Buu Duong




The story so far

I spent a lot of years in the hospitality industry … I’ve always felt like a natural at service-forward positions. It gives me a lot of personal satisfaction when I can tell I’m making people happy, or creating a great environment. I find that really fulfilling.  

‍I started taking office jobs initially on the side. Mostly at startups, in the tech and gaming space. I liked the fast-paced, semi-chaotic cultures and how varied the jobs were. Eventually, I landed at Twitter, which gave me a whole new perspective on influencing employee health and happiness and the importance of company culture. I was responsible for our employee ambassador program, across 30 offices. Learning how to deploy a consistent program while encouraging local adaptations and flavours was an incredible experience. Making sure that each office experience was similar, but still authentic and distinct was a challenge I really loved. 

‍I also appreciated how they prioritized giving back to the community, and that’s stuck with me. It felt good to enable employees to contribute to causes they cared about, and to understand the impact a company can have when it finds ways to incentivize its team to be a force for good. 

‍After Twitter, I was considering starting my own business. An executive assistant role wasn’t on my radar - at all the companies I’d ever worked for, the executives were all very self-sufficient. One of my favourite CEOs was a long-time founder and simultaneously held the position of the CTO. He was one of the first employees at one of the FAANG companies, and yet he was always able to respond to every email each day and manage much of his own schedule. 

Now, though, I think about administrative roles a bit differently. At OV, I see myself as a force multiplier for the company because of efficiencies I find and create for the team. Making our investors better, faster and more effective makes the business more efficient, and we’re all on the same team. This role lets me play a role in reaching the finish line first.  

What’s your favourite place in the world and why?

Before this year, I’d mainly travelled to smaller places - tropical destinations and beach towns. This year was my first time travelling to Toronto, and London - by far the biggest cities I’ve been to aside from the Bay Area. I loved the vibes and big city energy. I can be really hyper sometimes and it felt like the pace matched my personality. High energy and always up for new adventures! 

What do you do when you’re not working?

I’ve always had my own side hustles - it’s the entrepreneur in me. I’ve had ecommerce businesses before which taught me a lot about the discipline it takes to run a digitally native business. Eventually, I’d love to build something of my own in a hybrid style - on and offline. I love to bake and I love plants, so I’ve got this idea of opening a coffee shop with a green element. It’s fun to think about, and I can see pursuing something like that in a few years.