How did you find out about PDX WIT and what keeps you coming back?
I learned about PDXWIT through my friend Shabnam, who was familiar with the organization since she works with Megan. She mentioned it would be a great place to network with others in the tech industry, and it has been exactly as she described and more. In one of the initial events I attended, Megan put a call out for people interested in creating a mentorship program. I spoke with Megan after that event and began my journey volunteering for PDXWIT. What keeps me coming back are the stories I hear at the events and from mentorship program participants that show how crucial it is to have this kind of professional support structure in place.
Can you give us some more information about your career in tech? For example, did you intend to embark on this career path?
I came from a hard sciences background, earning my PhD in chemical engineering from CU Boulder. I worked on the hardware side of tech for some years before transitioning to software. I joined a local startup company as a product manager, which included many elements of what I had been doing in my previous positions. Namely, as a scientist and engineer, I worked on in-depth investigations and later would present my findings at a higher level to professors and senior managers; now as a product manager, I communicate feature requirements to engineers and then translate what is built to customers and the market. Being able to understand technical details and communicating those to a broader audience turned out to be one of the most useful skills I developed in my career. I am constantly striving to take on new challenges in my career path.
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