Episode 3: Learning

February 5, 2019
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Angie Chang: Welcome to another episode of Girl Geek X Podcast, connecting you to the best in tech from women in tech. I’m Angie, founder of Girl Geek X.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Hi, I’m Sukrutha, CTO of Girl Geek X.

Gretchen DeKnikker: I’m Gretchen, COO of Girl Geek X.

Rachel Jones: I’m Rachel, the producer of this podcast.

Angie Chang: Today this episode is all about learning. We hear all the time at Girl Geek dinners that women are looking to learn new things, they’re asking how to do that, how to do that best. Do you do it on the job, off the job? To me, learning means narcolepsy. I remember sleeping through every class at Cal, and nowadays I love listening to podcasts while driving in traffic, or listening to a YouTube economics lecture while doing something like washing dishes or cleaning, to make up for the fact I don’t plan on going to business school.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: For me, learning is basically a necessity, no matter how I get it. Because when you’re in tech or you’re an engineer, you are out of date very, very quickly. What about you, Gretchen?

Gretchen DeKnikker: I think I’m one of those read all the books and take classes, especially taking classes, because I like the structure. It helps me not procrastinate. I’m definitely a go-find-those-things-that-way, outside of work, for kind of extended learning.

Rachel Jones: I am definitely a learner for learning’s sake. I just love to take in new information. For things like starting a career as a podcast producer, I’ve had to do a lot of independent learning outside of the workplace. Today we’ll be diving into topics like where learning happens, how to fit learning into your day to day, and how to hack your brain to learn new things.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: How do you know when you need to learn something new?

Angie Chang: I guess this is by necessity, right? When you start seeing the signals from people where you’re like these are the things I need to learn because nobody else is doing them, I think it’s different for people that work in bigger companies because it’s more clear what those things are, or you have a review process that will constantly tell you what you need to improve on. When you’re at a smaller startup, you always have to keep your ears open, and try to hear from your colleagues or customers about what are the shortcomings that you have, so that you can address them.

Gretchen DeKnikker: I find when I’m getting bored at a job that I tend to start taking classes, or start looking at different things. I find that there’s some part of my intellectual stimulation that I need to go get from somewhere else, whether that’s taking a class at City College, or signing up for some crazy workshop somewhere that just will completely take me out of my comfort zone.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Yeah. I mean there’s always that great reading resources, too. I always ask people for book recommendations, and I most recently was reading A Hard Thing About Hard Things, again, because I really like the takeaways from that, especially when I’m going through like difficult decision making situations at work. How about you, Angie?

Angie Chang: I’ve learned a lot by reading books that have been referred to me, also reading about other amazing women. For example, last year I read about the Molly Bloom story, which I thought was very interesting, about how she kept trying to stay relevant in her business. I’m always asking people what podcasts they listen to, what newsletters they subscribe to, how do they get their news, how do they get their learning, to kind of make sure I’m doing the best I can to learn, aside from occasionally watching some business economics YouTube videos, which I feel like make up for the zero business and economics classes that I’ve ever taken at a university.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: I’ve been really listening to a lot of podcasts that are tech related, and tech news, and interviewing tech leaders, like Masters of Scale has been a really good learning for me as well. Do you all listen to anything on the go, or audiobooks, anything like that?

Rachel Jones: I listen to so many podcasts just because I do consider myself a lifelong learner, and I love to learn. One thing that I learned about recently is kind of the difference between learning just for learning’s sake versus learning with intention. Because when I think about learning and approach it, it’s not all specifically tied to my career. I think it was interesting you were talking about listening to podcasts that are specific to tech. I listen to so many random things that have nothing to do with my work, but I still think that’s valuable, just like the process of learning. What do you think about that, like having intention behind learning?

Sukrutha Bhadouria: I think that’s great, because when I’m trying to learn a new programming language or anything new in technology, I find that I learn best when I know that I’m trying to build a project, or make something, and I’m learning for that purpose. I definitely pick it up much faster. How about you, Angie?

Angie Chang: I definitely think it’s very smart to think of it as learning with intentionality. On a side note, what I thought of immediately is sometimes we get our inspiration in the oddest places, and I feel like watching something like the West Wing now has actually been one of the more illuminating things I’ve done. Watching the West Wing isn’t something you would tell somebody to go learn, but you learn so much by watching the scenarios you learn about with the American work culture, and as someone who was a first-generation immigrant you’re like okay, I get it now. You understand things more, things people say, why they do what they do. It made Imposter Syndrome seem less scary. I think learning comes from all different unexpected places.

Gretchen DeKnikker: A agree with Sukrutha on kind of if I’m trying to learn something with intentionality then having a way to put that into practice right away is helpful, but then kind of tying back to what Rachel was saying, and I think we might agree on this, is that sometimes I go learn something brand new that’s like for no fricking reason, other than to take me out of … Like I went and took a Taiko–like a Japanese drumming class because it was just so far outside of anything I’ve ever done. Also, I’m a terrible drummer, if anybody is wondering. You will not be coming to one of my shows anytime soon. It’s something so different that you have to put all your attention into learning that one thing, and while I’m putting all that attention into one thing I can’t think of all the other crap, so it freshens me to go back and tackle the other problems that I have.

Angie Chang: We’re not necessarily learning, but we’re optimizing for future learning.

Gretchen DeKnikker: Or just like optimizing for your brain being fresh enough to absorb the information that you’re trying to take in right now.

Angie Chang: We do need breaks. I do find that sometimes when you’re just working on a really hard problem, you need to take those steps outside your usual realm.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Yeah, you’re teaching your brain how to learn. This topic about learning is so fitting right now, because we’re always competing with ourselves, or with the situation around us. You want to be doing your best, and you’re wanting to put yourself in a situation where you’re constantly either learning or growing.

Angie Chang: This learning topic came up at one of our Elevate panels. We had a learning development expert who used to work at Facebook, Minji Wong, talk about being intentional and learning.

Minji Wong: In my thirteen plus years of experience, having worked at various tech companies, eCommerce companies, retail, and various industries and sectors, I’ve managed several leadership programs and experiences with high-performing individuals. In my conversations with them, what do you want to do, what do you want to be, oftentimes the response I’d get is I just want to develop these specific skills, or I want to be able to explore, kind of learn and develop myself in my career. I rarely actually had a response that would let me know this is who I want to be, and this is where I want to go. It’s super important to realize that and recognize that because if you don’t have that end goal or that end destination, anything and everything you do may not necessarily contribute to that end goal. I realize nothing is ever static, and in fact things are dynamic, things can change tomorrow, or even yesterday. Again, highlighting the importance of having an end in mind, knowing that that can change is very important. When we think about this learning journey, oftentimes, and in my background having spent 13 plus years in leadership development and learning and organizational development, I oftentimes hear people say I need to develop the skill, let me go to this training, and then I’ll be cured and I’ll be healed. The reality is a lot of our learning, 70% of our learning actually occurs on the job. That’s through the stretch assignments, that’s through the cross-functional work, that’s through being thrown a new project that you have very little experience having really managed through and learning literally in the trenches. 20% of learning actually occurs through conferences like this, where we can hear from amazing and incredible women in the field, and where we can learn and develop community and connection from each other. It’s also through coaching and mentoring.

Rachel Jones: It’s interesting that Minji says 70% of learning happens on the job. Has that been your experience?

Sukrutha Bhadouria: I agree with that. I definitely saw myself, I felt like I got better at my job from the skills I picked up at work. You can’t learn everything in a classroom, but you learn practical skills that you will need just by doing some of it, doing some of the work. What do you think, Gretchen?

Gretchen DeKnikker: I think I’m definitely an experiential learner. I’m definitely one of those start in the middle kind of people, and then I go back and read the directions if I haven’t figured it out.

Angie Chang: I absolutely think that a lot of the learning happens on the job, from learning new ways to do things from other people, but also there’s a fair amount of work that goes in after work,trying to just find new things to learn, going to different events to try to figure out what’s coming, and definitely there’s maybe 70% on the job, and then more after work.

Gretchen DeKnikker: I think what’s always attracted me to startups is that there’s the opportunity to learn so many things, and to get your hand in so many things, to get in over your head all the time, because there’s not really anyone on the team who knows how to do something, so anyone–it just has to be done, and so there’s a lot of learning that can happen there. For me, sort of that get thrown in the deep end and figure out if you can swim kind of learning is really the kind that motivates me.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: I feel like when you’re working in tech, your skills become out of date so quickly, and you have to relearn something new. I find that just the stuff that you learn on the job is just learning how to learn, and that to me for sure is more valuable than anything you could pick up anywhere else. That–it’s been similar for me, where I learn more on the job.

Gretchen DeKnikker: I think that’s definitely one way that I do see a value in seeking additional bits of knowledge outside of work, of taking a class or even considering going back to school. I think it’s always a really good mix. You can’t get everything from one source.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: I find that when you’re in a larger company there’s so many organized trainings and organized programs, but there’s also resources now that you could take advantage of outside of work, if you work at a smaller company that doesn’t have these programs. I suppose if you were more intentional about it, like Minji has mentioned, if you knew exactly what you are learning it for, it will make it easier to identify what these resources should be, because I feel like now there’s so many resources, just picking which one is going to work best for you is what’s the first challenge. Being really specific about what your end goal is once you’ve acquired this skill …

Angie Chang: It’s great advice. I’m a terrible learner. I’ve never been good at all.

Gretchen DeKnikker: She’s lying, people. She’s lying in podcast land.

Angie Chang: I’m much more of a learning by doing is I suppose the best thing I could do, is finding opportunities to either say I’m gonna write three times a week, as I did at Women 2.0, or saying I’m gonna write one blog post a week or a month is more realistic. By doing things over time you get better.

Gretchen DeKnikker: I think there’s sort of the different sources. When you’re trying to gain a skill, a class is a really great thing. Way back in the last century, when you had to go learn Excel and Word, and Access, go look it up on Google, it was really cool, now there’s Airtable, there was sort of that skill gaining that you do earlier in your career, and then there’s sort of the management training, which maybe you can get from a classroom, but I really find–Angie talks about reading people’s biographies and stuff, and I feel like I’ve learned more … Like I read Jack Welsh’s book, way way back, and it still influences me. It’s been like twenty years since I read that book, and it still influences how I think about people and managing things, and sort of how things interrelate.

Gretchen DeKnikker: I think it’s different for everybody, sort of the type of thing that you can tap into, that will resonate with you, particularly when you’re trying to learn about being a better manager, which is essentially learning about being–more about yourself.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: For more technical learning, I do find it helpful if there are the online courses. I can go back even if it’s something I learned in college, I can go back and go through those problems again. There are various resources now that sort of make the classroom experience a little bit easier, because you can go back and learn. I still feel like you have to go out of your way to get more information, and learn more, and improve. I suppose if you do have a full-time job, balancing what you’re trying to learn with that can be difficult. In our last Elevate conference, Sophia Perl did talk about how she does the balancing act between learning and life, basically, balancing it with her day to day. She’s a director of product at Oath, and has formerly worked at Yahoo and eBay.

Sophia Perl: I think we all have learning methods that really resonates well with us, meaning when we learn through a certain method the content sticks a lot. If it’s something similar to what I go through, that’s usually like reading a book or taking a class. I would love everyone to open up your minds and think about, look. You could either wait for that perfect moment where you dedicate a lot of time and maybe energy to do your preferred learning method, or you could actually–I would say get your second or third best learning method. Think about finding opportunities where the learning method meshes more well with your day to day life, instead of finding that perfect moment where you have to dedicate a lot of time to learn about something. That’s something to keep in mind. I’ll give you an example. The one that actually sticks out the most is Overdrive, which is like a free version of Audible. Audible is the monthly subscription that you get on Amazon, you pay $15 dollars a month to access a bunch of audio books. Overdrive is actually connected to your local library, so if you don’t have a library card already I encourage all of you to go get a local library card, and then hook it up to Overdrive. What Overdrive allows you to do is to download eBooks or download audiobooks for free. I actually did a sort of a side-by-side comparison between what I could find at my library and what I could find at Audible, and I found about seventy to eighty percent of the books that I was personally interested in, I could find for free on Overdrive. Consider leveraging apps to help make it easier to consume information. In conjunction with leveraging apps, you want to think about what devices you want to be using, and for what–when you would use those devices. In the morning, I have an Echo Dot, I have two waterproof speakers, and I have an iPhone [inaudible 00:17:24]. This is in the shower. I don’t do this all the time, but I have been known to watch YouTube videos of people lecturing or different workshops. I have it pressed up to the glass of my shower door, and then I listen to the talks while I’m in the shower. If you think about it, what times do you have where you could actually listen to content? For me in the shower, I’m spending fifteen, twenty minutes in the shower. Then you could read the rest driving, and in the evenings. In the evenings, it’s great for me because I’m actually not multitasking as much. After I’ve put my kids to bed, and later in the evenings, that’s when I find time to meet with people who are more flexible in terms of meeting late evening. I have my laptop and phone, so I usually do hangouts and so forth.

Rachel Jones: Have any of you ever had trouble balancing learning with your day to day?

Angie Chang: The word balance kind of throws me off because I imagine like a world full of balance, where I get to go to my job, and go to yoga and a spin class. I don’t see a problem balancing things. I see more just jumping in, and if there’s a problem at hand working to find the solution. If there’s a project that needs to be done, or if there’s performance management that needs to be done, just doing those tasks. The issue of balance hasn’t been something on my radar.

Gretchen DeKnikker: I think I’ve definitely struggled, and I think the times that I’m struggling most in my job are when I’m not carving out that time for learning, whether it’s learning a new skill, or just some random thing, or whether it’s sort of reading a book, like a management book, that’ll help me sort of step back from my day to day, and just get out of the weeds and see things from a higher elevation, or just learning more about something that I’m struggling with, that’s very directly relevant to work. Certainly the times when I’m most overwhelmed, a great thing for me to do is to go use a different part of my brain.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: I can relate to that, for sure.

Rachel Jones: Is there anything you heard from Sophia’s suggestions that you think would be helpful in fitting learning into your daily life?

Gretchen DeKnikker: I think for me one thing that came up, I totally get shoving all the things in, and trying to sort of maximize a convenient learning schedule, but when I was hearing Sophia talk about doing it in the shower, I also thought about having–while we do this stuff and we try to fit learning into everything, we don’t leave time to be alone with ourselves and our own thoughts. For me, the shower is sort of that time, and but I think wherever you want to do your learning, but always just keep in mind that it doesn’t always have to be this input from outside, that being alone with your own thoughts is also a super-valuable use of time.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: I love how she has different styles of learning, depending on time of day. To me, I realize now that I have something like that, where it wasn’t intentional, but it’s just like listening to something that’s more audio in the morning, but being able to watch stuff after work, so that sort of thing definitely spoke to me.

Angie Chang: Absolutely the timing thing was really interesting. Actually I drink coffee in the morning, therefore I can do certain things in the morning versus at the end of the day.

Gretchen DeKnikker: But you’re like a night-worker person, Angie.

Angie Chang: I know.

Gretchen DeKnikker: She’s like Slacking me at 10:30pm and I’m like I don’t care, this is not my learning time.

Angie Chang: I think there’s different times for everything. Late night, I like to write good blog posts. During the early day, I get to do more of the things on my list of things to do.

Gretchen DeKnikker: And also not talk to people. Angie does not like people in the morning.

Angie Chang: No.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Just hearing everyone talk about learning and the various resources we can find, it makes me think this topic is going to be really valuable for our listeners, too, because I’m sure everybody who’s gonna be listening is going to have their own methods of learning, and their own resources that are always great to share.

Rachel Jones: Once you’ve actually set aside that time, or figured out how you’re gonna work learning into your day to day, how do you approach learning things that are kind of outside of your comfort zone?

Sukrutha Bhadouria: I find that I’m more open to learning when I convince myself I’m going to be amazing at it. I’m just like I’m gonna be great, I’m gonna ace this. For example, I redid this algorithm class on Coursera, and I traditionally had struggled with it because it’s a pretty tough class, and the turnaround time for the assignments is really short. I just had to motivate myself and coach myself to feel like this is time I’m gonna set aside regularly, and I convinced myself that I had to look forward to it because it was going to be awesome getting a good grade on it. I found that I’m just not open to learning when I feel like I’m not going to do a good job, so kind of both ways just opening your mind up to being ready for learning is what I try.

Angie Chang: That’s an awesome idea about pumping up yourself to be excited to learn. I don’t know how to do that myself. I don’t learn as much.

Gretchen DeKnikker: I’m going to punch you for saying that. It’s so not true. You spend so much time poking around learning about little, little things. You’re not even allowed to say that anymore.

Angie Chang: Little things, but it’s like I don’t take, I think the problem is I don’t take a class…

Gretchen DeKnikker: No, you spend all day learning a ton of things.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: There’s different kinds of learning.

Angie Chang: I guess, yeah, I just spend a lot of time pecking around the internet, and figuring out what I need to read, so it doesn’t feel like learning, just kind of like constant exploration.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: I guess you’ve turned it into fun, which is why your mind is open to learning.

Gretchen DeKnikker: Which is why you don’t need Sukrutha’s pep talks. You’re just already into it. Although now you need her pep talk to convince yourself you’re awesome. So, yeah. I think I need structure, and so I specifically do set things up in a way where I have to go, or I have to finish something. I just took a few short courses at City College, they have a whole diversity and social justice certification. I purposely took the courses for credit, even though I’m not looking to, and they encourage you not to take them for credit, but I was like I will put so much more into this because of course I have to have an A, of course. Nothing else is an option. I’m gonna spend even more time doing it. Like to Sukrutha’s things some of these classes, I took the racism and sexism one, and those required me to pump myself up in a different way, of like this is gonna be hard and challenging, but you’re gonna come out knowing a lot more than you did going in, but you’re gonna be so fucking uncomfortable the whole time that you’re there, and being open to that, and so a different kind of pep talk to open myself up to the learning.

Rachel Jones: I’ve definitely had experience with how much the way that you’re thinking about what you’re gonna learn affects your ability to actually learn that thing. I believed for my whole life that I am not good at math, so that just really sets me back from approaching any math. I think your brain has so much power, and when you are really thinking about the mindset that you’re bringing to learning it makes such a big difference. I think it’s interesting even, Angie, how you don’t think of things as learning, even though it’s definitely learning. That might actually be better for you, your mindset is just like oh, I’m just poking around the internet …

Gretchen DeKnikker: It doesn’t feel like work, or something.

Rachel Jones: Yeah. It lets you take in that information a lot better than if you had been saying oh, I need to go learn this thing, let me sit down and do it. It’s more of a natural part of your process. I think, yeah, the mindset that you bring into learning makes a huge difference, and that really ties into something that was shared at our event with Postmates.

Angie Chang: When we were at Postmates for a Girl Geek Dinner, we heard from Christine Song, who is a software engineer, and she talked about hacking her brain to realize that she could become an engineer from a philosophy major in college.

Christine Song: When you look up learning how to learn on the internet, you get a lot of really cool techniques to hack your brain, but I think the precursor to all of these learning how to learn techniques is the idea that you have to change your relationship with your brain. I started learning how to code about a year and a half ago, and when I first started learning how to code, I came from a purely non-technical background. I was working in the restaurant industry for about five years before this, and that entire time nothing that I did was had immediately transferrable technical skills over coding. When I decided I want to learn how to code, this is kind of what my brain told me. The moment it thought of engineering, it thought immediately of math.

Christine Song: Historically, my experience with math is not the best, and so the moment I associate anything with math my brain kind of went into a haze, and it started thinking incompetent, because you never in your past have ever been good at math, so why do you think you can do this now, which immediately leads to I can’t do this, and when I realize that I can’t do something I like to default to three different modes to alleviate my stress, which is either one, screw this, I’m gonna move to the woods and live off the land. It’s a very real fear, I’m not kidding right now. Or I’m going to meet up with friends, or I’m going to go on a Netflix binge. Up until this point, I have always felt like what my brain told me, it had the culmination of all my experiences I’ve ever experienced in life, and so if my brain is going to tell me I can’t do something it’s probably right. Right? Wrong. Your brain is a tool. It’s not something that can tell you what it is you can and cannot do. What you do with your brain is you learn how to learn, which is why there are so many cool techniques about like hacking your brain, thinking about the ways that you can hack your long term and short term memory, using mnemonics to remember things. So I tried it again. I was like all right, look, what I’m doing right now isn’t working, so I’m gonna try and equate engineering with something that I’m very familiar with. Up until this point in my life in college, I majored in philosophy and my emphasis was in logic. Logic looks just like math. You do proofs with Greek symbols and variables, and you do proofs much in the way that mathematicians do proof. Once I realized that my fear of math was completely irrational, I ended up learning more about computer programming, and now I’m a back end engineer here in Postmates. The things that you think you are capable of doing, if you keep thinking those things and you give power to that thought, and you let it dictate your actions, it’ll become true. If you are able to take a step back and realize that isn’t the definition of who you are, and you can do whatever you want because you do with your brain what you wish to do, then you can like me go from a completely non-technical career into being an engineer in the field.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: I definitely think when I shut my mind to opportunities I’m obviously not going to be as receptive to learning or improving. This is really fascinating to me how she went through this whole mind game basically to convince herself of why the emphasis being on logic would then help her be better an engineering. I find that this is probably something that a lot of young girls must go through, because it starts so young in middle school and high school, where they feel like they’re not the right fit. This is really an interesting perspective. What did you think, Gretchen?

Gretchen DeKnikker: I think there’s sort of the two parts, sort of how she hacked her brain to develop the capacity for this learning, but the other part is sort of the stories we tell ourselves, and so even Angie is saying earlier I’m not much of a learner, and I threatened her with violence, and Sukrutha, we’re just like no, that’s so not true, but I think that’s maybe the deeper part of this, is how do we get in our own way, and keep ourselves from learning things just based on even Rachel saying I believed I wasn’t good at math, so I wasn’t good at math, and questioning even just those baseline assumptions that we have about who we are and what we’re good at, and have we challenged that, any of it, recently. I love math. Just tell yourself that every day. Math is so great.

Angie Chang: You don’t have to be great at math to do things that you thought needed a good math background. I had an English and Social Welfare degree, and my first jobs were in engineering. I never thought that would hold me back, but that’s also because I had experience as a web designer and a webmaster, and people tied the dots for me, they’re like oh, yeah, you could totally be an engineer. I was like, really? I thought I designed websites. They’re like no, you can do engineering. I’m pretty grateful to people for making that connection for me, so I could get those jobs.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: I think that there’s also a variety of things, you might think you’re not good at something just because it was not taught to you the right way, or the resources just didn’t work for you. I know a few people who I work with now who didn’t actually do that great in their first computer classes. I know it took me awhile, but I definitely gave myself a lot of chances. Be patient with yourself, I guess, is what I would say. For sure, when you hear the story about math being really hard for Christine, and she says everything, all of the Greek symbols made it complicated for her, I remember feeling that way too. But I think just staying positive helped me.

Angie Chang: I think going with the expectation that it’s going to be hard is probably a good one, but no one ever did anything that was easy, and a lot of things we learn are very hard.

Gretchen DeKnikker: Also not starting anything without first questioning why am I learning this? Because I have to? Because someone else said I should? Because I have this idea that something requires it? If you really are like–no one enjoys doing something that they really suck at, and then also do I really need to know how to do this? Like there was a really short time while I was a founder where it was like I’m technical enough of understanding how everything goes together, what’s a coding language versus whatever else, but I thought for awhile maybe I should try this Python class online, and then it’s like as a founder is this where I’m really going to add value in the company, or is it all the things that I’m already good at, and I’ll maybe just leave this to the engineers, but it sort of subscribed to this idea in Silicon Valley like everyone needs to learn how to code. Actually no, you don’t, not everybody needs to.

Angie Chang: That’s a good point.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Yeah. I struggle with this. Do you try to improve your weaknesses, or should you be focusing on strengthening your strengths? It’s a fine line.

Gretchen DeKnikker: I think so. I think early in your career you should be trying to sharpen your weaknesses, because you don’t know if there are weaknesses or just a knowledge gap. As you get older, it’s like you know what, I’ve always sucked at that, I’m never really gonna be good at it, and I’m in a position where I can hire people on my team who are awesome at that, and then they can excel at it, and I don’t have to touch it, and everybody is happier. Right?

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Totally.

Gretchen DeKnikker: Angie, what are you gonna take away from this little time we spent talking about learning?

Angie Chang: I’m taking away that learning happens all the time, and is not just taking a class. It’s being aware and taking in inputs throughout the day, and to surround yourself with people that are able to help me see that.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: I feel like for me I learned that everything is difficult for someone. There’s always gonna be someone better at something than you, and you’re always gonna be better than someone at that same thing. You know, keep your mind open, and that’s when most learning will happen, I think.

Gretchen DeKnikker: I think I’m going to be thinking about, Christine’s story really struck me, and it’s like what are the stories, like is there another story I’m telling myself about something I’m not good at, that’s keeping me from or something else about it, or that’s not an open path for me, and really be like okay, what foundation is that assumption based on?

Gretchen DeKnikker: Rachel, what do you think?

Rachel Jones: I think my takeaway is I should go take a math class. It’s not too late for me.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Yes. Maybe that can be our next conversation.

Gretchen DeKnikker: Next podcast, Rachel’s learning on math.

Rachel Jones: Check in on how that’s going.

Angie Chang: Thanks for listening. Tune in next time.

Rachel Jones: This podcast is produced by me, Rachel Jones. To learn more about Girl Geek X, or buy tickets to our next dinner, visit GirlGeek.io. You can also find full videos and transcripts from the events we discussed today. If you’re interested in hosting a Girl Geek Dinner, email sponsors@girlgeek.io.

Angie Chang: This Girl Geek X Podcast was brought to you by Postmates. Postmates helps people unlock the best of their cities and their lives with an insanely reliable on demand anything network. Launched in 2011, Postmates pioneered the on-demand delivery of movement in the US by offering delivery from restaurants and stores previously only available offline. The company now operates in 550 US cities, as well as Mexico, and provides access to over 200,000 merchants.


Girl Geek X Podcast Hosts:

Angie Chang

Sukrutha Bhadouria

Gretchen DeKnikker

Rachel Jones


Girl Geek X Podcast Guests:

Minji Wong, At Her Best Founder

Sophia Perl, Oath Director Product Management

Christine Song, Postmates Software Engineer


Girl Geek X Podcast Sponsor:


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