#LifeAtGA Category Archives - General Assembly Blog | Page 10

GA CEO Jake Schwartz Named Entrepreneur of the Year

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This week, Ernst & Young named me an EY Entrepreneur of the Year in New York. This is a great honor by an amazing company with a storied history of supporting entrepreneurs, and I’m incredibly grateful.

As I got up on stage to accept the award, I started to reflect on the growth of General Assembly over the years, and how many people it took to get the company where it is today. No one person alone can make a company succeed. There are so many stakeholders, so many supporters, so many people who make GA work, that the idea of a singular Entrepreneur of the Year seems unfathomable.

To list some of the crucial, irreplaceable heroes who are part of the GA story so far:

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Introducing: Following

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We’ve learned from speaking with students that you’re a busy group and work can sometimes keep you from attending classes and events that you find interesting. You’ve asked us for a way to know when they’re held next and we’re happy to let you know it’s here.

Following something is easy:
  • Click the follow button on any class, workshop, or event.
  • If you’re not logged in, we’ll ask for your email address.
  • You’ll see an email in your inbox next time that class is scheduled in your city. 

That’s all there is to it.

We’re excited to give you another way to become closer to the GA community and we think you’ll really like this new feature. What else do you want to see on the General Assembly website? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Announcing: Opportunity Fund

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Today we are announcing the pilot of a very exciting new program, which we are calling the Opportunity Fund. Our initial partners, Microsoft, Google, Hirepurpose and Nas (yes, the rapper), have all offered up generous scholarship funds to help veterans, women, and minorities become less underrepresented in the tech industry.

Ever since we founded General Assembly, we have held our community as the central element of our identity and values. As we’ve grown, our definition of community has expanded from NYC to other cities, and even to other continents. We have relentlessly pursued our mission to “create a global community of individuals empowered to pursue work they love,” but we know there’s a ton of work to do along the way.

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GA Students Hack To Fight Childhood Obesity

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Earlier this month, a group of GA students in Washington, D.C. took part in a Hackathon hosted by Partnership for a Healthier America. Participants were asked to prototype and build a working solution focused on the theme of Childhood Obesity, exploring two opportunities within that challenge:

  1. To help teachers empower students to make healthy choices about the food they consume, whether at home or at school.
  2. To create an information avenue that shows families the healthy food options and physical activity opportunities available locally.

Team GA consisted of Kelly Parker (User Experience Design Student), Johnny Austin (Front-End Wed Development Instructor), Datrianna Meeks (User Experience Design Student), Matt Tyrrell (Front-End Web Development Student) and friend of GA, Robin Newman. Together, Team GA came up with: Get Real!

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General Assembly Raises $35 Million in Series C Round

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Since our launch in 2011, General Assembly has made tremendous progress towards our long-term vision: Creating a global community of individuals empowered to pursue the work they love. General Assembly has already touched hundreds of thousands of lives, with a community of more than 100,000 students, including an alumni network of more than 6,000 graduates of our courses across eight campuses.

While our progress has been tremendous, our work has barely begun. Our mandate, our deepest organizational responsibility, is to support these alumni not just now, but for many, many years to come. It is this obligation that led to our new round of funding for General Assembly, designed to ensure that we will be able to educate students and help decades of alumni yet to come. Led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), this round represents over $35 million of investment, with participation from other investors including GSV Capital, Rethink Education, Maveron, and Western Technology Investment. IVP is an incredible firm, with an awe-inspiring portfolio including Twitter, Omniture, Netflix, Akamai, Soundcloud, and Snapchat. Todd Chaffee, general partner at IVP, is joining our board, and we’re proud to partner with the firm as we continue to expand our audience and scope of offerings.

While we look toward the future, I also want to recognize General Assembly’s team today. We have 250 amazing, talented people, working tirelessly from outposts across the globe. Working at a startup is a constant challenge and I’m proud of what our team has accomplished. Our ability to continue to invest and grow is due to their commitment to General Assembly and to our students; they are the most crucial element of our collective success to date.

While a financing round is a milestone, it is hardly an endpoint. We want to build General Assembly to still be thriving 75 years from now, and have mountains of work to do to continue to serve our students, alumni, and the countless individuals we have yet to reach. There will be new courses, new campuses, and new audiences to come. We look forward to sharing them with our growing global community.

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LA Jobs and Java

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How do you take your coffee? Milk, sugar? How about a spoonful of career advice? We’ve partnered with Timeout LA to offer career counseling for people interested in exploring jobs in technology, business, or design.

Each week we will select a coffee shop in LA and send a team familiar with the LA startup scene to help people find their path.

We’ve created the ultimate cheat-sheet for you below to get some quick facts on some of the best coffee spots in LA. To learn more about the vibe of each place, check out the full write-up on Timeout LA.

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“Lights, Camera, Code” Scholarship Winners

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This winter, we teamed up with LaunchPad LA, Cross Campus, and Los Angeles Venture Association to offer a select number of $2,000 scholarships to our full-time Web Development Immersive program at our brand-new campus in Los Angeles, California. After pouring over thousands of applications, we are excited to present the five winners who will be embarking on a 12-week journey to become full-stack web developers.

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GA 2013 Year-End Snapshot

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2013 was a big year at General Assembly.

In 2013, we offered 96% more classes, workshops and events, 428% more total hours of educational programming worldwide, and grew our community by 74% compared to last year.

And to accommodate this growth, we opened a beautiful new campus in Los Angeles, acquired more space in NYC, set up shop in Brooklyn and partnered with 1776 to offer our educational programming in Washington, DC.

We’ve grown our community and our footprint a lot in 2013, and we’re just getting started.  GA has a lot of really exciting things planned for 2014 to build upon the incredible momentum from this year, but before we settle into the new year, check out a couple of highlights from 2013:

And in case you’re wondering how this measures up to last year, here’s our 2012 year-end snapshot.

Alumni Unleash Their Creative Sides

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General Assembly students take a mid-week break to focus on their creative sides. At the Painting Lounge, a group of NYC grads from all different courses expressed themselves through art.

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“Absolutely loved this class!! It’s really great to have the opportunity to do these sorts of events and bring friends and meet new people.” – Molly Gillette, Web Designer at Jeffries & Co., Graduate of General Assembly’s Product Management Class.

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GA Summer Soirée

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Rooftop Party for Sherpaa, Pencils of Promise, and General Assembly

We love a good party around here.  And when it’s a party for something we believe in, we take it pretty seriously.

We recently joined forces with Sherpaa to throw quite the bash in an effort to increase access to education in high-need communities via Pencils of Promise.  PoP focuses on building strong structures and sustainable education programs throughout Laos, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.

The soiree took place at SOAKED, one of NYC’s newest rooftop venues above the Mondrian Hotel in SOHO. Signature drinks, great music, and a picture perfect view of the city made for a memorable summer night for all.

Half of all the proceeds went to PoP to help build a school and spread education in Guatemala.  We’ll drink to that.

And no, you’re not seeing double.  Our party hosts aren’t twins, but might as well be.

Melanie Stevenson, Matt Brimer, and Jay Parkinson