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Hae-Yang Chang – Product Designer

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You may have recently seen that we’re now a fully remote company. This decision was partly due to our explosive growth in recent months, which caused us to seek talent beyond the Tampa city limits. Hae-Yang was among the first we found. 

Allow us to introduce Hae-Yang Chang, one of our incredible Product Designers, and one of the newest additions to the Knack Pack. 

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Cape Coral, Florida. My parents are from Malaysia. I was the first in my family to be born in the United States.

Where did you go to college and what did you get your degree in?  

I went to the University of Florida. I graduated with a B.A. in Digital Arts and Sciences with minors in Communications Studies and Leadership.

What was your favorite class in college?

Production Studio 2. It was a class that taught us videography. It wasn’t my favorite because of the subject matter (although I really enjoyed it), but because of the relationships I made in that class. We had to team up in groups for each project, so I met some fantastic people and learned how to work with others. For our final project, I had an unforgettable experience — one full of delirious, sleepless nights, impossibly hard shots, and hilarious team bonding. I’m still great friends with the people from that group.

How did you end up working with Knack?

Right after graduation, I worked with one of our developers, Tony, at a fin-tech startup called Grifin. After he left, he interned for Knack and told me about the great experience he had. He set me up on a call with Dennis (one of Knack’s co-founders) and we had a fantastic conversation. I remember how much he cared about his work and the betterment of humanity — I could tell this was someone who was in it for all the right reasons. He also asked me about my goals not only as a professional, but as a person. That conversation left a very good impression on me.

Years later, I got laid off from my job due to COVID. At the most difficult time of my job search, Tony texted me saying that Knack was looking for a Product Designer. Remembering that initial conversation, I acted immediately and reconnected with Dennis. I soon after started the interview process, and the rest is history. 

What’s one skill you use often that you weren’t necessarily taught in school? 

Organization! Organization is one of my greatest assets. Organizing my thoughts, knowledge, physical belongings, and digital life enables me to understand myself better, maintain a clear mind, and work more productively. I love making systems out of everything in my life, like automating my finances or optimizing my productivity. They’re fun like puzzles, but they hugely benefit your life.

What’s something you wish you had learned in college but didn’t?

I wished I had learned Product Design. I’m absolutely infatuated with product design now, but I didn’t discover it until after college. For me, it’s the perfect intersection of art and science, both of which always fascinated me. I love bringing objectivity and empiricism into my creative work, and I’m really excited that I now get to work in a way that feels natural and energizing to me.

Do you have any advice for current college students? 

Prioritize your relationships. Meet new people and keep up with old friends. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. Don’t work too hard at the expense of your relationships — life is long and you’ll have plenty of professional opportunities, so don’t worry! College is the only time in your life when you’re surrounded by this many young, like-minded individuals. Enjoy it.