‘Peek into the Valley’ Winner Meets Top Tech Execs in Silicon Valley

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Charles Waldren imageAs the winner of our Peek into the Valley sweepstakes, Charles Warden won a trip to San Francisco where he had one-on-ones with top tech execs, personal tours of each company’s campus, and luxury accommodations in a four star hotel.

First and foremost, tell us about yourself!

My name is Charles Warden, and I’m from NYC, but I recently moved to LA for a much needed change of scenery. I first heard about General Assembly while working for an e-commerce startup company in NYC. I decided to attend a workshop on social media and later the Digital Marketing course. Working for a startup company was easily one of the best career choices I’ve made, and introduced me to a lot of opportunities to further my career.

What was your first thought when you found out that you won Peek into the Valley?

I initially thought that it was a mistake, as everyone else did once I shared the news. I have never won anything in my life, so I was shocked to say the least.

You received personal tours of Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Chegg, and Y Combinator. Which space was your favorite, and what did you find most inspiring about them?

My favorite was Linkedin. The offices had a collegiate feel, and had everything from a gym with accompanying yoga rooms to a music studio and game rooms. All of the offices had open floor plans, which I find inspiring as it allows for a freer environment and a sense of camaraderie.

What was some of the best advice you received from the influencers you met?

All of the advice I received from the influencers was amazing, and I took everything to heart; but it was Jeff Weiner who really made an impact on me when he said, “Once you know what it is you ultimately want to accomplish, you’ll begin manifesting it in both explicit and implicit ways.”

What did you learn from this experience?

I learned that most if not all of the influencers I encountered on this trip are no different from anyone else. They all had dreams and goals and they just worked harder than everyone else to achieve them.

What’s next for you?

I’m going to enroll in How to Start a Startup event series at GA Los Angeles. I’m looking forward to putting all of my new ideas and words of wisdom to good use.

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