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HERstory: Hila Qu, VP, Retention & Experiments, Acorns

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Hi ladies!  This week's #marketHER is Hila Qu, VP, Retention & Experiments, Acorns. Her intervi
 
April 10 · Issue #12 · View online
HERstory by marketHER.org
Hi ladies! 
This week’s #marketHER is Hila Qu, VP, Retention & Experiments, Acorns. Her interview is chock-full of great advice, like how to adapt as a new manager. Take 5 minutes to get to know HERstory. You won’t regret it. 😉
Oh, and stay tuned next week! Tara Robertson, Director, Marketing Strategy & Operations, Sprout Social will share tips on breaking into leadership, dealing with inappropriate behavior, and more. 💪
Cheers,
Jes Kirkwood
marketHER.org 

Hila Qu is VP, Retention & Experiments at Acorns, a leading micro-investing app in the USA. Previously, she was the Product Manager, Growth at GrowthHackers, the premium growth hacking community. She’s also a book author, blogger, speaker, and a mom of two boys. Every day—and some nights, too—she lives in the world of growth, retention, analytics, and products. 
Follow Hila on Twitter and LinkedIn

How did you break into leadership?
“In the back of my mind, I always knew I wanted to grow and take on more responsibility, but I wasn’t intentionally trying to break into leadership. My career progressed naturally when I did the following 3 things: 1) explored different things to find what I am truly passionate about—and never settled before finding that, 2) strived to be the best at what I love and obsessed over making an impact, and 3) advocated for resources and attracted people to make an even bigger impact, which eventually guided me to a leadership role.”
There’s so much more to the story…

How did you adapt as a new manager?
“Despite being a very effective individual contributor, I struggled a lot when I became a new manager. The first mistake I made was trying to finish everything on the list [….] As a manager, I needed to manage my team’s time to accommodate both inbound requests and proactive initiatives with the goal of maximized business impact. After experiencing this struggle, I picked up one of my favorite books again: The One Thing. The author argues that, no matter how grand your goal is, your success lies in narrowing down to the ONE thing you should be focused on in this moment. Once that ONE thing is resolved, everything else will become easier. So, every Friday, I ended my week by identifying the ONE thing I had to finish the next week. And, each day, I ended my day by identifying the ONE thing I had to finish the next day. And, I asked my team to do the same thing. The difference was dramatic.”
There’s so much more to the story…

If you could do it again, what would you do differently?
“Not much, other than perhaps being more patient and enjoying it more while doing it. I’ve earned both my master’s degree in biology and my MBA, traveled from China to the USA, worked in both big companies and small startups, and changed functions several times. During some of these experiences, it really seemed to be a waste of time. But when I connect all the dots, I can see how these experiences have all helped shaped who I am.”

What's been the highlight of your career thus far?
“When I joined my current company, there was no practice of data-driven A/B testing and experiments [….] I tripled the new user adoption rate of a key feature and significantly improved user retention within my first 90 days on the job. More importantly, I helped promote a culture of growth and experiments. Other team members saw the benefits and began adopting the same processes in their work. I couldn’t be more proud of that!”

Hila's parting gift
“We are as good as our male counterparts, but it is possible that our inner goal is not just to maximize our career success, but to live a fulfilling, connected, and happy life. With every choice, there is a cost—so go with what your hearts tell you to do.”
There’s so much more to the story…

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