I co-founded a tech start-up called Magic Pony Technology with another Imperial alumni (from EEE), where we are applying state-of-the-art computer vision and machine learning techniques to video compression and processing. My job essentially involves doing anything that is required to advance the company - this can range from sales meetings to high level strategic planning to the actual software development. We’re in a fortunate position of having just closed a large seed funding round, and we’re now backed by some of London’s (and Europe’s) largest and most prestigious Venture Capital firms.
I did both my undergraduate and my PhD at Imperial. I did Joint Maths and Computing (JMC) in my undergrad, graduating in 2010, and then started my PhD in the field of medical image computing after a short spell in industry. The reasons for coming to Imperial were based on the quality of the course on offer, the reputation of the college, the links to industry and also the location. Being based in London provides a unique opportunity to be surrounded by different cultures, to meet people from all over the world and to expand your perspective of the world. London is not just the capital of England, but can also be considered one of the world’s capitals. It is also a mega hub for business and industry, and provides unrivalled opportunities to network and gain experience working for some truly amazing companies.
Name: Zehan Wang
Job: Co-founder and CTO
Company: Magic Pony Technology
Graduated: MEng Joint Mathematics and Computing (2010)
The time spent during my undergraduate were some of the most memorable and enjoyable times in my life. I met some of my closest friends during my first year, and met people which I found to have far more in common than anyone I had known previously. The talent and skill of the people at Imperial were also particularly varied and impressive. I learnt a lot from those around me, both personally and academically, and it has left a lasting impression on me.
My spare time mostly involved playing guitar, playing video games or just generally socialising. I joined and tried out quite a range of different sports and societies, ranging from Kung Fu to surfing. I also tried out fencing and somehow got persuaded to join the knitting society – not that I did much knitting there!
In terms of courses and technical experience gained during my course, I found that the hands-on and practical nature of many of the computing courses were greatly beneficial. In particular, the things I learnt from software engineering related courses were very useful and found to be a very sought-after skill in industry. Other more industry specific skills, such as from the computer graphics or machine learning courses were also of great importance. The industrial placement in 3rd year was also very helpful in gaining relevant experiences and helping with job applications after graduation. Imperial graduates also have a great reputation in industry and it certainly didn’t feel too hard to walk into job interviews and to get job offers with the skills and experiences I picked up during my time at Imperial.
As advice for prospective students, I would say do your homework and take time to discover more about the opportunities on offer. You’ll get the most from where there are the greatest opportunities and if they are aligned with what you want.