Chief Operating Officer

Terry Chen


Q: Who are you? Where are you from?

A: Boston born and raised, I am Terry, our COO and resident audio & hardware expert.

Q: Go on...

A: That means I lead Finance, People Ops, Legal, Recruiting, Internal Tools, and Tech Ops at Modulate. On a day-to-day basis, I’m working on making sure all Modulate processes are running smoothly. Having grown up in the Greater Boston area, I love the vibrant culture and history of the East Coast. Today, I love leveraging technology's ability to improve our quality of life. I’m really passionate about building ethical safeguards into AI technology, and devising comprehensive strategy that takes mental health & emotional sustainability into deep consideration.

Q: What’s your background? What did you do before Modulate?

A: I was trained as a scientist, and have worked as a Corporate Strategy Associate, Renewable Energy Analyst, DEIB Practitioner, Founder, and at Harvard University, served as a Teaching Fellow. Through these experiences, I’ve gained a passion for teaching, quantitative data analysis, and public speaking.

But background? Behind me in my original company headshot (circa Dec 2018), my microphone isolation stand was blurred but visible. Fun fact- that very isolation shield was one of the original pieces of equipment for the recording studio I built and manage. Now, you see me with my beloved pup!

Q: How did you first get into Operations & Strategy?

A: Philosophical discussions centered around optimizing Finance, Legal, and prioritizing team effectiveness & cultural inclusion.

Q: Why did you join Modulate? When did you know you wanted to join the team?

A: In 2017, I joined forces with Carter, Mike, and Philip (one of our Recording Engineer alumni) on a machine learning project called Aspect News. Our project was aimed at allowing users to really recognize their personal filter bubbles when consuming online media. We were an effective team working on a shared mission. From there, I recognized that my passion for audio, ethical systems design, and bleeding edge technology were the right fit for the Modulate mission.

Q: What’s your ideal work environment? Any special strategies you use to stay effective?

A: I’m partial to an easygoing and humorous work environment where each teammate is passionate about what we’re building. I’m very pleased that we've built a Modulate that is not about conspicuous hustle. Our team’s autonomy and deep trust in each other allows us to proceed with minimal bureaucratic overhead.

To stay effective, I enjoy listening to music that complements the type of work I’m doing, whether its engineering, legal, finance, or even graphic design.

Q: Who are you outside of work?

A: I’m happiest in the middle of the hike, near the end of a book that really transports you, and most satisfied when I’m so preoccupied laughing that I'm truly living in the moment. I’m deeply fond of meaningful conversation.

I stay open-minded and enjoy learning about everybody’s perspectives and approaches to problems.

Q: What’s something you’re great at that few people realize?

A: Street hockey.

Q: Leave us with a fun tidbit - a favorite joke, a story from your past, an obscure riddle, whatever you like!

A: I’ve got a tricky one for you.

What did the kiwi say to the passionfruit?