Shaun So was born and raised by his Asian parents in the United States. He had his primary and secondary education in the urban city of Chicago. Next, So pursued a political science degree at the University of Chicago. You might consider So’s next step to work at a government agency. Instead, he stretched his education further.
He enrolled at Tsinghua University to study Mandarin. Plus, he holds an MBA from the City University of New York.
The Career Start: Serving the US Government
In 2003, Shaun became an intelligence analyst at the US Defense Intelligence Agency. After three years, he ventured into McNeil Technologies as a defense contractor.
Shaun later stepped up to serve his country. He became a counterintelligence specialist for the US Army, serving eight years. Also, Shaun was deployed on a special assignment to Afghanistan.
A Career Switch: Building Businesses
Shaun had served his nation well and decided it was time to rekindle his passion for business. In 2011, he built his first business, Cubby. It was a logistics company for temporary storage and delivery of customers’ luggage. Sadly, the business packed up within its first year.
Shaun’s business skills were rusty, and his MBA dusty. But, this first trial put him back in shape for doing business. Shaun forged ahead with his aggressive perseverance, establishing The So Company in 2012. It delivers software development services and content to private and government agencies.
A Company with a Unique Value Proposition
Shaun said, “Many organizations have the ‘we hire veterans’ just as a marketing campaign or to improve public relations.” When Shaun contacted such organizations, he was redirected to the marketing department instead of human resource personnel.
Also, he realized that Veterans Affairs (VA) were not well managed. This diminished the Veterans’ education and healthcare benefits. Shaun could relate to this as a former military personnel.
He built a single access point to manage VA at The So Company. The impact? This grew veteran applications to healthcare benefits by 52%. It also increased user satisfaction to 21.8% in a short time.
The So Company also helps Americans access healthcare insurance in the government marketplace.
Life Outside Work: Family and Non-Profit Activities
Shaun tied the knot with his long-time girlfriend, Anna Chlumsky, in 2008. The couple have two kids and are based in the US. When Shaun is not tending to family or business affairs, he’s probably neck-deep managing his non-profit organization – Digital Services Coalition.