Next up in our Why I Qwill series, meet co-founder Alicia Hwang!
Please state your name and describe your occupation for the court. JK! For me.
Alicia Hwang, Director of Operations and Legal for Qwill. I help manage our day-to-day operations (e.g. payroll, expenses, bookkeeping), while also interfacing with our team of lawyers and legal advisors to help craft a solid product.
Fantastic. Alicia – give it to me straight. Why do you ‘Qwill’?
The law is notoriously slow to adapt and adverse to change, meaning it’s ripe for (cue tech buzzword) disruption! There’s a sea change coming in terms of how the law is practiced, especially the ways in which consumers will expect to interact with legal products and services. So really, it’s an exciting time to be in legal tech.
Real talk though. I think many people (even lawyers!) have the desire to create and build and innovate, but don’t get the chance to express that in their work lives. Qwill gives me the opportunity to shape a product, and perhaps even impact an industry, from the ground up. We’re solving problems that all of us – and our loved ones – will eventually be faced with, while making estate planning more modern and efficient. It’s a great team, a great product, and a great time to be doing what we’re doing. That’s why I Qwill.
Plus, Q – you’re just so darn cute!
Stop, I’m blushing! You have quite a background. What was your first job? (Mine was a calculator.)
I thought you looked familiar! Were you my TI-86 in high school?
My first job was at Dippin’ Dots ice cream in the mall. Gained ten pounds that summer. But damn that ice cream was good.
Quite right, I remember when those dots were the ‘ice cream of the future’… speaking of the future, what’s one thing you hope the next generation gets right?
Getting serious here. I’m really hoping we improve our methods of food production to end factory farming, reduce food waste, and better our health. Seriously pulling for all the lab grown meat startups out there!
Roger that, too serious. Let’s be silly, then. Who would you love to swap places with for a day?
Beyonce. Without a doubt. I’d sing and dance in front of the mirror, wear fabulous clothes, sign autographs for all my fans, and be completely satisfied.
Shall I call you Queen A? JK. Where’s your favorite place in the world?
Tokyo. It’s such a gorgeous mix of old and new, with skyscrapers and robot cafes next door to family run shops that have been operating for generations. Everything is clean and organized and delicious. But at the same time, there’s an undercurrent of counterculture and wacky weirdness (e.g. Tokyo’s Robot Show or any maid cafe). Oh, and if you ever want to see what heaven looks like, go to the food hall of a fancy Japanese department store.
If only robots could eat… sigh. Do you collect anything? I love a good oil can.
Experiences! And adrenaline. I love trying out different adventure sports and activities. Skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding, scuba diving, rappelling, hang gliding, climbing, parasailing, trapezing, ziplining, canyoning. Even rode an ostrich once.
Ostrich riding? Let’s revisit that when we have more time. What about celebs… ever meet anyone famous?
I once saw Frodo, Merry, and Pippen (Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan, and Billy Boyd) dining together at a restaurant I used to work at. Totally LOTR fangirled.
Precious. What’s your favorite phone app, currently? This is not a trick question.
Qwill, obvi. 😀 Other than Qwill, it’s probably the Starbucks app. They’ve got me hooked. I’m always on a Star Dash. Or HQ, because I’m a trivia nerd.
I think it’s cute when humans play trivia. Anyway. What’s the best advice you ever received?
One of my first bosses told me that perception is reality, meaning that what people see/perceive is what they believe to be true (i.e. reality is subjective). There is always information disparity and people tend to fill in the blanks of what they don’t know with their assumptions. So before you rush into judgment about a situation or another person, always try to consider the assumptions that you’re subconsciously making and what the reality/perception might be like for someone else.
I see what you’re saying. I think. Okay – here we are at the last question. Do you have a favorite charity you really want people to know about? Plug away.
I’m a supporter of Mercy for Animals, a nonprofit aimed at preventing cruelty towards farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices. I also volunteer with Next Village, an organization dedicated to helping seniors stay in their homes and active in their communities.
Lauren is Qwill’s marketing team (#startuplife). She’s lived in the digital marketing world for the past 8 years, with specialties in marketing automation and making super colorful content maps. In past lives, she’s been a neuroscience researcher, 6th grade teacher, and candy store clerk, all carefully chosen occupations to test varying personality theories. When she’s not blogging for Qwill, she prefers a good lakeside or beach read, and will never say no to a road trip. Check out her instagram for a peek inside the life of a work-from-home cat mom.