Asian American Career Ceiling Initiative: The Millennial Perspective

Peter Young

▦ Topic: “The Millennial Perspective” ▦ Speakers:• Matthew Choi, Vice President at Granite Point Mortgage Trust• John Lian, Research Fellow at Harvard University• Julie Sohn, MBA student at the University of Michigan ▦ Moderator: Peter Young, C100 Member and CEO of Young & Partners ▦ Time: 8pm to 9pm ET, July 7, 2020


This webinar is the sixth in a series of events convened by the Committee of 100 that examine the challenges facing Chinese Americans and other Asian Americans with regard to barriers to advancement in a wide variety of professions in the U.S. The goal of this initiative is to contribute to the already significant efforts of organizations and individuals who have been tackling this issue.

This fireside chat interview included three Asian Americans who are pursuing different careers as millennials. One works in real estate debt investment with Granite Point Mortgage Trust, a well-known firm. The second is a research fellow at Harvard University in the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. The third panelist just finished her first year of the MBA program at the University of Michigan – Ross School of Business, previously worked in data analytics for an insurance company, and is heading for a career in consulting.

The event started with the results of a survey of millennials that we are conducting. The panelists talked about what they see as the challenges for their generation from the experiences of their friends and colleagues, how much of the problems is internal (Asian family culture, etc.) versus external (institutional, societal, etc.), lessons that they and others have learned, and some stories from their own experiences.

The fireside chat was conducted by Peter Young, Committee of 100 member and Chair of the Committee of 100 Asian American Career Ceiling Initiative .The webinar was one hour long. The audience had the opportunity to ask questions during the last ten minutes of the webinar.


Matthew Choi

Matthew Choi is currently a Vice President at Granite Point Mortgage Trust, a Pine River Capital-managed company. In this role, Matthew specializes in sourcing, structuring, and executing real estate debt investments in all U.S. markets. Over Matthew’s career, he has closed over $5 billion in investments across the capital stack, including senior and subordinated mortgages, mezzanine loans and preferred equity, joint venture equity.

Matthew is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Real Estate Development program at Columbia University, where he has been teaching Capital & Partnership Structuring since 2017. Prior to Granite Point Mortgage Trust, Matthew held real estate private equity investment positions at Torchlight Investors, Cerberus Capital Management, and Bentall GreenOak (f/k/a GreenOak Real Estate). Matthew began his career in investment banking at Credit Suisse.

Matthew has a M.S in Real Estate Development from Columbia University, where he was a recipient of the Scholastic Performance Award for being the top graduate. He also has a B.A. in Business Economics from UCLA, where he graduated cum laude and with College Honors.

John Lian

John is a research fellow at Harvard University in the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology. A molecular biologist and biochemist by training, he has over a decade of experience in infectious disease research. John holds a BA in biology from Amherst College, and his PhD is in Biological & Biomedical Sciences from Harvard Medical School.

Outside of work, John has been a long-time volunteer and tutor in Boston Chinatown. He is an avid rower and cyclist, and a former junior national cycling champion. John is a past winner of the Harvard Asian American Alumni Alliance VOICES Story Slam contest, and he has been recognized by Film Your Issue and the United Nations Works Program for filmmaking focusing on public health interventions in developing nations.

Julie Sohn

Julie is currently an MBA candidate at the University of Michigan – Ross School of Business. Prior to MBA, Julie was a Data Science Project Manager at New York Life Insurance Company where she helped to operationalize advanced analytics projects. Previously, she was a Senior Project Manager at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty within its business transformation practice. Julie has also worked at Allianz’ global headquarters in Munich where she was a Diagnostic Consultant.

Julie holds a BA from Yale University and will be interning at EY-Parthenon this summer.

Moderator and Chair of the C100 Asian American Career Ceiling Initiative:

Peter Young
CEO and President of Young & Partners
Committee of 100 Member

Peter Young is CEO and President of Young & Partners, a boutique investment banking firm focused on the life science and chemical industries. He manages the firm and is actively involved in client transactions and financings. Under his leadership, Young & Partners has established and maintained its position as a highly regarded firm serving the corporate strategy, M&A, restructuring and financing needs of clients worldwide. He was previously head of industry groups at Salomon Brothers, Schroders and Lehman Brothers, a senior private equity executive with J.H. Whitney & Co. and a senior member of Bain & Co., the corporate strategy firm.

Mr. Young received a BA in Economics from Yale, an MS in Accounting from NYU, and MBA from Harvard Business School where he graduated as a Baker Scholar. He is a CPA and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. He serves on a number of boards of directors, both corporate and non-profit and is President and board member of Société de Chimie Industrielle, a leading life science and chemical industry non-profit organization.

This event was held on July 7, 2020 from 8pm to 9pm ET.

Check out our other Asian American Career Ceiling events here. 

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