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Alum Profile: Vicki

Vicki Chang
Plan II & Chemistry Honors
Class of 2010
Product Manager at Facebook

Hi there, I’m Vicki Chang. I’m currently a Product Manager on the New Product Experimentation team at Facebook. I lead a team that's working on a standalone product called As a Product Manager, I lead product teams of software engineers, designers, UX researchers, and people across many other different disciplines. My goal is to figure out what products we can build to connect and empower billions of people around the world in meaningful ways and then I work with teams to get them built. I’ve worked at Facebook since 2013, and in that time, I’ve had the opportunity to dabble across multiple teams and roles. Prior to being on the New Product Experimentation team, I was on the Novi/blockchain team at Facebook, where I was one of the earlier members involved in thinking through what a new blockchain and financial services product could be. During my time as a Technical Program Manager at Instagram, I worked on two areas: one large project involved partnering with legal, policy, product, and engineering to lead Instagram’s compliance with the EU’s GDPR, and another group of projects involved working across multiple product and engineering teams to build various organic and ads features for products like Shopping and Ads Promotions for businesses on Instagram. I was also a Technical Program Manager on the Facebook News Feed team where I created quality and relevance programs to improve the ranking of stories in people’s news feeds. My first role at Facebook was in operations, working with the mobile news feed engineering teams to understand how we could improve the user experience on different platforms. 

I graduated in 2010 after four years at UT with my BA in Plan II Honors and my BS in Chemistry with Honors, graduating as a Dean’s Honored Graduate in the College of Natural Sciences with an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. I gravitated toward the idea of becoming a chemistry professor after having done so much research as an undergraduate. So after UT, I started a PhD program in organic chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute. Despite my love for science, I realized that working on my PhD wasn’t making me happy nor was the discipline breeding confidence in the likelihood that I’d eventually get tenure as a professor, so I left with my Masters. I subsequently lived abroad in Taipei, Taiwan for five months studying Mandarin before moving to the Bay Area, where both my husband and I eventually started working at Facebook. 

My career has taken me through a variety of disciplines and responsibilities, each change stimulated by a different opportunity to learn something new and challenging - which really is just the post-graduate continuation of Plan II in the real world. Plan II introduced me to classmates-turned-lifelong-friends and professors-turned-life-advice-givers, many of whom I still keep in touch with more than a decade after starting the program. Dr. Woods’ freshman World Lit class sharpened my writing and critical reading skills in a way that I am still grateful for to this day; Professor Walker’s freshman TC Community and Place (before it evolved into the current day Civic Viewpoints course) exposed me to dimensions of entrepreneurship and society that I hadn’t noticed before; and Dr. Galinsky’s study abroad program in Rome not only reshaped how I look at other cultures and their history but also continues to spark thoughts in my mind every new place that I visit. I call myself a ‘Jill of all trades, master of none’ because I’m always thirsting after a new reservoir of knowledge once I’ve mastered my current space. My time in the Plan II program definitely catalyzed this approach to learning across multiple disciplines and always making more room in my brain for another topic, another perspective.

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