Meet WAVE Advisee: Bevin Benson
When Bevin was in high school, she would commute all the way to New York to visit tech companies with #BUILTBYGIRLS. This past summer, she was part Facebook University Program and collaborated on an app called Venture, a social network app that allows you to discover your friends’ favorite places to eat, drink, study, and explore! She will be returning to Facebook this June as a Software Engineer Intern.
Tell me about yourself.
I am a sophomore at Princeton University, studying Computer Science. I am currently abroad in Edinburgh (Scotland) for the semester. I spent last summer in the Bay Area as a part of Facebook University, an 8-week program dedicated to mobile app development. There, I built an app called Venture. Next summer, I will be returning to Facebook as a software engineering intern.
What got you interested in tech?
In my sophomore year, I was involved with Girls Who Code Immersion Program at Goldman Sachs. I heard about all of the cool meetups by #BUILTBYGIRLS, so I would take the train from Connecticut to New York. It was so cool to see all these amazing companies at a young age. What sophomore in high school gets to visit Spotify and BuzzFeed?!? Thinking about how #BUILTBYGIRLS gave me that opportunity is crazy. I attribute my decision to study CS in college to #BUILTBYGIRLS because I was able to see all of the things I could do with it.
You were one of the early beta testers of WAVE. Is there any Advisors that stood out to you and really made an impact in your career?
When I met Julia Beizer, she was the Head of Product at Huffington Post. Before doing #BUILTBYGIRLS, I did not know much about product management or about the product scene. #BUILTBYGIRLS made that introduction for me. I now know that product really drives tech, and it is a career path that I am strongly considering pursuing after graduation. Julia and I still keep in touch. She’s now the Chief of Product and Bloomberg, and when she moved offices, she even invited me to visit her!
What do you love about WAVE?
The thing I love about WAVE is that I am able to see what it looks like to be successful in tech. It gave me a role-model to look up to and a mentor who’s already blazed the trail for girls like me.
What were some tangible tips you got from WAVE?
My mentor Shawn, who worked in venture capital at VaynerMedia, was always recommending tons of books to me. Tech is always changing, so he emphasized the importance of keeping up to date. He introduced me to Nuzzle, which has all these articles about tech customized to your likes and interests. My two favorite books that he recommended me, The Lean Startup and Designing Your Life, changed my perspective.
How has #BUILTBYGIRLS shaped your perspective on tech?
Tech is such a broad term and is thrown around all the time. I didn’t really know what it meant until #BUILTBYGIRLS. #BUILTBYGIRLS showed me what tech companies do; what it actually looks like in the workplace. I was able to take a look inside various companies, see people’s day to day, and discover new career paths. #BUILTBYGIRLS showed me how I can make an impact in this world.