First of all, a disclaimer: all the thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own, and do not reflect the beliefs of my (wonderful) employer. This is just a place for me to share articles, observations or thoughts that I find interesting & noteworthy.
- Past Personal & Academic History-
I was born and raised in Edina, Mn, where I learned to appreciate summer nights near a lakefront, how to drive in the snow, and not to put too much faith in the Minnesota Vikings. I attended The Blake School, where I worked for the school newspaper and captained the swimming and lacrosse teams. After being accepted to Stanford University, I moved to Palo Alto in 2006 and haven’t looked back since. While a Stanford undergraduate I bounced between several majors, debating between Psychology, International Relations, History or Political Science. Finally I settled on American Studies, which allowed me to pull from an interdisciplinary range of topics, as well as design an individualized course of study. In addition, I volunteered with the organization SNAP, worked as a reporter and advertising executive for the Stanford Daily, was an active member of my sorority (Kappa Alpha Theta) and studied abroad in Florence, Italy. After being accepted to a graduate program in the Stanford Communication Department, I completed a masters degree in Media Studies, with an emphasis on digital and social media. For my thesis, I examined the impact of social media on social good – drawing heavily from my involvement with the organization One Hundred Thousand Cheeks. Knowing that I wanted to work in technology, I’m grateful that a year of graduate study allowed me to examine topics I am passionate about from an academic perspective.
- Past Professional Experience -
My interest in social media stems not only from personal addiction to use of networking sites, but also from the unique lessons I’ve learned during past internships at OpenTable, Facebook and Yahoo! News. At OpenTable I learned about the unique challenges of navigating a company that must answer to different – sometimes competing – interests (restaurants vs. diners). While working in communications & marketing at Facebook, I learned how to position and pitch important product launches, and led the development of the “stories” series on the company blog (you can still find my old posts here). At Yahoo! News (part of the Yahoo! media group based in Santa Monica) I witnessed firsthand the impact of social media on news distribution, and learned about the successes and challenges of media advertising (two words: original video). In addition, I spent a year working for the Stanford Office of Public Affairs, where I utilized new communication tools such as StumbleUpon and Instagram to engage with Stanford fans and alumni.
- Present -
I am currently an associate at Accel Partners, a leading venture capital and growth equity firm. At Accel, I focus on meeting early stage startups (Seed through Series B), act as a resource for our current portfolio companies, and manage daily social media and marketing efforts. In my (nonexistent) spare time I enjoy exploring the nooks and crannies of San Francisco, cheering on Stanford sports teams, and contributing to this blog Want to chat? Reach out to me on Twitter – I’m @slannin