Kou-Hau Tseng (Chemical Engineering 2013) co-founded Archimedes Inspiration - AI Escape, an escape room venue in London which was voted 12th best venue in the world by The Top Escape Room Project.
Can you tell us about your studies at Imperial?
I studied Chemical Engineering which was demanding but rewarding. There was a lot of workload and I struggled to balance my studies with extracurricular activities at the beginning. It really pushed me to be more organised and manage my time efficiently. Luckily, by the second year I was able to juggle between class, societies and social life comfortably enough to also get a part-time job.
The fact that the course was challenging sort of created a sense of camaraderie between students. We were all going through the same challenges so everyone was supportive of each other. It was hard work but it was a good experience and it taught me that with teamwork and determination any goal is achievable.
Tell us a bit about the work you’re doing now.
Yan (also a chemical engineer from Imperial) and I co-founded Archimedes Inspiration - AI Escape, an escape room venue in London.
With AI Escape we aim to challenge the status quo of escape rooms and treat the concept more like an art and media platform. Our games are designed with a strong focus on technology and thought-provoking narratives with the goal of reaching players on an emotional level. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it has helped us differentiate ourselves and rank amongst the best escape rooms in London as well as being voted the 12th best venue in the world by The Top Escape Room Project. It’s motivating to see people enjoy your work and reading about the positive impact we make from customer love letters just encourages us to keep on going.
How has what you learnt at Imperial helped you in your career so far?
I think Imperial emphasises practicality over theory. It’s not about memorising formulas but rather understanding the reasoning behind complex concepts and how to apply them in functional ways. You gain transferable skills like problem solving or data analysis which leaves you with a strong foundation for your career and opens many doors. This enabled me to also work in non-chemical engineering related companies such as Goldman Sachs and Google and helped me build the confidence to follow my passions. I even ended up breaking a Guinness World Record while fundraising for charity; however laughable and comical the record was.
What would be your advice for current students?
Make the most out of your time as a student and don’t focus only on academics. Studies are important but Imperial offers you so much more than that. You are in an amazingly international community so network and learn from others. Join societies, attend events, explore your interests, take risks and learn about yourself. Don’t be scared of trying different things and think big. Time will fly so enjoy the ride.
Do you have a favourite quote or saying?
“Inexperience is an asset. Embrace it.” - Wendy Kopp