One day after publishing my halfway update for the year, I received some exciting news. Before sharing, I wanted to do a quick recap of events that lead me to where I’m at today.
After going through a layoff for the second time in my life, I experienced many different types of feelings. Fear. Frustration. Anxiety. Optimism. Excitement. Free. During my talks with friends, family, and mentors, I responded with a common theme when asked what I wanted to do next. My gut said to look at opportunities with companies who were solving the work from home (WFH) situation, whether that be through communication, social connection, or education. My job hunt began by applying to those types of companies, specifically with the hopes of finding one within the education industry.
Before I joined Virta Health in 2017, I was working at a private college in my hometown area, near San Luis Obispo, CA. In the three years I worked there, I spent the majority of my time creating visual assets for all types of marketing campaigns (emails, online ads, television commercials, newspaper features, etc.). I truly enjoyed working within the higher education environment. I was fortunate to have an amazing mentor, Leo Craven, and to also work with the wonderful staff who made me feel like family. I try my best to stop by to give hugs and catch up whenever I visit home.
Early into my job hunt, Kevin Gutowski reached out to share that there might be an opportunity opening up at Gradescope, where he had been at for the past few years. I was first introduced to Kevin at a Figma design event through my friends, Joey Banks & Alex Tran, and we stayed in touch via Twitter ever since. I’m grateful that he reached out and that the timing turned out to be just right. I was about a month and a half into the job hunt when the opportunity became available.
After applying, going through the interview process, and talking with the team, Gradescope jumped to the top of my list. Having the chance to work with Kevin and the Gradescope team—as well as make a return back to the education industry—felt like the best opportunity at this point in my life and career.
Drumroll, please. 🥁
Without my friends, family, mentors, co-workers, and God, the ability to find an opportunity such as Gradescope would not have happened. Thank you all for being there, listening to my frustrations, struggles, and complaints these past few months.
Thank you to my wife, for keeping the positivity levels up in our household and comforting me for each rejection I received. You have been my rock and will always be. I love you.
Thank you to my family and my wife’s family. Thank you for comforting me when the layoff occured. I appreciate you checking in on and asking how life is going. I love you all and can’t wait to celebrate.
Thank you Justin P. and Bryan B. for being brothers in Christ, the prayers for my employment, encouragement, and check-ins to see how I was doing. I’m blessed to have met you both and happy we share so much in common.
Thank you Joey B. and Alex T. for helping me keep my head up, sending over potential opportunities, and being there as best friends through text and FaceTime. I miss you both and can’t wait to give you guys a hug IRL.
Thank you Ariel N. for helping me figure out what to put together for my case studies and how to better present my work experience. It was truly beneficial to have your feedback and allowed to me go through the hiring process much easier.
Thank you to Sam S. for being an awesome friend. I admire how strong you are as a person, and how you’ve been there for me these past few months. Thank you for all of the introductions and contracting opportunities you’ve sent my way.
Thank you to my former teammates at Virta Health. Specifically, the leaders on the teams I worked with, David H. and Chris T. You both are fantastic mentors and I learned a great amount from you during my time at Virta. I could not have made it through this period without you both. Chris, thank you for providing work to help me during this period. I’m extremely grateful for that.
Thank you Sami I. for the opportunity to work at Virta Health. I enjoyed all of our conversations and interactions. You have been one of the best CEO’s I’ve worked for, and I learned much from watching how you lead and build a company. Thank you again for allowing me to be a part of Virta’s history as it makes its way towards reversing type 2 diabetes in 100 million people by 2025.
Thank you to everyone who reached out after the layoff, you all are amazing people and I’m lucky to have worked with you. Thank you to Amir, Courtney, Bryce, Martin, Jamie, Garret, Pete, Dian, Sarah R., Jennifer G., Jessica J., Veronica, Alex B., Aaron F., Susanna, Stephen K, Stephen A., Amy M., Jenny, Brady, Shane, Sharat, Adam W., Julian W., Lynn, and Brent C.
Lastly, thank you to all of the folks on Twitter who reached out and referred me to opportunities at the companies they worked for. I was overwhelmed with the kindness you all provided. Thank you.