Career Pathways

Panel presentation with speakers, ideas, and connections to support your career path.  Hear about different career pathways from professionals in various fields.
Thursday, March 2, 2017
4 pm – 6 pm
UIC Student Center East, Room 605
750 S Halsted St


Ascene Chicago Hi Res
This event was organized with the support of Ascene Chicago.  This is a free event and refreshments will be provided.
If you are in need for accommodations, please contact AARCC at (312) 413-9569 or


Lily Profile PicLily Kim

Managing Partner,
Ascene Chicago 
Adjunct Professor,
DePaul University 

Lily brings almost 20 years of experience in all realms of media as a public relations specialist, event planner and public speaker. She supports clients with traditional and digital media outreach, key message development and internal communications. She started her journalism career at KBC-TV Chicago as anchor and reporter covering local Asian American community news. She then co-founded Ascene Chicago, an online news magazine that showcases the city’s Asian scene. Ascene Chicago is now also a public relations agency and has a not-for-profit entity. In 2015, Lily received her Master’s degree in Public Relations and Advertisement at DePaul University. She is currently also an adjunct professor at DePaul’s College of Business, teaching Effective Business Communications. She is a Chicago native, born and raised and received a Bachelor’s in broadcast journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

Professional Panelists:

Jake Chen

Data Scientist Consultant,
Amazon Web Services

Jake is currently a Data Scientist consultant at Amazon Web Services. He joins this panel as the first Collegiate Program Manager for the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers. After leaving SASE he worked for multiple companies including CME Group and Deloitte Consulting before joining AWS. He has an MS in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern and a BS in Materials Engineering from UIUC

Wendy Drake
Wendy Drake

Assistant Vice President,
Wintrust Business Credit

Wendy Drake is Assistant Vice President at Wintrust Business Credit. Wendy’s team focuses on Asset Based Lending to middle market companies in various industries, including manufacturers, distributors, and staffing companies, etc., in the Chicagoland area. She joined Wintrust as a Rotational Credit Analyst in 2012 and has been underwriting Commercial & Industrial middle market companies since graduating from the Rotational Program in 2014. Wendy received her Bachelor’s Degree from Zhejiang University of Technology in China in 2009 and her MBA in Finance from Marquette University in 2011. Wendy serves as an Associate Board member at Little City Foundation.

Dr. Michael Sazon Gomez

Director of Robotic Urologic Surgery, Mercy Hospital and Medial Center

Michael Sazon Gomez MD is the Director of Robotic Urologic Surgery at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Economics. He then worked for Arthur Andersen as a healthcare consultant before entering medical school at The University of Toledo Hospital and Medical Center. He completed his six year residency in Urology and Renal Transplantation with a focus on robotic surgery. He is now a partner at Uropartners LLC, the third largest urology practice in the country. He is also Associate Professor at Rush University Department of Family Medicine.

George Chunkau Mui

Market Access Team Lead, Minority Business Development Agency at U.S. Department of Commerece

George Mui is the Market Access Team Lead at the Office of Business Development for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce. As a global strategist, he develops market access programs at MBDA for minority businesses in the area of international business development with a keen focus on domestic and international partnerships. His area of focus is the Asia market. George supports the MBDA export and business centers across the nation. Leveraging his extensive global experience, George also serves on the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI) Small Business Working Group representing MBDA. George served as the Senior Advisor for WHIAAPI from 2014 – 2016 where he served as the business liaison for AAPI businesses for both WHIAAPI and MBDA. He was responsible for the Business and Economic Development portfolio providing access to federal resources in this area. He initiated 4 major programs that are still active today: “Doing Business in Asia”, “New American Business Boot Camp”, “AAPI Construction Advocacy” and “Guam Economic and Business Development”. Since joining MBDA in 2008, George has successfully created and implemented the “Access to the Global Economy” program that provides formal training, export resources, and global contacts to minority business owners across the country. In 2010, George received the MBDA National Director Award for his innovative programs. In 2011, George received the “Impact Award” from the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council for his advocacy for minority business enterprises. George also served on the Chicago Mayor’s Advisory Commission for the Office of New Americans in 2011 and 2012. Prior to joining MBDA, George Mui served as SBA’s Small Business Development Center Director at the Asian American Alliance where he provided consulting services to small businesses in Chicago, IL. He was also the president of New World Connections, Inc., an independent consulting company specializing in international business development and professional training. He completed a successful career at Lucent Technology that spanned 19 years as a software engineer, network architect, project manager, and finally as the Product Management and Marketing Director in the Data Communication Unit where he grew his business unit from $120 million to $400 million in 3 years. George is a community advocate with special focus on Asian American advocacy. He served on the OCA National Board from 2009 to 2012. He completed two successful years as the OCA-Chicago Chapter president in 2010 and 2011 where he initiated the OCA-Scholarship fund, OCA-Chicago Mentoring for Asian American Professionals, the Asian American Community Leadership Summit and the Asian American Business Expo, all are first in Chicago. In 2013, George created the Asian American Executive Network – a national wide advocacy group Asian American professionals and entrepreneurs that grew to 300 strong. George has been inducted to the Asian American Hall of Fame in Chicago for his community services in 2011 and received the Asian American Coalition of Chicago Chinese American Community Service Award in 2016. George also received the Asian American community service award from the Illinois Cook County Treasurer’s office in 2016. George has a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Sciences from The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago, IL. He is currently serving on the IIT Alumni Board. He also completed two Executive Education programs at Stanford University in Marketing and Business Management.

Dr Rupak Parikh
Dr. Rupak D. Parikh

Executive Director,
A.R.C. Advanced Rehabilitation Care

President (’16),
The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) 

Council of Advisors for Advocate’s SACC

Dr. Rupak D. Parikh completed his surgical internship at Lenox Hill Hospital (New York City, NY) and his PM & R residency at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital (Wheaton, IL).  He was awarded the 2010 APS – Fundamentals of Pain Management Scholarship, Board Certified in 2011, and was recognized as a Fellow of the AAPM & R in 2013.  In 2010-2011 Rupak earned a position at an acclaimed Interventional Pain and Musculoskeletal Fellowship Program. His vision to create a superior model of sub-acute rehabilitation care propelled him to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors in lieu of the fellowship. In 2010, Dr. Parikh founded (ARC) Advanced Rehabilitation Care.  Combining his business acumen in strategy and marketing with a core philosophy rooted in patient-centric post- acute care, he successfully developed an innovative treatment model. The ARC specialized sub-acute program helped improve patient outcomes while simultaneously significantly reducing preventable re-hospitalization rates.  As ARC’s Executive Director, Rupak currently spearheads its regional evolution and national expansion. He is also currently working to establishing the first ever University affiliated Post-Acute (Rehabilitation) Fellowship Program. Rupak credits his family for a deep rooted Indian upbringing grounded in community service and enriched with cultural diversity. He serves as an Advisor to the Advocate South Asian Cardiovascular Center which raises awareness of the South Asian heart disease epidemic and promotes prevention through education in the community. Dr. Parikh was also elected to serve as the President of the Young Physicans Section of AAPI (2015-2016), the second largest Medical Organization in the country. He feels that Young Asian Physicians will directly impact the future of healthcare on a global level. His main AAPI – YPS initiatives are to provide leadership development opportunities and to connect generations of Indian Physicians throughout the country in both networking and mentorship capacities.  Dr. Parikh strives to create a platform through AAPI to advance young physicians, accelerate their achievements, and champion efforts which positively progress medicine.

Ashish Shah

Product Owner,
Uptake Technology

Ashish Shah is a full stack engineer with experience in product management. He currently leads the development of Continuous integration and leads the product development for the quality automation team. Prior to this he was a Software Engineer for Orbitz Worldwide and Nokia. He graduated with a Masters in Science in Electrical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and received his Bachelors in Technology, Instrumentation and Control Engineering from Nirma University of Science and Technology in Ahmedabad, Gujarat India.