(Part of the intern class of 2017)

For our April Team Member Spotlight, we are excited to recognize Chew Lee, a Software Engineer on COTA’s engineering team. In addition to his official role as a Software Engineer, Chew also holds the position of being COTA’s Chief Celebration Officer, a role that has become increasingly important as the company adjusts to a completely remote work environment. Chew came to the United States from Singapore in 2012 for college and grad school, ultimately interning at COTA before joining the team full-time where he has helped to build and maintain multiple platform services.

In addition to his engineering responsibilities, he enjoys exploring the city on foot, hoping to find things that are off the beaten path. He also dabbles in ultimate frisbee (when it isn’t cold!), trying different types of beer, and going on hikes. For more on Chew and his role at COTA, keep reading…

Why did you decide to join the COTA team?

I first joined COTA as an intern. The prospect of working at the intersection of healthcare and technology intrigued me, and I was onboard with COTA’s mission. The internship experience was quite remarkable. It afforded me many learning opportunities, and allowed me to contribute to active client projects. My intern class and colleagues were wonderful to work and hangout with. Overall, I had a really good experience, and wanted to see where a full-time role here would lead.

Why do you like working for COTA?

In no particular order: colleagues, learning opportunities, culture.

(With some teammates at the 2019 Holiday Party)

Colleagues: People at COTA  are driven, hardworking, and intelligent, but above all, we are team players who support each other, both in professional and personal growth. Who wouldn’t want to work with such people?

Learning opportunities: Whether it is honing my technical chops on Kubernetes and Scala, or realizing the importance of communication in any team’s success, COTA continues to teach me a great amount.

Culture: We have a strong culture of collaboration, both within and between teams,where all opinions are respected, valued, and given due consideration, even those of someone as junior as myself. I also get to prank my colleagues (almost) without fear of repercussions.

(Pranking Emily Di Capua, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at COTA, with water cups on April Fool’s Day 2019 & Emily realizing she wasn’t going to make her 9:30am deadline)

What would you like to tell someone who is considering a job in the oncology space? Why is your job important to you?

As someone who thrives in a mission-oriented environment, COTA’s goal of bringing clarity to cancer (No, I was not forced to write this), is one worth striving towards. My job allows me to apply my skills for social good. Sure, I don’t see the impact directly, but I take pride in the fact that the positive impact is there. The challenges in this space are innumerable, and I suspect the only way to overcome them is to have a team with varied expertise that works well together. If you’re up to the challenge, I’d say do it.

Role as Chief Celebration Officer 

As Chief Celebration Officer at COTA, my sole responsibility is ensuring that “The Gong” is sound for events at COTA that are noteworthy. Some examples include signing a deal, having clients who are beyond satisfied with our work, or looking back on the path we have taken and realizing how much we have improved. There’s a lot of nuance to it, and I’m not sure all my colleagues understand that there are standards to be met—I’m not going to Gong just because you solved the New York Times Mini Crossword in 11 seconds.

All joking aside, as we adjust to the new normal of working remotely during the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that we take time to celebrate the positive things that are happening at COTA. In case you are wondering, yes, I brought “The Gong” to my home office so the celebrations can continue virtually.


 (Gong sounding session, celebrating the signing of a deal. Featuring Irfan Shah)

If you missed out on our last Team Member Spotlight featuring The Women of COTA, click here.