By Matt Mui 

Matt Mui is a Diversity Ambassador at AT&T and a director of innovation and strategy.  He is also the National President for the Asian Pacific Islanders for Professional and Community Advancement (APCA) group.  He provided his thoughts to us about what it means to be Asian American and the key words that describe him best.

What does being an Asian American mean to you?
Roots.  Heritage.  History.  Stories.  Being Asian American is multidimensional.  Although we may share common threads, we each have our own unique story.  My mother is from Bangkok and my father is from Hong Kong.  I’m Chinese American and a native Californian. I grew up in the Bay Area and have lived the majority of my life up and down the beautiful coast of this Golden State. 

I'm fortunate to live in San Francisco where food is the talk of the City.  There’s something for everyone.  Whether it’s a taste or a feast, food does good for our souls.  Food plays an important role in every culture and it's what connects us and brings everyone together!  The American cuisine would not be what it is today without influential Asian Americans. Whether you’ve had the opportunity to meet them or wine and dine at one of their famous restaurants, one thing is for sure – Asian food is in, it’s hot, and it's the fusion plated on many dishes served at your local favorite eatery and restaurants across America.

The stories, food, and traditions passed on from my parents, ancestors, and even the culinary artists are deeply ingrained and imprinted on me like a tattoo on my back. I think the preservation of our cultural heritage should be the American tradition of every immigrant. We owe it to ourselves, family, ancestors, community and the future generation who defines what it means to be Asian and Asian American.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?
I am passionate, creative and ambitious.

What does success look like to you?
Success is relative and in many ways immeasurable. Perhaps, success is about how we choose to live our life?  For me, how I choose to live my life is all about attitude and passion.  My current day job is technical sales.  I enjoy seeing how technology transforms lives, businesses and our communities.  At the same time, I enjoy using my artistic abilities and being creative.  I love music, film and entertainment.  I also enjoying being an advocate on social and public policy issues, and volunteering my time in public service which is why I serve on four community non-profit boards.  Exceeding 1,000 volunteer hours in 2015 is an achievement.  Giving 1,000 volunteer hours of my personal time is a rewarding accomplishment.  I value the opportunity to make a difference and to advance the community for the greater good.  Aligning my passion with my personal life, the work I do at AT&T, and in the community makes me feel connected and provides meaning to what I choose to do with my life.

If you could give your younger self some professional advice, what would it be?
I would say to my younger self: Be extraordinary.  Take risk.  Think big.  Expand your network inside and outside of your social circle.  Be confident.  Step up.  Stand out.  Be loud.  Be proud.

Matt Mui, Director, Innovation & Strategy