When Jonny Zhang got to Harvard, he got to work. While studying both economics and computer science, he rose from an account management position to lead of Harvard Student Agencies (HAS), a collection of student-run start-ups with 700 employees. This was during the COVID-19 pandemic, when even established businesses across industry were struggling to adapt.
Fortunately for HSA, Jonny combines his entrepreneurial instincts with operational discipline, so he was able to both identify and execute successful strategies. He also understood a critical difference between economic challenges and programming puzzles: the former involve people, who need more than airtight logic to function effectively. Putting his team members in a position to succeed individually, he says, was fundamental to the collaborative success of the entire enterprise.
Somehow Jonny also found time to help teach Harvard’s introductory computer science course and to pursue his long-time passion for video games. His in-depth experience with gaming won him an invitation to help General Catalyst assess investment theses in the video game industry. Jonny subsequently joined the firm to develop investments in the next generation of games as they incorporate more advanced levels of AI, ML, and user-generated content.
While he has less time for personal gaming now, he keeps his hand in; Jonny also enjoys musical theater, catching traveling shows in Boston and Broadway shows in New York, and is already thinking about what he can give back to the educational system and the teachers it depends on.