Q: So, tell us more about yourself.
I studied a number of foreign languages in college. Eventually, my love of spoken language led to an interest in computer languages, and a career shift into tech swiftly followed. At the core of what drives me, though, is a deep-seated belief that education is a primary solution to many of the social, economic, and ideological challenges that plague our world today. I also believe that, with the right tools and guidance, all people are capable of making small but effective choices that can ultimately reduce suffering in the world and make our communities safer and more equitable places to be.
Q: How did you first hear about TechChange?
When I first started applying for software engineering jobs, I knew I either wanted to work in edtech or for a company in the social change/impact sector. I never dreamed I would be lucky enough to get both! So when I heard back from TechChange and kept getting advanced through the interview process, I almost didn’t believe it was real. I am so glad that TechChange welcomed me into the work they are doing, and it feels like a true privilege to be a part of the team here.
Q: What are some of your favorite parts of working at TechChange so far?
My career and life have not always followed a very straightforward trajectory, but I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had and am so happy with where I have ended up. It’s really resonated with me to see the diverse background of so many of the employees at TechChange and to see the CEO actively encouraging the people in his sphere of influence to reject the stigma associated with taking a little more time to find your path. The leadership here recognizes that those of us who have needed to take a long way or who have a nonlinear work history contribute to the diversity of perspectives that makes the work at TechChange all the more inclusive and effective. Being among such people, in addition to the shared values and goals of social change, really makes me feel like I’m somewhere I belong.
Q: What excites you about this role?
Coming into the position as a brand new software engineer, I was acutely aware that I would have a lot to learn on the job. However, I did not expect that I would get to work in an environment where my relative newness to the field wouldn’t actively devalue me. I am so tremendously grateful that my work ethic, potential, and commitment are recognized and invested in and that learning and growth are built into the role. Being intentionally given the space to ask honest questions, receive meaningful guidance, and prioritize deep learning over frenzied productivity when needed has instilled me with a new level of confidence and motivation. TechChange, a company built around empowering people with education opportunities, has shown me that this value applies not only to their clients but also to their employees.
Q: Anything you look forward to working on or learning at TechChange in the next year?
Working at TechChange opens up a huge opportunity to connect with organizations doing meaningful education and impact work that I otherwise might have never known about. In a world where the news cycle is dominated by the worst events of the week, I’m especially looking forward to being regularly reminded of all the good going on in the world and to connecting myself to the change makers, helpers, revolutionaries, and advocates making a difference every day. I’m excited to get to contribute to their efforts, even in small ways, with my daily work at TechChange.
Q: Lastly, what’s something that not a lot of people know about you?
I’m surprisingly risk averse for someone who’s seemingly done a lot of things to keep my mother up at night. I’ve paraglided in the French Alps and gone spelunking in Mammoth Cave. I’ve lived in foreign countries and have had close encounters with sharks, stingrays, and more. I’ve free solo climbed cliffs and lived with survivors of human trafficking. I’ve had these experiences not because I’m impulsive or fearless but because I’m committed to “doing it scared” if it’s something that really matters or something that will make my life or the lives of others richer and better, to doing important things even when I’m uncomfortable or facing significant obstacles Deep down, though, I’m far from an adrenaline thrill chaser. What I really love is a calm and quiet night in with a good book and a cup of tea and would happily choose that any day I can!