20 Questions With Vivian Hu, MAcc '17
Vivian Hu, BBA ’16 / MAcc ’17, is a woman of many talents. As a consultant for Google, a business owner, a cooking show contestant, and a former accountant, Hu likes to keep a lot on her plate.
After graduating from the Ross School of Business, Hu got her start as a consultant at Deloitte and has worked in the consulting industry for 6 years. She started working at Google in 2022 as a digital transformation consultant. In her current role, she helps clients with various projects, ranging from migrating businesses to Google Cloud and things like cloud operations readiness and use case definition.
Throughout her career, Hu has been committed to learning and has embarked on many new adventures, including starting her own business and appearing on a competitive cooking show.
To learn more about Hu’s background, entrepreneurial career, and of course, her appearance on Netflix’s Cook at all Costs, we asked her to answer our 20 questions.
You currently work at Google. Can you tell us a little about your work there?
I work for Google Cloud Consulting as a digital transformation consultant, which helps customers be more digital in an ever-changing digital landscape. From organizational readiness to cloud operations readiness, we are the customer-facing branch of Google.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love all of the incredible individuals I work with. Aside from having so much in-depth knowledge about their field, they are also amazing human beings with an array of different talents and interests. For example, I work for a colleague who also lectures at Stanford University. Starting/owning your own business is the norm here.
Along with your work, you’re known for your cooking skills. How and when did you get into cooking?
I’ve always been interested in cooking, ever since I was little. I love watching cooking shows, specifically MasterChef and MasterChef Junior. My grandma is the best cook I know. She can make anything delicious by eyeballing it, and in the past few years, I became more interested in learning from her expertise.
You’re the owner of Chicago Desserts, LLC. Why’d you start your own business?
I get bored easily and love a good challenge; I wanted to see what working for myself is like and how far I can push myself. I’ve always loved baking, but never had the time to when I would travel Monday through Thursday as a consultant. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I was able to find time to think about what excites me.
You appeared on the Netflix series Cook at all Costs. How did you come upon this opportunity and what was it like competing on the show?
I was reached out to by a casting director for a different show, which opened my eyes to being cast on shows. I made the short list for two seasons of that show but never made the final cut. I cold-applied for Cook at all Costs and got it. I think that the more experiences you can have in life, the more well-rounded you become. It was an awesome experience and definitely taught me my weaknesses in the kitchen.
You can see Vivian compete in Cook at all Costs Episode One: “Asian Eats.”
Who inspires you?
My mom is my biggest inspiration. She is what keeps me going every day. When I see everything she has accomplished in her life and what she has done for me, it makes me want to try harder and become a better person.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give the person you were 10 years ago?
Try anything and everything. Be curious and ask lots of questions!
What was your best business decision?
Being social and starting conversations with people to get the word out about my business and what I do.
Your LinkedIn says you volunteered as a Korean school teacher. What was that experience like?
I am so lucky that my mom and grandparents stressed the importance of learning your culture and language. Speaking a second language is such a gift and skill that I would not trade for anything. I loved seeing fifth-grade Korean students trying to do the same and helping in that journey.
Did you have a favorite professor at Michigan Ross?
Shout out to Professor Lloyd Tanlu, who made accounting fun.
What’s one thing you learned in business school that you’ll never forget?
I definitely had imposter syndrome during my first semester of business school. Coming from a high school where I took mostly STEM classes, I was unsure of my abilities, but I quickly learned that most everyone is treading uncharted waters, and no one knows exactly what they’re doing.
What do you miss about Michigan Ross and Ann Arbor?
Having your friends just a five minute walk away from you at any given moment is something I definitely miss. And buffalo chicken pizza from South U Pizza. RIP.
How has your master’s degree helped you in your career?
Sometimes, I think to myself that if I can pass four certified public accountant exams without knowing much accounting, I can do anything.
Do you have any advice for current or incoming Ross students?
Take an entrepreneurship course and try something new. There are so many opportunities and resources available for student entrepreneurs on campus that I wish I had taken advantage of. Failure is normal and not as scary when you have all of these resources at your disposal.
Favorite TV show to binge?
MasterChef or reality dating shows.
Favorite comfort food?
First album/CD you ever bought?
Britney Spears’ Oops!... I Did It Again album.
First website you access in the morning?
TikTok… it’s a bad habit, I know, but the noise stops me from going back to bed.
What’s your pet peeve?
When people are tardy. I think everyone’s time is very valuable and it shows respect to show up on time.
Favorite sport to watch?
College football or college basketball during March Madness.