Describe your First Year Experience in one or two words: Growing
I’d love to hear about your career journey. Can you talk about what led you here and your decision to join Thoughtworks?
The work I do is dedicated to creating a more liberated and equitable world. I joined Thoughtworks back in 2015 with a deep interest in the three pillar model, the flat hierarchy, and the focus on building open-source software that supports the creative commons movement. I wanted to learn how to apply software best practices towards important social and ecological impact work. I got to develop an Android translation app that helps field workers communicate with refugees more effectively on the field. It was the height of the Syrian refugee crisis, and so we partnered with UNHCR, MercyCorps, and Google to deliver this much needed tool called Translation Cards.
After having a very positive collaboration with the designer we decided to start our own design agency. We did a lot of work on the field, on projects related to rural education in the Nepali Himalayas, refugee integration in England, and continued to work on translation tools for refugees and field workers. I became interested in scaling solutions and took a service design position in local government in San Francisco. The office was run a bit like an internal consultancy. I got to lead projects offering service design and design strategy to teams across human services - the homeless outreach team, the child abuse hotline, elderly care services, and the SF safety benefits net (CalFresh, MediCal, and other cash assistance programs) to name some. When the pandemic hit, I got pulled from my regular position to assist with the emergency response housing program that helped to disperse shelters and provide safe housing to those on the street.
Serendipitously, right when my contract with the city ended, a Thoughtworks recruiter reached out to me about returning. I got excited about a few of the social impact projects that are currently happening at Thoughtworks and decided to come back. I am now working to build a platform for sustainability and my hope is to be able to offer my skills towards work that dismantles systems of power, privilege, and oppression. To push for design decisions that empower a more liberated world.
What has been your favorite part of your Thoughtworks career to date? Any milestones? “Ah-ha” moments?
My favorite part of my Thoughtworks career has been all the cross functional pairing I’ve gotten to do to deliver different pieces of work. I’ve really enjoyed the culture of collaboration and how much better an artifact is when it has been created in this way. I think my ah-ha moment was realizing and continuing to realize all the different places I can ask for support both within and outside of an account in the Thoughtworks community. There’s account leadership, the monthly design meetups, the plethora of chats each with its own focus and community, and then so many passionate individuals each with their own area of expertise that are often happy to chat.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting their first day at Thoughtworks?
Don't hesitate to reach out to the Thoughtworks community. One amazing thing about Thoughtworks is how open people are to doing 1 on 1s and having a conversation to help another coworker out, even if they are not on your account, or in your specific discipline, or a different seniority level.