Brandeis International Business School

003: Getting LinkedIn

Seeking out opportunities in college and beyond

Maya Pope-Chappell is a Bay Area native who has worked in journalism, healthcare, and now, the tech world. She transitioned from journalism into tech when she joined LinkedIn in 2015, and in her time there, she has covered education, launched a campus editor program, built out content strategies and worked with influential names in business.

Maya also hosts a video series called How I Got Here, which highlights professionals with unique stories and shares their professional journeys.

From the Dorm Room

“When I first got to college, it was hard. It was very different from what I was used to. It was definitely a transition. Honestly, I just didn't enjoy it at first.”

A lot of undergrad students feel this way at first, but it really helps to just get engaged in something or some group that isn’t strictly academic.

For Maya, college really started to click after she joined the campus newspaper. “I had never really thought about pursuing journalism as a career. But after writing for the campus newspaper, it was love from then on. I love reporting, I love interviewing people and writing up the story. And so, that's really where my interest in pursuing journalism came from.”

After a brief stint in healthcare, Maya went back to school for journalism. She went to the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, where she started learning how to tell digital stories.

In both undergrad and grad school, Maya pursued internships that ultimately led to job opportunities. “I think it's so central to not only discovering what you like but, also, getting that hands-on sort of experience that will help you ultimately progress in your career or what you want to pursue.”

“It's finding those opportunities, especially growth opportunities, things that are going to enable you to stretch and to enable you to get new skills.”

To the Boardroom

When you first leave college, the working world can feel intimidating. However, Maya warns, there’s this misconception that you need to just put your head down and get the work done early in your career.

Of course, you want to be able to do the work and execute on it, “but I think what's so important and one thing that I wish I would have done even better is building relationships.”

It’s a key part of learning new skills, connecting with other people who you may be able to help down the line or who may be able to help you, and progressing in your career. So have coffee dates, reach out to people and build relationships as you work.

It’s also important, Maya thinks, to find fresh ways of doing your job. It’ll both help you avoid burnout and stay engaged at work, every day.

Maya, for example, started off at LinkedIn overseeing their education vertical and helping to establish LinkedIn as a platform and destination for not only students, but also higher education leaders. She created the Student Voices Initiative and a campus ed program that scaled globally.

And right now, Maya is actually focused on experimenting with how their editorial team cultivates conversations among professionals on LinkedIn, and then applying those learnings within our larger team to improve how they create, cultivate and curate conversation.

“It's finding those opportunities, especially growth opportunities, things that are going to enable you to stretch and to enable you to get new skills. I mean, prior to LinkedIn, I didn't have access to the product side at all. I was unable to work with engineers. So, I've made it a point to try and do that in my current role, and I've been able to grow because of it.”


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