Calvin Chen, Senior Director, Revenue Operations, was born and raised in the suburbs just outside of Toronto, CA.
“For me, it was a great place to grow up. It was a really multicultural community, and going to school you never felt like a minority because there was so much representation and people you could relate to,” Calvin said.
Growing up, Calvin did a little bit of everything. He played basketball, wanted to be an architect for a time, and worked as a cashier at a grocery store through high school and college. “As a cashier, you had to be really good at interacting with all kinds of people. It was a really cool experience and it was nice to have the extra income,” Calvin says.
Calvin studied finance with a minor in economics, but what he was actually most interested in was political science. “I’ve always liked politics, and I toy with the idea of one day moving back to Canada to get into politics there. It’s such a great place to live and it would be fun to help improve the country as a political leader.” Calvin attended York University and during his time there, “I would randomly attend political rallies or election parties for candidates.”
After university, Calvin moved to Hong Kong to work for JPMorgan, where he would spend the next 7 years of his life. “Moving to Hong Kong was an adjustment because it was my first time living away from my family, but it had perks.” For Calvin, this was his first real opportunity to explore the world and travel in a way he hadn’t been able to in his youth. From Southeast Asia, Thailand, Korea, and Japan to different parts of China, Calvin loved exploring new places, experiencing different cultures, and meeting new people.
His next move was to Paris for his MBA. “Since I grew up in North America and had just lived in Asia, I hadn’t really gotten to explore Europe yet, so this move was more about the experience than school itself.” Calvin spent a year and a half living in Paris and traveled throughout Europe. “I really enjoyed Berlin, there’s so much history there and the food was amazing and the people were interesting. I tried to get into this really famous club with an infamous doorman who has no set rules on how to get in. I didn’t get in, though,” Calvin chuckles.
“There’s something to be said for French culture. Working in finance and coming from Hong Kong which is 24/7, the culture in France was a shock. Everything shuts down, and people take their leisure seriously. They enjoy life more than work which is the opposite of the American way, and I think there’s a really important lesson to be learnt there.”
Despite living in New York for the past eight years and traveling worldwide, living in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Paris, Calvin is a true Canadian at heart. “Tim Hortons is a must. Growing up in Toronto, which is such a cosmopolitan and diverse city, it helps you be more understanding of other cultures so for me, traveling around the world nothing really was surprising and it makes you more accepting.”
Calvin has lived in New York for the past seven years, moving there for his wife who is a New Yorker and a doctor. “All the places I’ve lived are walking cities which is really important to me and New York has some amazing parks. We have access to so much culture here. When I moved to New York, I remember talking to friends about the energy of this city. Whereas Paris is relaxed, everyone in New York is always trying to do something. It’s like everyone here is trying to go to a 7 a.m. fitness class, and you would never see that in Paris.”
“I spent ten years in banking, and it was time for a change,” Calvin recalls when asked about his transition into Revenue Operations. Calvin and his wife have a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. “Being a parent is difficult because you have to make sacrifices. It’s fun to watch them grow, it’s painful at times but you still appreciate every moment and wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Calvin worked at WeWork in Revenue Operations for a while, and the timing was right coming out of the pandemic when the opportunity at Posh crossed his path.
“The opportunity to join Posh came up, and my whole career, I’d only worked for large companies, so I was really intrigued, Posh is one of the few chances I’ll get to join a startup. Everyone I interviewed with was super nice, so I took the leap. It’s been a great almost one year so far, obviously, we have our challenges, and that’s one of the things I signed up for. Working for a large company, you’re more siloed, whereas, at Posh, you have a lot more responsibilities, you get to make a lot more decisions, and you see your work directly impact the organization. It’s been a really good experience, and I think I’m learning a lot more at Posh than at larger companies. At Posh you have to think about building the process so there’s been a lot more learning.”
Calvin’s family is all still in Toronto, and he has a brother with three kids, visiting them often so his own daughter can spend time with family. And you never know, one day you may just see Calvin’s name on a ballot.