SF Ugrad Alumni Spotlight: Gayoung Park ’15
“I grew up dreaming of working in Silicon Valley. To me, SV is a full of dreams and successes!”
Gayoung Park participated in the Semester in San Francisco Ugrad program in Spring ’15.
>> Where do you currently work? Â
I work at BLINDÂ as a Product Manager – I lead the localization and development of the US product. The US version of Blind has been customized for the US market, and itâ€™s already gaining traction here. Blind is attracting heavy usage from top US companies and startups including Uber, Microsoft, and Amazon. BlindÂ builds exclusive professional communities with an anonymous backdrop, promoting authentic conversations in the workplace. Our goal is to eliminate professional barriers and hierarchy in the workplace to promote honest conversations beyond the corporate facade.
>> Why did you decide to work at Blind?
1)Global Product – Impact
Blind is tackling a problem that exists globally in a unique way: Hierarchies and professional identities prevent honest communication between professionals. Blind is using anonymity to ensure candid communication among professionals. I really wanted to work for a global product that can create bigger impact on people and Blind is creating the impact in the workplace.
2) Small team – Fast learning and Responsibility
Because I work at a relatively small team, I am expected to wear multiple hats. Iâ€™m also constantly adopting and learning new skills and responsibilities. For instance, I recently learned SQL to utilize our data and make decisions based on the data. I honestly learned more in my first five months in a startup than I did in the previous years at school (though I learned a LOT from Babsonâ€™s Entrepreneurship curriculum).
3)People- Experienced Team
I wanted to learn and grow from working with the experienced team. Blind is a team of professionals with more than 10 years of experience in IT industry so I have a lot to learn it from. Our founding membersâ€™ companies have been acquired by top companies like Naver, Groupon, and Reebonz.
>> Why should people use Blind?
Being honest and being yourself is important, but it is often hard to be like that especially in the workplace setting due to hierarchies and professional barriers. The type of conversation happening on Blind has never been possible on other social networks. In Blind, users can have the most authentic discussions about internal topics with co-workers or mingle with professionals across multiple companies in the same industry. They can relate to each otherâ€™s concerns or issues because they work at similar since every professional is verified with their work email to ensure the integrity of the conversations in our exclusive anonymous community.
>> What have you learned at Blind?Â
Do not rely on intuitive decision, rather make data-driven decision. Data tells it all (though you canâ€™t really replace intuition or creative ideas with data and definitely need them in some situation). As a product manager, my goal is to collect, analyze, manage, and act on customer feedback to build better product. Without looking into data, I cannot even tell exactly where our customers are having a problem.
Also, to do this right, I learned that I have to concentrate on one key metric that would determine the fate of a product and optimize product based on that data outcome.
>> What are some of the challenges you’ve faced at Blind?Â
In my opinion, communication is both the biggest obstacle and the key to success. Our dev team is in Korea so we are currently working remotely and there are a lot of problem associated with being in different location. Weâ€™re in different time zones which means that when the US team is done with work, Korea teamâ€™s workday just get started. I realized that I have to be really clear and concise with my communication otherwise it will result in delay in completing the work at least 2-3 days later. Moreover, having a good communication is the only way building trust within our team and get right things done in a timely manner.
>> What advice do you have for someone working in a startup?
1) Learn new skills -Working at a startup means you will always be short of resources andÂ required to wear multiple hats. So it would be really helpful to constantly learn new skills that would benefit your work.
2) Ask for help (if you need to) – Lots of people went through the same challenges as you do so if you canâ€™t really figure out what to do, just ask for help and they will be happy to help you.
>> Why did you decide to work in San Francisco?
I grew up dreaming of working in Silicon Valley. To me, SV is a full of dreams and successes. So even before working at Blind, I came to SF for Babsonâ€™s SF Tech Entrepreneurship program and started my own food business. So many reasons to work in SF – there are many events, meetups, resources you can utilize and benefit from. You get to meet a lot of influential people here. More importantly, you get to work with word-class teams.
Weâ€™re available to following companies and Iâ€™d love to hear your feedback on our app!
Top 100 Tech
Our largest anonymous community is composed of users from Google, Facebook, Uber, Microsoft, LinkedIn etc.
Focus on traditional Semiconductor companies such as Sandisk, Intel, Micron, Applied Materials etc.
Big 4 Accounting
Our most recent launch bridges communication for currently employees of PwC, EY, Deloitte and KPMG across all lines of service.
firstname.lastname@example.orgÂ | Gayoung Park ’15 | Entrepreneurship