Concordia Shanghai Apr 25 2024

This Concordia Alumnus Has Data-mined His Way to TikTok

William Wang’s journey from a diligent student at Concordia International School Shanghai to an experienced User Insights Analyst at TikTok is a compelling story of dedication, growth, and the transformative power of a nurturing environment.

Concordia-Shanghai-alumni-william-wang-4William Wang

User Insights Analyst, TikTok US Data Security 
UC Berkeley, Data Science, Class of ’19 
Concordia Shanghai, Class of ’15

At Concordia, William was immersed in an environment that propelled his intellectual curiosity. “I was surrounded by plenty of smart people... that type of environment allows you to grow quickly yourself,” William reflects.   

Concordia’s ethos, rooted in encouraging students to actively pursue their interests and embrace a growth mindset, proved pivotal. One teacher who has had a lasting impression on William’s academics and career was his high school English teacher Ms. Cindy Farley. William credits Ms. Farley with helping him to see the relevance of his own point of view and instilling in him the confidence to express it —a skill that has been instrumental in his career progression. “She showed me that my voice, my thoughts—they were meaningful,” he recalls with gratitude. 


At Concordia, William was also enabled to pursue his interest in data science by co-teaching a big data class with Dr. Peter Tong, which later became the Applied Learning Big Data Analytics course. This early experience in data analysis helped to lay the groundwork for William's future academic endeavors.

“William’s self-motivation is the fuel that ignites his journey, driving him to push beyond boundaries and strive for excellence in every endeavor. His passion in data science inspires others along the way.”
— Dr. Peter Tong, Concordia High School teacher


From UC Berkeley to TikTok

William’s journey with data science continued to flourish beyond the walls of high school. After graduation, William pursued a degree at UC Berkeley when it introduced its Data Science program. William’s time at UC Berkeley was marked by exploring the nascent field’s boundaries. “I happened to be in college during the right time to be the first cohort to ever graduate with a Data Science degree,” he adds. 


At TikTok, William navigates the complex interplay between data extraction and user privacy. “There is always something you can learn,” he states, embodying his approach to his work, which involves technical expertise and a commitment to continuous learning.

As William continues in data science, the imprints of Concordia’s educational philosophy, faculty mentorship, and experiences therein remain indelible. The school prepared him academically and shaped the global citizen he has become.


Advice to Current Students

William’s journey serves as an inspiration, and his advice to current Concordia students interested in data science is reflective of his own experiences:

“Stay curious! This field is very technical, yes, but that is always something you can learn. More importantly, it is about your critical thinking skills and ability to digest data and explain it to others in a meaningful way.” 


He encourages students to fully explore all the opportunities that Concordia offers, just as he did, and to remember, “Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to learn fully about all the paths and then choose the one that best fits your wants.”  

William’s advice comes from a place of experience and proves to be a practical tip for students as they navigate their way through school and into their future careers.