Jamie Strusz

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October 17, 2016

Jamie Strusz ('11, Culture, Literature & the Arts) is an Engineer on the Services team at GitHub. She helps companies and individuals build better software, teaches classes, and gives talks on all things Git, GitHub, and software engineering.

While at UWB, Jamie focused on art history, which helped her land a job at Google as an art historian.  Additionally, her self-taught programming skills allowed her to transition into a full-time development role, enabling her to move on to Microsoft as their resident GitHub expert (and GitHub itself, shortly after). Before returning to finish her degree at UWB, she was a professional ballet dancer.

Of the advice she offered, here is a sampling:

  • Stay curious and follow whatever interests you; you might end up somewhere completely different than you thought.
  • You don't have to pick just one thing to do forever.
  • The ability to think critically is crucial in any role you take on. Question everything.
  • Ask hiring managers and recruiters what the budget for the role you're applying to is; it's not a secret. You can ask for this information when they ask you what your salary expectations are--it's not weird.
  • Women need to ask for more money than they feel comfortable requesting. Just do it. On average, woman are grossly underpaid compared to men.
  • You can negotiate for more than money. Ask for what you want and need: vacation time, PTO, stock options, etc.
  • Sometimes NOT being an expert in your field gives you an edge.
  • Find things that help you feel good creatively, emotionally, and physically and schedule the hours of your life so you can always be your best self.
  • Always gratitude; gratitude always.