This feature is part of a series focused on amplifying the voices of alumni who are making an impact today and illuminating how the identities we bring to Yale transform both our community and the world.
What is your most enduring memory of your time at Yale?
Yale students have the great privilege of connecting with leaders in many fields, during a time when we are discovering our sense of purpose. I remember the Yale Daily News business board having Yorkside pizza with John Pepper’60, the Chairman of Procter and Gamble at the time. He shared his experience managing the Yale Daily News budget decades before I did. We reflected on the contrast between learning economic theory from preeminent professors in lectures with selling ads to a New Haven shop owner right down the street. Mr. Pepper also created P&G externships in Cincinnati and Guangzhou for a group of Yalies, which opened my eyes to the exciting impact of a business career.
How has your identity shaped your Yale experience?
As one of the only Asian girls in a Catholic elementary school in St. Louis, as an American girl in a British high school in Hong Kong, and as a Hong Kong teenager interning at a company in England, I learned the benefits of having a different perspective, how to quickly build rapport with others, and the joy of sharing my culture. The more I understood other people’s lived experiences, the easier it got to disprove stereotypes and work together.
At Yale, I broadened my horizons by taking classes on topics I knew little about: art history, agricultural economics, and Russian literature. I volunteered for the senior class council and worked as a master’s aide to meet people outside my Hong Kong Club, Chinese American Student Association (CASA), and YDN communities. I went to talks and listened to Carole King explain her songwriting process, Kofi Annan describe globalization and Katherine Graham joke about how teaching prepared her for her legendary role as a publisher. I appreciate how unique it was to work on a majority female YDN board in a traditionally male-dominated industry.
The incredible exposure I had at Yale supercharged my ability and confidence to build bridges and ladders in unfamiliar settings whether it was helping a foundation increase the efficiency of the fertilizer supply chain in East Africa, fundraising for a preschool renovation, or bootstrapping a startup.
What is your hope for the future of the Yale alumni community?
I hope Yale alums will see our four years on campus as a jumping-off point for a Yale education over a lifetime.
Through the YAA, fellow alums are developing programs that meet the needs of Yalies at different life stages. At YaleWomen, we realized that women who reached the executive suite in corporations (or the hallowed halls of Washington, etc.) didn’t need career mentorship. Instead, they seek companionship and help with overlooked responsibilities like financial planning, caring for aging parents, improving mental health, starting new businesses, and finding meaningful volunteer opportunities. We proudly partnered with Accelerate Yale, Yale Blue Green and Tsai City to create these programs.
As alumni, we can also learn from the next generation of Yalies. For example, Arden Yum ’25 contacted me through the Cross Campus platform for advice on management consulting careers. I hired Arden as an intern and learned as much from her as she did from the internship. She taught me about producing podcasts, social marketing, and Gen Z attitudes toward work which inspired us to co-write an Entrepreneur magazine article.
Over time, our lives tend to narrow based on our careers, family, and living circumstances. The resources available to Yale alums are a deep well of inspiration and opportunities to dream, learn, serve others, and create a positive impact in our communities.
What advice would you give to fellow or future Yalies?
Be curious, generous, and compassionate with yourself and others on this non-linear adventure that is life at and after Yale. And take Professor Laurie Santos’ life-changing course on The Science of Well-Being.
The CEO and founder of AriseDaily.io, Heidi Fung is passionate about bringing people together to drive outsized results. Drawing on her experience as a strategy advisor for startups, nonprofits and SMBs, Heidi is reinventing the founder- or leader-advisor relationship, so it is accessible, frictionless, on-demand, and guarantees results. Heidi writes for Entrepreneur Magazine on topics related to the Future of Work. Most recently, Heidi was an Associate Partner at Monitor Group (now Monitor Deloitte), where she developed corporate and business unit strategy for Fortune 50 consumer products and life sciences companies and nonprofits in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Africa. She was recognized as the Consulting Magazine Future Leader, chosen from hundreds of peers. In addition to her current role leading and building Arise Daily, Heidi served on the YaleWomen Governing Council and the Board of the Center for Homeopathic Certification. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children.
Heidi graduated with a BA in Political Science from Yale University and an MPhil in Politics from Oxford University.