Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

On the Job: Keira Peng Th’11, WeLove Founder

Wei Peng
Photograph by Heidi Roland.

After earning her MEM from Thayer, Keira Peng worked with large databases, most recently to optimize fraud-detection strategies for health insurer Cigna. While researching the impact of stress on employees there, she examined the stress she felt from expectations to start a family. So began the Philadelphia resident’s foray into online dating.

What prompted you to form your dating consultancy, WeLove?
Once I got over my own fear of dating, mastered online dating, and actually started having fun with it, I realized it was a challenge for many Asian immigrant women. Many of them need someone to hold their hands to navigate something that’s way outside of their comfort zone—where they know very little, where they need a lot of practice, where they can make mistakes and fail! I realized this was my true path of service, and WeLove was born.

What makes your service unique?
We coach Asian professional women to become their own matchmakers. Our clients not only get better responses from quality men online, they also have a much lower tolerance for men who treat them poorly or in a stereotypical way. Perhaps for the first time in their lives, they also start to define their own vision of happiness and follow their own paths to freedom and love.

What skills are essential for a successful entrepreneur?
Leadership. At Thayer I learned that sometimes leadership is a burden people take on to do things that may not be glamorous but necessary. Since I started my own business, I’ve gotten to know another facet of leadership: having the courage to advocate for what you believe can really improve people’s lives. Another skill is empathy: being able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and grasp many different perspectives.

How do you use the Lean Six Sigma (LSS) methodology to optimize online dating?
Wherever there is waste, redundancy, and overwhelmingness, LSS can be applied to get better results with less time. While at Dartmouth, I was introduced to the LSS methodology by Professor Ron Lasky and worked with him on helping Dartmouth-Hitchcock schedule 25 percent more MRI scans. We often talk about LSS as if it’s a sacred business practice, but it really can be applied anywhere, including your personal life. By cleaning up in-boxes, streamlining contact lists, and following optimized screening schedules, we help our clients get at least one date a week with a high-quality candidate while investing as little as 30 minutes a day. We’ve been told by clients that just the calming feeling of being in control and the sheer amount of stress we’ve helped them reduce is worth thousands of dollars, not to mention the higher-quality dating experience.

—Theresa D’Orsi

Categories: Alumni News, On the Job

Tags: alumni, entrepreneurship, faculty

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