Emma Ma - by Shiv Thukral

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Bubbly and spontaneous, Emma began her ukulele journey immediately after hearing a mesmerizing piece on the radio earlier this year!

Emma’s energy is awe-inspiring and our conversation at starbucks seemed to pass by in a jiffy! Meeting Emma was a pleasure as her background is unique, her personality is fun, and her interests are diverse!

Born and raised in Beijing, Emma was always clear about her passion in early childhood education. She loves children to say the least, especially the ones that are “cute and clean” :)  After high-school, Emma flew to the other end of the world for her college education – she went to Boston University for undergrad and Columbia for her master’s – all to fuel her knowledge in educating the young. It was during those years that her entrepreneurial spirits came to life when she decided to start her own Beijing-based art-school – which has grown from a humble 1 studio set-up to a thriving 5 studio operation in just two years! Wow!!

But there’s a lot more to Emma than her entrepreneurial streak! She’s a yoga enthusiast, an avid traveler and a nature lover. She loves exploring tropical destinations and has visited nearly all Hawaii islands, among other places. As we sipped our coffees, we bonded over our individual adventures completing the ‘Road to Hana’ in Maui – a must visit place if you like good weather, beaches, waterfalls, surfing and mimosas! One thing she told me that’ll stick with me forever is that she kept playing Chainsmokers on repeat the entire Road to Hana journey! (Oh and by the way, she loves rap songs too – think Khalid!)

Going into this interview, I had heard that Emma played the ukulele – and being a music buff, I had to get to know more about this aspect of her life. Bubbly and spontaneous, Emma began her ukulele journey immediately after hearing a mesmerizing piece on the radio earlier this year! She heard it on a Friday, figured out the logistics of learning on Saturday, and started classes on Sunday! Quick decision making – something we can all look up to!!

All in all, Emma is super talented, spirited and fun-loving. It was great to spend time with her and I surely hope to hear her ukulele skills on International Night!!