Volunteer Assembly: New York Common Pantry

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At General Assembly, we pride ourselves on empowering those around us to find greater well-being in their daily lives, both in the classroom and beyond. At times, this growth can be inspired by something as simple as a healthy meal.

On a recent Tuesday, our team at GA NYC skipped its usual weekly Team Lunch — where we share a meal and learn about each other’s work — to help feed fellow New Yorkers in need.

For the second year running, team members swapped hairnets for funny hats, stacking up more than 500 sandwiches for the New York Common Pantry (NYCP). The nonprofit’s mission: “to reduce hunger throughout New York City while promoting dignity and self-sufficiency.”

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From Phone to Mailbox: General Assembly Grads Reinvent the Traditional Postcard with Pennypost

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Send a postcard from your phone with pennypost

When General Assembly students graduate from their course — whether it’s user experience design or data science — it’s always exciting (and sometimes surprising) to see the range of products and passions that actualize as a result. In the case of Nathan Maas,a Web Development Immersive alumnus of GA Seattle, the product was an idea called pennypost. The passion? Connecting the world with homemade digital postcards that are easy to send and share.

Nathan—who took a range of night classes in product management, front-end development, and data science at GA before choosing WDI—developed a web (and soon-to-be iPhone) app, pennypost, which was inspired by his travels to nearly fifty countries across the globe. Though he bought postcards everywhere he went with the intention of sending them home, constraints like time, postage, and tracking down mailing addresses, meant he never actually sent them. An idea was born.

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Pursuing A Career Change: How To Find The Best Version Of You

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Career change image

Embracing your professional development or pursuing a career change can seem daunting, tedious and, at times, impossible. We often measure success by comparing ourselves to those around us, instead of focusing on our own qualities.

The reality is that there are many paths forward, and each person has a unique approach to finding theirs. Your success is the byproduct of a process of trial and error, your own experiments, and the practice of learning along the way.

Jen Glantz and Francesco Marconi’s paths have been anything but similar. While both live in New York City, one is an entrepreneur and the other works at The Associated Press. They, along with many others, started pursuing a career change while feeling lost. They asked themselves, “What should I do with my life? Why am I working here? Am I in the right place?”

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Watch: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Hillary for America’s Digital Strategy Team

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Digital Marketing Lessons From Hillary For America

Last week, General Assembly packed the house — both at our New York headquarters and online — for a conversation with Hillary for America’s digital strategy team. The evening focused on considering the campaign as a startup, and the conversation highlighted digital marketing lessons that strategists and entrepreneurs can use to build a responsive team.

Steph Hannon, chief technology officer, Teddy Goff, chief digital strategist, and Sara Solow, domestic policy advisor, had a lively discussion with General Assembly CEO Jake Schwartz about the realities of building tech for a startup that, as Goff noted, is “designed to go out of business in 18 months.”

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Advice from a Sydney UX Designer that Will Inspire You to Change Careers

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General Assembly Classroom StudentsAs the tech sector continues to top employment charts with the highest number of job openings, you may be wondering how you can land one for yourself. Many people leverage web development and data science skills to transition into a tech career. But, in this high-demand, highly competitive field, user experience (UX) design know-how can be a powerful asset. In the past five years alone, jobs requiring UX skills increased by 15% with an average advertised salary of $99,177 USD. The UX industry is exploding.

Wondering how top pros navigate the UX universe? General Assembly has enlisted talented leaders to share their knowledge and insight during its Design In Motion global event series. Held at GA campuses around the world, these panels offer an inside look at design strategy through the eyes of experts, and answer the question on everyone’s mind: How do you become a UX designer?

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Inside The Mind Of The Designer

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UX Design Career Change

How do user experience (UX) designers think? What does the thought process look like from initial challenge to user-friendly solution? What if you could just peek inside the brain of a UX designer and watch the gears turn?

Join us for a Design In Motion panel event happening at your local General Assembly campus. Until the end of June, we’ll gather the leading minds of UX and product design to discuss design strategy. You’ll be able to see the design thinking process in action as industry experts walk through the design challenge they’ve been tasked with—whether it’s revamping a flight search app or thinking up a genius digital experience for the Rio Olympics.

We asked some our guests from a wide range of backgrounds about their unique paths to building memorable experiences, where they find design inspiration, and what advice they’d offer to aspiring designers.

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Happy Memorial Day from General Assembly

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Memorial Day at General Assembly 2016

Every spring, Memorial Day gives Americans the opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices made by our nation’s servicemen and servicewomen who have given their lives for our country. What began as “Decoration Day” in the aftermath of the Civil War was renamed Memorial Day during World War II as an opportunity to honor all Americans who died in military service. It became an official national holiday in 1971.

As a veteran myself, I’m keenly aware of the importance of recognizing those who gave their lives for our country. Today, our armed forces numbers over 1.3 million service members across the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The sacrifices made by military personnel in our current active military operations are enormous — 52,345 lives lost. You can read some of their stories, and reflect on the sacrifices they’ve made for our country, on the Washington Post’s powerful and heartbreaking Faces of the Fallen site.

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An Agency Perspective on Hiring at General Assembly

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Hiring at General Assembly

Keval Baxi is the CEO and Chairman of Codal, a UX Design, Web & Mobile application development agency based in Chicago. Below, he shares his thoughts on hiring at General Assembly, why he uses General Assembly as a talent pipeline for his company, and tips for graduates on how to stand out to recruiters and hiring managers.

You can almost always find someone from my company, Codal, attending one of the “Meet & Hire” events at General Assembly’s Chicago campus. As an agency that has grown at a consistently high pace over the last few years, we are always looking out for additional talent to join our team. It can often be very challenging to find quality candidates for interviews, but we’ve had a lot of success with hiring at General Assembly — especially at Meet & Hire events. We’ve put together several aspects of GA that have brought our company value and advice for new grads about getting hired.

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How do product leaders transform their organizations?

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Innovative organizations are transforming to be more customer-centric, value learning over winning, and to start with problems rather than products. Product leaders within these companies are the driving force behind such critical shifts, and understand that it requires stakeholder action to make an impact. Continue reading

How Learning to Code Helped Me Grow as a Recruiter

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Learning to code

One of the best perks of working at General Assembly is that employees can take any part-time class or workshop for free. Last year, I took General Assembly’s Backend Web Development Course (BEWD) to learn how to code. As someone who works in Talent Acquisition at General Assembly, I thought this would be valuable so I could better understand our product offering. I also figured it would be easier to interview technical candidates if I understood the lingo.

Next week, I’m attending the Greenhouse Open, a three-day gathering of talent acquisition and HR professionals in San Francisco from May 25-27.  I am really looking forward to the “Programming for Recruiters” workshop with Michael Bouffard, VP of Engineering at Greenhouse, on Friday, May 27. I think every recruiter, especially one who speaks with engineers on a regular basis, should understand programming basics. As I prepare to attend Greenhouse Open next week, I’m reflecting on my experience taking BEWD and how it’s been helpful in my day to day role recruiting talent, as well as managing our systems and tools.

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