Joy Chua ’17
One day before her 1L orientation, Joy Chua ’17 was taking the GMAT in downtown New York City. “I came to graduate school wanting to do a J.D./M.B.A,” she says, “but my 1L year was so consuming that I didn’t have time to apply to the Business School until I was a 2L.”
Chua, who grew up in the Philippines, arrived at Columbia with real-world experience and a global perspective. After graduating from Brown University in 2010, she worked in London, Los Angeles, Geneva, and San Antonio for the Capital Group, focusing on equity investment research and corporate strategy.
During her four years at Columbia, Chua thoroughly explored the intersection of business and law. She bridged these two worlds as co-president of the Columbia Business and Law Association, a Law School student organization with some 300 members. She also participated in the alumni mentorship program at the Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy, a joint venture of the Law School and Columbia Business School.
Chua was especially proud of a panel discussion on alternative careers she organized for classmates, featuring business leaders like Paul Haaga, then interim CEO of NPR, and Andrew Yang ’99, founder of Venture for America, a fellowship program that connects recent graduates with jobs at startups. “I got a lot of feedback from students that the event was much appreciated, given the evolution of the legal industry,” she says.
In addition to spending two full summers at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom working for private equity and M&A clients, Chua also investigated more business-oriented career paths with a part-time job on the corporate development team at Pinterest and school-year internships as an investment associate with 37 Angels—an investment network and training “boot camp” for female investors—and in marketing at Glossier, a beauty startup.
Last summer, Chua worked for the chief investment officer of Continental Grain Company, a leader in the food and agribusiness industry—and one of the largest privately held companies in the world. “I traveled with him and the CEO to China to meet a variety of business leaders in the public and private sectors,” she says. “It was an amazing learning opportunity to sit in on those meetings.”
In the fall, Chua will join the investments team at Continental Grain, which will allow her to apply her broad range of skills to a rapidly changing industry. “It will be fascinating to analyze and evaluate early stage companies in an industry where innovation can make a big difference,” she says.
Nevertheless, Chua is already sentimental about her student days. “I’m sad it’s ending,” she says. “I can only hope my career is as rich as my experience and time at Columbia have been.”