patients need.
"See the world as it is, and how you want it to be." The pure joy of building something from scratch motivated me to start learning about design thinking after three years in banking, and pushed me to make the career switch to tech product management. During the special time of COVID-19, more and more people need to buy safely and quickly. That's why I'm working with my team right now to launch the Amazon marketplace to the world. By the end of 2020, over 5 million new customers in Europe and the Middle East will gain access to over 30 million products online.
In my spare time, I enjoy playing rock music, singing a cappella, making breakfast with yogurt, and catching Pokémon around the world. I can also knit scarfs with eyes closed and assemble a mountain bike in an hour.