Interviewing Clare Liu: Data scientist juggling full-time job, studies, and being a KOL

So many people crave progression and success, whether it be learning a new language, acquiring a new skill, or starting a business. How many of us, though, actually put in the work to turn those aspirations into actions and then ultimately into realities? All of the above actions require deliberate and continuous effort; they require us to step out of our comfort zones and in some cases, start from somewhere we find ourselves most vulnerable — zero.

For our second guest on OpenDoors, we have Clare Liu — a self-taught data science guru, part-time YouTuber, fitness influencer, who’s studying for a personal trainer certification while doing her Masters in Data Science (that’s a mouthful), share with us how taking action has helped her open more doors and create serendipity in life.


How did it all begin? Clare: “I started my first job after graduation in cryptocurrency and to be honest I felt quite lost about my path ahead. Thankfully I also met a mentor there who inspired me to learn more about data science & analytics. After having acquired some level of knowledge, I wanted to consolidate my learnings and attract like-minded peers who are also on their data science journey. I launched my blog as a result. After writing for a while, a friend reached out and introduced me to a few people who were interested in making video content on AI and data science, and from there we launched our YouTube channel “AI Sensei” to deliver educational and entertaining content for those who’re interested in the topic. To further my knowledge in this area, I’m also doing a Masters in data science & business statistics.

Aside from that, a close friend of mine whom I met through dancing classes and I run an Instagram account @hkgymgirls. At first, we started this as a diary to document our progress and also because we wanted to encourage more girls to try working out and lifting weights. It’s not too much work since all we have to do is put what we usually do at the gym on video, so why not? Fast forward to today, we’re reaching 6,000 followers and we’re coming up with new content ideas to bring more value to our audience.”


What drives you?

Clare: “For some reason, when people first meet me they all get the impression that I’m an outgoing and social person, but I’m actually not. Growing up, I was quite timid and always the quietest kid in class - not speaking a single word during class. My close friends all tell me they wouldn’t have thought that I’d get into a fast-moving industry like data science, let alone talking in front of a camera and show that to thousands of people. I‘m really surprised to see this totally different side of myself as well. I don’t think too much. When I want to do something, I just go ahead and do that. Though admittedly doubts do pop up sometimes about whether what I’m doing is worth it, especially when you put so much effort in but don’t see the proportionate results. But in retrospect, the dots started connecting themselves — a recruiter from a top consulting firm reached out to me for an opportunity because she came across one of AI Sensei’s videos, and also a while ago I was learning about stocks and one of our viewers reached out because they enjoyed our content. Turns out they were the founder of a community of stock gurus, and I got a lot of insights from them. These things wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t take the steps which led me to where I am today.


How can we all get a little better at “taking the leap” and just get started? Clare: “I think consistency is definitely key, and so is staying motivated even when there’s no short-term monetary gain. Because there will be ups and downs — some videos that we put a lot of effort into ended up not performing as well as some others that we weren’t too sure about, so just keep pushing and look at the long term. I personally don’t think too much about the benefits or consequences of working on my projects. Perhaps I’m not a very optimistic person who thinks that ‘if I do this, then I might get this or that in return’. Those would be a great bonus instead. As cliché as it sounds, I do believe that sharing is caring and if I think what I do can help others, I’ll keep at it.

Another thing is to surround yourself with people who support you. Personally, I don’t really let others affect my thoughts and decisions but I’ve been quite fortunate to have supportive friends and that has allowed me to trust my instincts and try new things”.

Get in touch with Clare: LinkedIn | Instagram AI Sensei: Instagram | Facebook | YouTube HKGymGirls: Instagram | Facebook


This article is brought to you by OpenDoors - a platform dedicated to helping individuals in Hong Kong build and expand their professional network.

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