Meet June Wu, Googler and concert pianist review

June Wu loved classical music from an early age. An extremely young age. “There are house videos of me as a kid, running to big symphonies as my dad was playing them on the stereo,” she says.
When June was a child, her mother decided to learn to play the piano. June and her sister could tiptoe downstairs after bedtime to obey their mother play, and they’d slip a few plinks of the piano keys while she had been hoping to practice. Eventually, June’s mother got so frustrated she signed her kids up for lessons. June ended up taking piano quite seriously, competing in the state, national and international level while at middle and high school.
June was, and still is, drawn to the emotions you’re able to channel throughout piano, if you are playing or just listening. “For me, music is a way to explore deeper feelings and get some of what you might not have the voice to articulate,” she says. “You can do this through audio, and you can also move others through that.” However, something gave her pause: She worried she’d have to select music and music independently, leaving behind other academic interests, if she went to Juilliard. The students she met had a laser-focus on their artwork, leaving hardly any free time for other interests. “I’d always been intellectually stimulated by both worlds, both songs and non-music,” she states.
June passed on Juilliard and ended up at Harvard, but had a tough time leaving music behind. She didn’t touch a piano for six years and did not discuss her preceding passion with her college friends. “Piano was intertwined with my sense of self and individuality,” she says. “I felt ashamed that I’d given up on my childhood dream without even trying. I threw myself to other things in school and did not play at all.”
Once she graduated, she worked as a journalist and then proceeded to management consulting. A friend asked if she could sub in for her during a concert, and at first June demurred, stating she’d probably lost her capacity to perform at a professional level. However, the concert was just two months away, so that she had the time to prepare.
“I made a decision to say yes, since I didn’t know anybody in Paris, so what is the worst that would happen?” June says. “In the beginning it was tough–my fingers were not able to do what my mind wanted to do, because I had not been enjoying for so long. But the technique came back quickly.” She also noticed that although she had stopped playing, she’d still grown as a person and as an artist. She brought a new perspective to her music today.
The concert reignited her passion for music. That resulted in invitations to perform with professional orchestras, concerts she had to balance using a full-time profession after which business school.
After business school, she sought out a business that will help her with this balance. “I thought that working in a place like Google, that is quite supportive of external interests, are a great fit for me,” June says. “I would continue to work on exciting issues and build a fantastic career in addition to performing and playing when I can.”