Monday, October 20 2014

An Interview with KFA’s Shu-Chi Hsu, AIA, LEEP AP, Proves She’s Not Too Cool for School


ShuChi_Headshot2One of KFA’s architects, Shu-Chi, was recently accepted to the EMBA program at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

For the past eight years, Shu-Chi has been an integral part of the design and management for many projects at KFA.  She also provides developers with vital information and analysis in order for them to achieve the highest and best use of their properties. Shu-Chi is also a co-founder of workshop Levitas, an award-winning group that creates large-scale arts as a means to experiment with architecture and transform public spaces.

You were accepted by some very elite EMBA programs including the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania. Why did you choose the Anderson School at UCLA?

UCLA is close to home and will allow me to balance work, school and family. In fact, some of our clients are graduates from this school at UCLA, so the program comes highly recommended.  Plus, I am interested in building a strong local network that could benefit KFA by forming potential alliances and bringing in new clients.

Why now?  Why did you decide this is the best point in your career to pursue this degree?

I have always wanted to learn more about business and am very interested in finance and investment. Coming out of the recession, I believe KFA’s future success relies on our ability to leverage knowledge and resources not only in good times, but also in periods of economic decline. Every downturn creates a great opportunity for us to innovate. The memory of the recent crisis is still fresh in everyone’s mind, and there is not a better time than now for us to step up. Plus my son, Ingmar, just joined day care, and it’s time for Mom to go to back school too!

What do you believe is the future potential for KFA?  What is your future vision for the firm?

I see untapped potential for expanding the scope of our business to further increase the value we can contribute to our clients.  For example, with the powerful BIM 3D model which architects control, we can provide clients with accurate financial pro-forma during due diligence; real-time budget pricing with each design revision, small or large; construction simulation and management; and 3D facility management tools and documentation. Maybe one day KFA can become a one-stop shop that not only assists our clients with designing and building during upturns, but also manages and/or re-configures projects during recessions.

What do you foresee gaining from the EMBA program?

Learning has been one of my passions in life. I want to build a solid foundation of business knowledge and, if possible, share it with my coworkers so we can grow together. Plus, the vast UCLA alumni network will provide an excellent resource for our business to engage with other business leaders with whom we do not traditionally collaborate. Also, I want to learn financial engineering in order to test a few ideas such as how to hedge the housing market’s movement with other investment vehicles. That’s a lot for 2 years, but life without challenge is not for me!