My favorite books 📚

The Stormlight ArchivesThe Long Earth seriesThe Dune series

The Dune series is such a great exploration of religion, environmentalism, generational wealth, the human experience, racism, greed - which it pairs with diving into what the world would look like with a minimal amount of actual change. The Stormlight Archives showed me that I didn't have to feel like reading 1000+ page tomes of high fantasy was a slog - that it could do all the great world building and character development without having to take a crash course for the first book (looking at you, Wheel of Time) or having to read a book full of set up to get the a book full of plot (looking at you, A Song of Ice and Fire), or having to worry about the series finishing (looking at you, A Song of Ice and Fire, and Kingkiller Chronicles). Additionally, it showed me that high fantasy can gracefully touch on and explore topics similar to Dune: racism, generational wealth, environmentalism, and mental health. The Long Earth series is just a really fun series that I love trying to explain to people and have never successfully done so, to this day.

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People who have impacted how I see the 🌍

Jon CampSean Plott

These are two of the most influential people in shaping my worldview. In another card, I talked about learning to extract out the growth potential from negative interactions in competitive video games, and I learned that through Sean Plott. He's a beacon of positivity and growth, and in the video game community which can be extremely toxic, he managed to effectively influence many people to do better and spread the same. Jon Camp used to be the outreach director for Vegan Outreach. He distributed over a million leaflets, by hand, throughout his time at VO, and during a visit to Penn State, he showed me the non-judgmental side of veganism. I kept going back and forth about going vegetarian, and it seemed like a big commitment since there were a lot of non-veggie food I really loved to eat. He just simply said "don't worry about the label, just try cutting out the meat you don't want to eat - any reduction is helpful". Effective altruism is wonderful and helps remind me that we're all on our own path and do different things to get to the same outcome.

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My biggest fear

Being worthless or not valued

In previous jobs, I've had issues with not being valued. I know my value/worth and what I bring to the table, but after a series of not-great job experiences, this is something I'm a little touchy on now. That being said, I feel very valued here and that is such a strong driving factor for why I am constantly excited about working here!

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I work best as a…

Some mix of execution and strategy. I love doing tasks and the high-level strategy conversations.

My Achilles Heel is…

I struggle to control my focus sometimes

This many times manifests as hyperfocusing on something (if you don't see jokes from me in Slack for a while, this is probably the case), so pinging me to see what's up and break me out of that hyperfocus is super helpful. On the other hand, if it's instead manifesting as a lack of focus (if you see too many jokes in Slack), then I probably forgot to take my afternoon dose of my meds and honestly I don't know how to help me there 😅

When I'm stressed, you might notice me…

I get quiet and avoidant, and tend to draw inwards.

Reach out and ask how I'm doing, or force me into a video call so I can get out of whatever thing I'm stressing about and likely hyperfocusing on. Ask me to explain what I've done and if I need help with anything.

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The best environment for me is:

time for deep work in the AM< 2 meetings back to back meetingsno swiss cheese calendarlots of in person collab

I've learned a few things over the last couple years: I work best in person when I can bother people with questions constantly, but have learned to thrive in a remote environment. Although I wasn't a morning person, I do my best work earlier in the day when I have the most energy. I like my meetings to be blocked together so I don't have a lot of context switching, and the less meetings the better, though I do like getting to interact with all y'all!

I learn best by…

doing itwriting it downpairing with a teammate

I learn best by getting a quick overview, writing down key points to lock in that overview, then attempting to do it. During and/or afterwards, I like pairing with a teammate to double check to make sure that I am doing it correctly, and for tips and tricks I may be missing.

Me when sh*t hits the fan

Keegan ODonnell when sh*t hits the fan

My first promotion ever hinged on my performance during a super critical accidental data-deletion accident. It was not the fault of my team, but there were representatives from every team in the war room, and I was chosen as the only junior engineer to help out. I helped to quickly sort out what questions needed to be answered, what work was already being done to mitigate the damage, and helped drive an organization-wide solution that my team (which was the smallest team, and client-side) led the pack in data recovery. I managed to help wrangle all the client teams as well as the back-end and ops teams to decisively come up with an easy, quick solution that as far as I know, was so fully recovered that there were only a handful of issues. As part of the promotion process, I got to read the feedback written about me, and I had not realized just how large of an impact I had during that time until reading the feedback of several skip-level managers praising how I handled the situation.

Outside of work, you'll find me...

Drive into the mountainsHiking with my partnerWine tasting

Ideally these would all happen, in this order, with food accompaniments all along the way 😇

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Something that drives me crazy 😵‍💫 🤬

People talking over each other

When people talk over each other, it feels like they don't want to listen to the rest of what the other person or people have to say, though most of the time I think it's just people excited to get their ideas out of their head as well. Sometimes it's alright, if a meeting is getting off-topic or too tangential, however.

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Best way to get me excited about something

Tell me what I get to learn!

Learning and growth are super important to me, so highlighting new tech I get to learn, or a new feature that hasn't been done before, will get my brain working overtime and get me pumped to start.

Personality type

INFJ

It's been a long time since I took a Meyers-Briggs, but I remember I was INFJ. I am introverted, empathetic, and always willing to help out. I like to make sure to advocate for those who don't have voices.

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How I relax

Total disconnect from work, grab a snack, watch some YouTube videos

I'm energized at work by…

solving problemshelping others succeedlearning

I have a big list of things that energize me, and how much of it I should do to get the most out of my time. They all essentially come down to validation or learning. Bouldering for 30 minutes is a big one, since it is physically engaging, I learn more complex moves, and sending a route I've worked towards is validating! If I can't do something that manufactures validation for myself, then I carve out time to go learn something.

I like to get feedback when its given…

idc just tell me

I can take feedback and criticism extremely well. Yell at me, tell me everything I've done wrong with something, and I'll be able to extract out the relevant bits of information I need. I used to play a lot of competitive video games where my skin toughened quite a bit, but learned to sort out all the negativity and focus on what I can do to improve. There's always a way to positively spin and grow from something - it just may take practice to get there!

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A fun fact about me is…

I'm ostrovegan: vegan plus bivalves (mussels, clams, scallops, oysters)

I was normal-vegan for about 8 years before re-introducing bivalves a couple years ago. It may be the most confusing thing I've ever had to continually explain to wait staff at restaurants.

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My core values

AuthenticityAdventureBalanceFunChallengeFairnessHonestyHumorLearningOpenness

I think it's a pretty common vein that I'm finding here: I want to help everyone live their best lives. Being honest, having fun, learning, being open, all of these things are how I see living my best life. I don't like playing mind games (except in board games 😈) and would rather be open, honest, and forward with people. Laughter and adventure is essential - if I'm not laughing then I'd like to be awe-struck with adventure, or focused on the challenge ahead of me.

How I try to show up at work

HumbleEncouragingAnalyticalObservantThoughtful

I spend a lot of time thinking and analyzing what others have to say, and to really take their point of view into consideration when speaking. I balance listening to others' ideas while contributing my own, and like to give credit where credit is due.

How I stand out

Mentors and develops teammates for their growthMaintains effective work life balanceStays composed throughout conflict or difficult situationsMotivated by making community/world impactWilling to openly have difficult conversations

I believe in working in a wonderful workplace. I love to help others and want to help everyone live their best life (at work or otherwise!). I am willing to speak my mind and stand up for what I think is the best way to do things, but am open to being wrong about it. When things hit the fan, I do my best work and am able to laser focus on what needs to happen, when, and how to get through, while keeping morale up.

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Things that deeply motivate me…

Helping others ❤️Work to make the 🌎 a better placeBeing my most authentic self 🎨Learning as much as I can 🤓Having a good time 🕺

I love the "Leave No Trace" mentality for hiking, but really extend it throughout my life. My goal is the leave the world a better place because there's so many cool things to do and see, and everyone should have the opportunity to be able to experience as much as they want.

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You will make my freakin day if you…

private praise / thank you!respect my spacerespect my timeshare a problemshare an idea

I love being helpful - give me a task, ask me for help, whatever - I love to help out.