A computer programmer at the age of 14, then a PhD scholar at MIT and a marketing professor. Not exactly a typical career progression. Dean’s Chair and Associate Professor Leonard Lee explains his unconventional career decisions in an interview with Outside-In:
“I was 14 when my dad brought home our first computer and I quickly developed a passion for programming,” recalls Leonard of his interest in technology in the early years. After junior college, he was awarded a scholarship from the National Computer Board (NCB), (now known as the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA). After completing a BSc in Computer and Information Science at NUS and an MS in Computer Science from Stanford, he returned to Singapore to join the IDA. “I used to work with a lot of organisations and government agencies, and in the midst of the dot.com boom in the late 1990s, everyone seemed to be scrambling to find his or her own identity in the emerging cyber era,” he recalls. He admits that even though he knew he wanted to be an academic, he wasn’t sure of what area he was specifically interested in or wanted to pursue.