Myth Busting Summer

Sep 12, 2012

I consider myself a myth buster. My summer internship experience at UniversityNow, has been another act in a myth busting trajectory.

UniversityNow, is a venture-backed education start-up that’s making higher education available for everyone through the launch of a freemium accredited university systems.

Drawing A

Unlike most of my fellows, my path to UniversityNow was forged intentionally. I made a pact with myself to reframe my professional experiences. Prior to 2009, majority of my working life has been in male dominated environments.

2009, was a seminal year for me. It was the year I turned 30 and the year I found out I was getting a divorce! As anyone who has had the unpleasant experience will know, it is devastating. However, when you have your whole world thrown out of whack, it present some rather interesting opportunities. The best way to understand divorce is to think of it as a kind of forced disruption, an unexpected opportunity to innovate. It gives you the opportunity to reinvent your identity and forge a new path. As a result, I decided that I would curate my life experiences with a view of the world where I am immersed in diversity and excellence!

Since I am in education technology, what would that world look like? It would look like Alice Agogino, one of my stalwart, trailblazing, kickass ninja advisors. It would look like Ryan Shelby, my lab mate, watch his TEDx talk, enough said. It would look like UniversityNow where I spent my summer as the Semantic Data Scientist.

Here at UniversityNow, our goal is to fling the doors of access wide open to anyone who wants to take a bite out of higher education without sacrificing their future at the altar of debt, see more here. If working to make that goal a reality isn’t amazing enough, it was at UniversityNow that I got my first opportunity to work with African American women in technology. This summer I was part of a three person group that included NeeCee and Amelia. Together, our team built a data analytics console for UniversityNow in 5 weeks!! A feat given none of us had prior experiences with ruby on rails, mongoDB, posgres and the D3js javascript library.

What would a world in which diversity and excellence are not just buzz words, but a lived daily reality look like? It would look like us, the Kapor Capital Fellows, myth busted!

cross posted here