Alumni Stories Category Archives - General Assembly Blog

Alumni Story: From Idea to Kickstarter Sensation

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Student Chris Place

Many people have creative product ideas, but don’t know how to turn them into a reality. That rang true for Product Management grad Chris Place, who wanted to solve a common problem: People aspire to bring lunch to work, but often fail. He turned to GA’s Product Management course in Hong Kong to give him the tools to create and launch Prepd, a sleek lunchbox and companion app that aims to make meal prep fun.

“GA helped me understand marketing and creative storytelling,” Place said. “How can I tie together my product skills with a compelling marketing plan to bring my product to launch?” After the course, he leveraged his learnings to launch a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $1.4 million to make Prepd a reality. “We never expected this to get this big,” Place says.

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Making It in UX: New User Experience Designers Share Lessons From the Field

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UX Design Denver Jobs General Assembly Students

Every industry — from tech, to finance, to retail — needs user experience (UX) designers. These master problem-solvers work to create on- and offline experiences that put users’ wants and needs first.

Harnessing skills like user research, wireframes, and prototyping, UX designers have a unique perspective when it comes to understanding the interactions between users, business goals, and visual and technology elements. For companies, their work fosters brand loyalty and repeat business. For consumers, it means frustration-free online experiences, intuitive mobile apps, efficient store layouts, and more.

When you have the perspective of a UX designer, “you start to see design gone wrong everywhere,” says Beth Koloski, who has taught the full-time User Experience Design Immersive (UXDI) course at GA’s Denver campus. “You stop blaming yourself for not understanding badly designed software.” She says she admires when someone gets design right because she knows “how incredibly hard it is to make something easy and seamless and actually get it out into the real world.”

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How Raaka Chocolate Uses Storytelling to Shape Their Marketing Strategy

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Raaka Chocolate Storytelling

William Mullan graduated from Digital Marketing at General Assembly New York’s campus in 2015. Since joining Raaka Chocolate, he’s developed the company’s marketing efforts and advanced from an intern into the Director of Marketing. Now, William blends his passion for chocolate with marketing skills and techniques to share Raaka’s unique brand story in a way that is honest and engaging. Continue reading

Meet Prepd: A Sleek Product That Raised $1.4 Million on Kickstarter

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Prepd_Prep_Share_Your_Creations_1_21

We all know that bringing lunch to work is the smart, healthy, and financially responsible thing to do. We want to bring delicious lunches to work, but then motivation is always low. So we end up buying something or settling for whatever boring thing we could find in our fridge, wishing we could be better.

Enter Prepd, a lunchbox with modular containers and a corresponding app to help us be the lunch-bringer we always knew we could be.

We spoke with co-founder and GA Hong Kong alumnus Chris Place a few days before his goal-busting Kickstarter, which raised over $1 million, closed.

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20-Year-Old Entrepreneur Is Using Data to Retune The Music Industry

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Raffi Khatchadourian, COO of indify

Raffi Khatchadourian is a Mathematical Economics major and incoming junior at Colgate University. A self-starter and talented entrepreneur, Raffi has established himself as the COO of indify, an emerging music startup, before many of his peers have even declared their major. Back in January, Raffi attended GA’s week-long Business Accelerator program in partnership with Colgate University. Since then, he and his co-founders have gone on to win $10,000 in funding from Colgate University’s Entrepreneur Weekend Shark Tank and $15,000 from Colgate University’s Entrepreneurs Fund. Read on to learn how this young entrepreneur transformed his passion for music and data into a successful early-stage startup.

Follow Raffi @DeadliestKhatch and his startup at @_indify. Continue reading

Digital Marketing Skills Give Journalist a New Angle on Her Career

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Armed with an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Lauren decided to add digital marketing skills to her tool-kit to make herself even more competitive. Now, Lauren works for Aha! leading their content strategy and marketing.

Follow Lauren on Twitter: @laurenmaffeo

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Laugh & Learn Newsletter Lightens Up The Tech Conversation

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Salman came to General Assembly as an engineer looking for a tech community to jump into. He ended up as a beloved Back-End Web Development instructor, both in New York City and San Francisco. Realizing the importance of “soft skills” for developers, he started the Laugh & Learn newsletter to provide a well-rounded continued learning experience for his students and job-seeking techies. 

Salman will be teaching Building Startup Ideas at our San Francisco campus on Thursday 7, May, 2015.

Follow Salman on Twitter: @daretorant

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Can Coding Be Creative?

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Stephanie SiawFrom a humanities graduate to a full stack web developer, General Assembly Hong Kong’s WDI graduate, Stephanie Siaw hopes to break the myth that coding is a  scientific, mathematical skill. She hopes that others like her can embrace its creativity.

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Engineered to Code: A Civil Engineer’s Journey Back to Basics

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When Martin isn’t relaxing by the campfire with one of his favorite sci-fi novels, you may find him coding his next project. Having worked as a Civil Engineer for years, an NPR marketplace segment (ironically featuring one of our Web Development Immersive graduates) inspired him to make a career shift. Twelve weeks later, he’s on the hunt for his first job in his new career. 

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What Do Law, Data, and Coding Have In Common? Read This To Find Out

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pauline chow

With a background in law, coding, and data science, Pauline Chow is truly a triple threat. She graduated from our part-time Data Science course back in the spring of 2014 and has gone on to land impressive roles at startups like Clique Media. After the course, Pauline went on to share her passion for data science/analytics as an instructor at GA. She’s also pursuing her masters in Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology! 

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