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Richard Wang: Creating Opportunities for Future Wildcats

“Talent is evenly distributed, opportunities are not,” said Richard Wang, Central Washington University’s class of 2008 graduate.

Serving as the Chief Executive Officer for Coding Dojo, Wang has embraced his role in not only developing a new workforce, but changing peoples’ lives in the process.

Coding Dojo is a school designed as a 14-week crash course for learning three different languages of coding. They are the only program in the country to offer this curriculum, and currently Coding Dojo has locations in Bellevue, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Washington DC, Dallas and Chicago. The school is planning to open more campuses in Berkeley and Orange County, as well.

“It’s about creating economic ability to get into the middle class,” Wang said.

As CEO there is a lot of attention on the decisions he makes. When asked what his position has taught him, Wang said: “We are all human and people are going to make mistakes. As a leader, the most important thing is how you react when mistakes happen. To me, that speaks the most about who you are and your maturity as a leader.”

Originally born in China, Wang was the first member in his immediate family to attend college and to immigrate to the United States. Only 13 years old at the time, Wang admits that he immigrated not knowing a single word of English. He moved in with his aunt and uncle before attending a Christian boarding school in Oregon.

Growing up in China, Wang was actually preparing to go into a different field than the one he has entered into now.

“When I was in China, I was put on the track to play professional basketball, and when I was in high school, that was all I focused on,” Wang said.

The academic world was never something that was on Wang’s mind, and his schoolwork would usually play second fiddle to his athletics. When it came time to graduate, Wang found that college acceptance was hard to come by. Wang applied to every college in Washington State and after getting rejected by every school, Central admitted him on a conditional acceptance. Wang found that there was a steep learning curve in college and did not take his academic studies seriously.

“When I came to Central, I realized that grades are a very important thing, and I found that it wasn’t the basketball court I needed to perform on, but in the classroom,” Wang said.

Earning a 1.8 GPA his first quarter at CWU, this served as the wake-up call he needed to begin what would end up being a very successful career.

“From then on, I really focused and dedicated my time on school. When I graduated, my GPA was around a 3.8,” Wang said.

During his time at Central, Wang studied Business Administration with specializations in marketing and supply chain management. He also founded the Entrepreneurs Club, held the position of President of the Supply Chain Club, and was on the dean’s council for the College of Business.

In his senior year, Wang developed an app called “THINKBURG” that helped local businesses advertise their products to the college community. Wang acknowledges that he really benefited from having professors who were passionate about the subjects they were teaching.

“It wasn’t really about the class, but more about the professors that really made a difference,” Wang commented. “I can go anywhere and take the same class, with the same content, from the same text book, but the thing that made it different was the professors.”

After graduation, Wang went on to have a very successful career at Boeing. He spent six years as the Supply Chain Contracts Program Manager to China, India, Korea, Japan, and Australia. He also served in various other roles, including: Chief of Staff in the Office of the Executive Managing Director of Asia; Business Strategy and Supply Chain Optimization Leader to China; Major Partner Liaison to Korean Airlines, MHI, KHI, FHI; and as SAAB Product Manager for Supply Chain Insight and Control Systems.

In addition to his role of CEO at Coding Dojo, Wang currently serves on the CWU Foundation board, as well as the Board of Director for Technology Alliance, a statewide, not-for-profit organization of leaders from Washington’s technology-based businesses and research institutions.  

To learn more about Wang's accomplishments or to discover the information technology world of Coding Dojo, please click here.

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