Did your time at MIT spur your interest?
Absolutely! MIT was the perfect environment because the students are not competitive, and we’re all eager to learn more, build things and solve problems. MIT students are very much free to think and “be” however they feel, as there are very few rules that limit students. I really liked that about my time there. I also think MIT taught me to have a problem-solving mindset when it comes to any challenge–technological or otherwise. I think the nurturing of independent thought helped me feel empowered to keep pushing through any perceived limitation. My time at MIT was probably one of the most difficult things I’ve subjected myself to, but I would do it all over again.
What was your first job outside of college?
My very first job out of college was working for a PBS station in Boston–WGBH. I worked in the fundraising and development department. My other passion outside of media was non-profit work, so this was a great place for me to begin my career. It wasn’t a very glamourous job, but I loved working there.
What made you decide to go to grad school?
To be honest, MIT scared me away from school for life! MIT was great but it was painful at the time, and I was very sure I didn’t want to step into another classroom for as long as I lived. But, I ended up getting a job at the University of Southern California and since classes are free for employees, I figured I could take a few classes just for kicks. Soon after, they opened up a new program at the Communication school that focused on Online Communities and I decided to apply. It was definitely one of the best decisions I made because I was able to get an internship in new media, and my career really took off in terms of taking me down the career path I was looking for.