Student Spotlight: Kevin Wang
In his four years at the University of Michigan College of Engineering, Kevin Wang has cultivated his passion for tech innovation. This passion can be seen both through his academic achievement, extracurricular endeavors, and professional success. It was this passion for entrepreneurship that drew him to IPE’s study abroad program in Portugal.
Kevin, having already secured an internship for the summer of 2019, was looking for a shorter study abroad experience he could fit into his summer and the Portugal EIA program fit the bill.
“I have always held a passion for entrepreneurship, and I can’t imagine a better study abroad for any budding entrepreneur than the EIA program,” he said. “The opportunity to directly work with successful entrepreneurs and build a startup from the ground up was an experience that I couldn’t turn down.”
During his study abroad experience Kevin jumped at the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the world and to learn about different cultures. Spending time with students from across the globe created endless opportunities for him to expose himself to new ideas, experiences, and cultures.
Kevin looks back on his experience in the study abroad program in Portugal as one of the best experiences of his college career where he was able to dive into his passion for entrepreneurship, create lasting friendships with other students from around the globe, and explore Portugal during his free time.
“In my specific experience, there is nothing I would recommend doing more during your time at U-M than studying abroad,” he said.
Back in Ann Arbor, Kevin is working toward his degree in computer engineering, he has earned the entrepreneurship minor, and currently leads the student organization, MPowered Entrepreneurship.
“I discovered entrepreneurship through MPowered,” Kevin said. “I was walking through the Diag during Festifall, and saw people wearing MPowered T-shirts, a common sight on campus.”
MPowered is Michigan’s oldest and largest entrepreneurship organization, and proudly hosts several extremely successful events each year: Makeathon, Start-Up Career Fair, and 1,000 Pitches. After joining the club in September 2018, Kevin has sought greater responsibilities within the organization. This led him from general member to COO, and most recently, to co-President.
As president, Kevin oversees the execution of these events, defines organizational strategy, and sustainably scales club membership numbers. His favorite part of MPowered is the people he leads and collaborates with.
“Everyone in MPowered is so knowledgeable about entrepreneurship and ready to share it,” he said.
To serve as president of MPowered is a unique opportunity to lead others with both empathy and strategic incision. These valuable skills translate to other spheres of his life, and especially are a boon for his role as a Center for Entrepreneurship Instructional Assistant (IA).
“It is an amazing experience, and is a great way to dive into entrepreneurship,” he said.
Kevin currently is the IA for the popular course ENTR 407: Entrepreneurship Hour, commonly referred to as “E-Hour.” He took the course and its optional discussion section in Fall 2018, and now supports the learning of each student now taking the course.
“I’ve taken several entrepreneurship courses, my favorite by far being ENTR 407: Entrepreneurship Hour,” he said.
E-Hour is a 1 credit TED-Talk style course, where each week an influential entrepreneur, venture capitalist, or business leader shares their story. Each speaker is a University of Michigan alum, providing students with the unique opportunity to leverage one of the world’s largest, and most powerful alumni networks.
Kevin’s favorite speaker is Tess Hatch, a venture capital partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. Tess’ venture portfolio has a heavy emphasis on aerospace innovation, and applications of technology beyond the stratosphere.
“One speaker I absolutely loved was Tess Hatch, she’s a venture capital partner at Bessemer, and specializes in the space sector. She’s everything I aspire to be,” he said.
Like Tess, Kevin also has fostered a deep-rooted interest at the intersection of outer space and democratizing the final frontier through technological development. This passion has steered his college experience, and guided him to two prestigious internships at SpaceX and Amazon in 2021.
“I was a Software Engineering and electro-magnetic interference avionics intern for SpaceX at the headquarters in Los Angeles,” Kevin said. “It’s a tight knit community of extremely talented individuals.”
After the conclusion of his winter internship at SpaceX, and his junior year of college, Kevin spent his summer working remotely for Amazon. He was a software development engineering intern on the search engine technologies team.
“It was amazing,” he said. “My team was truly the highlight of my Amazon experience.”
He neatly summarizes his 2021 internship experiences by describing them as, “great experiences with very cool technology.”
After his graduation in 2022, Kevin plans to pursue a career in software engineering. At the moment, he is exploring multitudes of opportunities within various sectors to broaden his horizons before one day launching his own venture.