Steve Chung – Catalyst Spotlight

What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this field?

I’m the Senior Vice President for NBCUniversal Media’s Newsgroup. I work with NBC News and the Owned Television Stations division on a diverse array of matters. Prior to joining NBCU, I was a litigator for Davis Wright Tremaine, focusing on advising and defending media clients, and in a prior career, I worked as a management consultant, devising data-driven strategies to advise Fortune 500 companies.

What is the biggest challenge of your work?

Working for a large corporation with so many businesses and moving parts can make it very difficult to move things forward. It requires a combination of savvy, empathy, discipline, and a good sense of timing to contribute effectively and consistently. Gaining the respect of your clients definitely doesn’t happen overnight, and I’ve learned that you build your reputation every day.

What is your proudest achievement?

I have created an ongoing mentorship program through the Asian American Bar Association of New York that has reached over 100 lawyers in one year. Although I love my work and am very proud of what I have achieved in my career, there’s nothing greater than the satisfaction of really making a difference in someone’s life and encouraging people to reimagine what can accomplish.

What would be your advice to young people who want their careers and lives to have an impact?

Don’t wait until you have a corner office before you start helping people. The best thing you can do for yourself is to start taking responsibility and doing what you can for the community. The sense of pride, the vision, and confidence that helping others requires will only make you better. Don’t be afraid to start small, and don’t underestimate the impact that a small amount of help or even compassion can have on a person’s life.

Did you have a mentor or do you mentor someone else? How has that experience changed you?

I have had several great mentors and have mentored numerous people. One of my mentors Don Liu, the General Counsel of Target, encouraged me to think big and to avoid imposing limits on myself. Before I met him, I hadn’t even realized that I had psychological barriers that were restricting my growth. It’s the fact that he took the time to push me that made me realize that I can do more and be better. And it was through this experience that I became inspired to become more involved in the community and to prioritize helping others.