I taught myself to code in 2013, because I wanted to build products and companies that improve the human experience. I wanted to start a company eventually, so I decided to build my software engineering skills first. I became a Senior UI Developer at Macys.com, then a Staff Engineer at Slack. Through both of these experiences, I learned how to iterate on product ideas, plus how to design and scale software.
“Find a problem you can’t stop thinking about.”
Last year, I got some incredible entrepreneurship advice from Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures: “Find a problem you can’t stop thinking about.” That’s when I realized that I could tap into my existing passion for learning and teaching, and help many professionals make more out of their careers. I had already mentored junior software engineers who had received job offers and promotions, and I wanted to bring the same leadership, communication, and professional skills to a larger audience. Plus, I had already been scaling educational programs as a board member for Girl Develop It, an organization that empowers thousands of adult women with software skills every month.
I created the Crush Your Internship program to help interns maximize their experience. After the first summer, I knew I had embarked on the next stage of my journey. At a time when career advice abounds on the internet, there are still many people who feel as though their professional dreams are out of reach. In the age of workplace productivity software, there are few products that are dedicated to unlocking the individual potential of each employee. That’s what I want to build with Guanyin Labs.
Although Guanyin Labs is still in its infancy, we have already made a significant impact. This summer, 230 people organically found their way to the Crush Your Internship program; 7 companies joined the pilot. Students came from top schools like Spelman, MIT, Cal, and Harvard. Their internships were at companies like Google, Facebook, Salesforce, IBM, and many more. When I see so much interest in professional development, I know there’s a gap that’s waiting to be filled.
Unique challenges for interns
There are so many aspects to career and professional development waiting to be tackled. We intend to add modules to help employees excel at a new job, a new role within a company, and other career milestones. But for now, Guanyin Labs is focused on the intern experience.
One of the challenges that interns face in their careers is figuring out how to be in the driver’s seat. They’re also learning how to feel confident asking questions, deciding what career direction to take after graduation, and searching for a challenge. Guanyin Labs’ Crush Your Internship program addresses all of these topics, and more.
“[CYI] forced me to reflect about my experiences and realize what I really want to accomplish as an intern. Interns have a lot of autonomy and minimal responsibility, so it’s up to us to make the most of our short time there.”
—2018 Summer Intern from Carbon Black
I can’t wait to see where the alumni of the Guanyin Labs professional development programs go with their careers. I hope they feel empowered to achieve their dreams.
Ready to become an early adopter? Visit guanyinlabs.com.