Meet Ryan Ingram, Engagement Content Specialist
Based in San Mateo, California
What was your experience prior to Goalbook?
Before joining the Goalbook team I worked at KIPP Heartwood Academy as an instructional coach and before that, I taught 6th grade Social Studies. I loved working in the classroom and also coaching teachers and I wanted to make the craft of teaching one that was sustainable as well as fulfilling. I found myself trying to help teachers strike a balance between a healthy workload and high-quality instruction and that was when I came across Goalbook.
What gravitated you towards Goalbook’s mission?
The most compelling aspect of Goalbook’s mission for me is the fact that it is inclusive. The simple tagline “…so that ALL students succeed” is powerful because it acknowledges that there are students who are not getting the education they deserve. There are so many marginalized groups within educational institutions and Goalbook’s mission is to equip teachers with the resources they need in order to reach those groups. When I walked into Goalbook HQ for my initial interview I knew right away that the mission wasn’t simply arbitrary, altruistic words on a webpage; the folks at Goalbook wholeheartedly believe in the mission and it is proven through the actions and speech of every individual on the team.
The folks at Goalbook wholeheartedly believe in the mission and it is proven through the actions and speech of every individual on the team.
What is your role, and what are your favorite parts of it?
I focus on “engagement content” which means I am responsible for the user-facing marketing content that is published through various communication outlets. I manage a lot of the content that appears on our Medium page as well as email newsletters, social media, and any other promotional form of communication. The best part of my job is when I have the opportunity to craft stories about teachers and our products that connect to the challenges that educators face. Much of the content I write educates our users on how to optimize their experience with the product and I also focus on validating the amazing work that our partners do every day.
Outside of the role, what are one or two things you love here?
One thing I enjoy about working at Goalbook is our team. Our team is unique in that we value diversity in a way that moves beyond the superficial. I have engaged in many thoughtful conversations about diversity and inclusion in our office and I have learned a lot about my colleagues on the whole. One other thing I enjoy — this is going to sound ridiculous but I love my commute! Our office is a short walk from the San Mateo Caltrain station. The ride on the train gives me a head start with work because I can respond to emails or work on a piece that I am writing.
How do you work and communicate with your manager?
My role is unique in that I am currently the only person doing what I am doing, so my manager is very supportive, I’d say we have a close working relationship. We collaborate often about the work that I do and we also have a weekly one-on-one meeting where I have the space to connect with him about things that aren’t related to the projects that I am working on. The one-on-one is refreshing because I know that I can count on it to happen weekly and that my manager is genuinely concerned about my growth within the company.
What have you learned in your role so far?
I have learned a ton since I started working at Goalbook but the most valuable thing that I have learned thus far is to stay married to the problem and not the solution. In the world of product design, it is critical to always remember that we are here in service to the user, who is the teacher. This philosophy is evident across every team in the company; every individual on the team communicates with our educators in some capacity so that we are always designing with their best interests in mind.
In the world of product design it is critical to always remember that we are here in service to the user, who is the teacher.
What are some areas you’d like to continue growing professionally?
I’d like to increase my effectiveness in how we communicate Goalbook’s impact externally. I feel that our work is unique in the ed-tech space because we genuinely work with educators and leaders in a true partnership. I want our branding to reflect the amazing work and progress that our school and district partners have achieved, and to communicate our values, our product, and our mission to a wider audience.
What personal goals have you set outside of work?
Writing is one of my passions and I write personally outside of work. A huge goal of mine is to complete a manuscript that I’ve been working on for a couple of years by the end of 2018.
What are some of your favorite spots in San Mateo?
My wife and I recently had our first child and because both of us work in education we want to make sure the toys we buy are educational and enriching. There is a wonderful toy store called Talbot’s Toyland and they have an enormous selection of great toys. My wife and I have given the stamp of approval! Also, my favorite place to eat lunch in San Mateo is actually a breakfast diner called Baywatch. Their waffles are delicious.
What’s your favorite memory during your time at Goalbook?
My favorite memory was when we concluded our recent Instructional Leadership Design Institute. We shared dinner in Berkeley, CA with our school and district partners who attended our two-day Institute. It was an evening full of laughs and great food from a Soulfood truck and taco truck. I loved that we were able to connect with our partners in such an authentic way, and it truly felt as though we were all on the same team.