From Syracuse to Silicon Valley

When Valerie Wang ’19 (iSchool), ’21 M.S. was in search of a summer internship, the Whitman Career Center and the power of the Syracuse Orange Network came through. With the help of Jim Keene ’79 and his connections in Silicon Valley, Wang landed an opportunity with BrainKey, a personal 3D brain dashboard startup.

Wang worked as a marketing/business analytics intern for the start-up technology and healthcare company. “BrainKey is a platform that you can use to get a 3D visualization of your brain and statistical analytics of an MRI that you upload,” explains Wang.

Through her internship with BrainKey, Wang had three main roles. As an UI/UX designer, she worked to engineer a website that flows better and enhances the user experience. In her marketing role, she contacted investors, pharmaceutical companies and organizations for people with brain disease. Her third role was a business analyst. Wang shares, “We had to analyze the website traffic to find out if it was from Google, Facebook or another site. I also monitored trends, like why we may lose customers.”

Knowledge empowerment is the main goal of BrainKey. Wang explains, “Clients usually feel frustrated because they don’t understand the medical jargon doctors share with them. We want to help the communication between clients and health professionals. By going to the dashboard of BrainKey, clients can educate themselves.”

Before starting her internship, Wang had the opportunity to pitch a business proposal to the BrainKey CEO, Owen Phillips. After reviewing the BrainKey website, Wang presented suggestions for improvement, which led to the internship opportunity. She shares, “My pitch got me into the conversation with Mr. Phillips and we talked about what I could offer the company.”

Wang is grateful for the connection she made with Keene through her Whitman career advisor. Keene helped connect her with the experiential learning opportunity in one of the most sought-after areas for technological innovation, Silicon Valley. A member of the Orange Network, he helps students each year connect with startups in the San Francisco Bay area.

Although Wang doesn’t consider herself an entrepreneur, she appreciates the opportunity she had to apply entrepreneurial principles while working at a startup. She can use that experience to positively impact any company for which she may work in the future. 

As the fall semester began, Wang was excited to continue her M.S. in Business Analytics program at the Whitman School. She previously earned a dual degree in economics (A&S) and information management and technology (iSchool) during her time as an undergraduate and considers Syracuse her second home.

Maya Bingaman
Latest posts by Maya Bingaman (see all)