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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Meet the Managers: Jess Li

Hi! My name is Jess and I'm the Managing Director of The Harvard Shop. I'm from Lynnfield, Massachusetts, a suburban town about thirty-five minutes away from Harvard. My family is originally from China, which means unbeatable home-cooked Chinese food when I visit home. In an attempt to replicate these meals, I have taken up dumpling making with friends in my spare time. I also have one younger brother, who's actually coming to Harvard as a freshman this fall! We haven't gone to school together for a long time, so I can't wait for lots of quality family bonding.

At Harvard, I'm a rising junior concentrating in Human Evolutionary Biology. Being a science concentrator, I guess I'm a bit of an anomaly among HSA managers, but I love being able to pursue my two greatest passions (science and business) simultaneously at Harvard. In the future, I hope to work at the intersection of these two fields.

Outside of HSA, I'm the captain of the Harvard Women's Club Soccer Team. I play everyone's least favorite/most feared position - the goalkeeper. When I tell people that, they usually give me a surprised look and tell me about their one painful experience playing goalie in the third grade. Anyways, I love being on the team because it's a great group of people and playing soccer is my primary stress outlet during the school year. 

As the Managing Director of The Harvard Shop, I oversee the whole operation, which includes three physical locations, two e-commerce websites, a stock room, a custom retail business, and a graduation products division. At a high level, I create an overall strategy for growth and efficiency for the company while ensuring that all THS managers and employees have positive experiences at work. Day to day, I work with each of the managers to help them grow their respective parts of THS. I also manage relationships with existing external partners and look to create new ones. This job has exposed me to all aspects of running a business; I've probably learned more at HSA than I ever could in a classroom. I also love my team - they truly make it fun to go to work each day!