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Jackson Jhin (’13) turns rejection into redirection

On+May+6%2C+EAAG+invited+Jackson+Jhin+%2813%29+to+be+the+guest+speaker.%C2%A0
Harrison Wright
On May 6, EAAG invited Jackson Jhin (’13) to be the guest speaker. 

Scrolling through Snapchat AI’s auto-generated responses to his prompt: “What do highschoolers want in a presentation?,” Jackson Jhin (’13) finalized his “inspirational, relevant and engaging” speech for the annual East Asian Affinity Group assembly.

On May 6, EAAG kicked off Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, featuring traditional dances, cultural songs and a Studio Ghibli-inspired orchestra. The assembly displayed the individuality and diversity of the club, and this year, EAAG invited Jhin to be the guest speaker. 

Jhin, former CFO of the successful tech-startup Cameo and Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree, wanted to write a speech that would resonate with his audience while still being relatable. 

“I thought about wearing a hoodie and some baggy Gen-Z jeans,” Jhin said. “I wanted people to think ‘oh, he’s not that much older than us.’”

While he did not use the jokes generated by his Snapchat AI, Jhin did accept its recommendation to focus on rejection and redirection. Fittingly, Jhin gave his speech during college decisions and finals season, providing students with a much-needed sign that everything was “going to be okay.”

In his speech, Jhin encouraged the audience to take risks, accept rejection and most importantly, seek opportunities. In order to go from working as a new employee at a Venture Capitalist firm to meeting Tate McRae, Snoop Dogg and the Sultan of Qatar, Jhin needed to put himself out there and face rejection head-on. 

“The worst thing someone can say is ‘no,’ and that’s not too bad,” Jhin said. 

Following this mantra throughout his post-college experience, Jhin became involved in Cameo, a platform allowing users to connect with their favorite actors, athletes and musicians by requesting personalized video shout-outs or DMs for a fee. After finding himself locked inside a building working late at his first job out of college, Jhin accidentally stumbled into a meeting between the founders of Cameo. Enamored with their proposal, Jhin took a risk and decided to get on board with the entrepreneurs. 

Hoping students will follow in a similar step, Jhin encourages students to be proactive in their search for experience or a chance to prove themselves.

“A lot of people have a misconception that after college they deserve to get an internship or a job, and unfortunately, that’s just not how the world works,” Jhin said.

Jhin set his goals high and worked hard for Cameo, so when Cameo CEO Steven Galanis asked Jhin what position he wanted, he told him he wanted to be “his right-hand man, his second-in-command,” Jhin said. He “would work twice as hard for a fifth of the pay.”

Looking back, Jhin realized that if he had not been brave enough to put himself out there and directly ask for the position, he would not have gotten the same results.

“All these great things in my life happened because one person was willing to take a shot on me,” Jhin said. “You have to beg somebody or convince them to give you the opportunity to prove yourself, whether that’s through an internship or a job.”

Once Jhin received the CFO position, he still faced adversitynot only due to his status as a young, ambitious graduate with little work experience, but also from the environment around him. 

“I became the CFO when I was 23 or 24, and I had all these people reporting to me who were way older than me and didn’t think I deserved it.”

His colleagues perceived his young age as an indication of his lack of skill, but Jhin debunked these assumptions by providing major contributions to the company. 

Much of Jhin’s success can be accredited to his ability to learn from his experiences. Reflecting back on his high school years, Jhin wishes he put himself out there more. 

“I was just scared to do things. I was scared to apply to the ‘reach’ schools, go on stage to play at chapel or be a leader of clubs.” 

During the speech, Jhin told his audience to avoid allowing stress to consume them. He hopes that he was not as stressed during his senior year because it would have taken a huge weight off of his shoulders.

Now, Jhin has used these life lessons to catapult him to success. His most recent priority, Glimpse, is a new app that allows users to generate pre-made photo dumps. As the co-founder of Glimpse, former CFO of Cameo and founder of Protege, Jhin continues to strive for greatness.

 “What sets people apart is when they take risks,” Jhin said. “You have to try and find moments where you can just be uncomfortable.” 

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About the Contributors
Aien Du
Aien Du, Online Section Editor
Aien Du ('26) joined The Review in 2022 as a freshman. She loves fashion and the color pink. Autocorrect changes her name to Alien.
Nathan Kim
Nathan Kim, Staff Writer
Nathan Kim ('26) joined The Review in 2022 as a freshman. He enjoys listening to one song on repeat until he gets sick of it, and his favorite movie is Pacific Rim.

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