My Airbnb story started with a recruiter's email while I was about halfway through some lunch sushi. I wasn't expecting to leave New York City anytime soon, but sometimes a good opportunity just falls squarely in your lap. Lap opportunities, by the way, aren't always the highest quality opportunities, but this one was good: the friendliest funniest people, a beautiful workspace, lots of tricky problems to design for, and an exciting move to San Francisco.
Fatigued from working as 1 employee of 430,000, I moved to working at a startup. An old grad school mentor wrote the name of a little company called Yieldmo on a napkin at this cute little French place between our apartments in Brooklyn.
It turns out that the best time to start your own business is NOT after incurring six figures worth of student debt. So instead of becoming an entrepreneur right out of grad school like I had hoped, I opted for a salary job. Who knows? I thought. Maybe I can even get IBM to build my thesis. They did not.
Before Engineers in dad jeans, I was working with supermodels in Manhattan. I took a job at Victoria's Secret and got some of my first mentoring from art directors that moved fast, had impeccable taste, and could deliver at scale.
Scott Dadich, former Editor-in-Chief at Wired, had been my instructor at SVA and after class once I went to his office and asked for a job. Working at CN will give even the best dressed people a bit of complex as GQ photoshoots walk by your desk.
Milton Glaser was my first design instructor (nothing like starting at the top, eh?). After the class, he asked me to come work in his studio where I was privy to all manner of spectacle, design gossip, and profound philosophical advice.
I was in the middle of Wesley Chapel South, Florida when the strangle of imposter syndrome finally sent me looking for graduate schools in New York. I needed to get out of the South (I don't miss that giant confederate flag on my way to work) and near other designers that could mentor me. My first ever design class was taught by none other than Milton Glaser.