It is unmistakably fall in Boston: temperatures are dropping, leaves are turning, and internship season is upon us. College students all over the country are visiting career fairs, tackling technical assessments and acing their interviews. Our campus team has been on the move, traveling all over the US meeting with prospective Klaviyos. Many of the students we talk to are juggling competing offers and making important decisions that will shape their careers for years to come. In pursuit of guidance, we asked our Chief Technology Officer, Allen Chaves, to share a few words of advice with aspiring engineers:
It’s all about the people
“When you’re right out of college, find a company that has amazing people. When people ask why I joined Klaviyo, I say I was very thoughtful and the reasons suit me to this day: what I found was a lot of talent but more importantly, really good people.”
“Find an organization that gives you an opportunity to do great projects. You are in a phase of your career where you are literally learning as you go, you’re learning about the technology, you’re learning about the business, and you’re learning how to interact with other people.
When we’re hiring, we’re specifically looking for people who are active learners. Why do we think that learning and passion are important? Technology. It changes so much and so rapidly that if you don’t continue to learn and bring that back into work, you are not going to succeed.”
Big impact requires radical collaboration
“When people ask me about career advice, I tell them I never had a plan to become a VP or a CTO — never. … What I thought was, how am I going to have the biggest impact and help the company in the team that I’m with? Because just having that just takes you places, you’re just everybody’s supporter, when you’re helping them. Just focusing on helping a company succeed can take you far.
At Klaviyo, we truly believe in practice that you are better if you’re making your team better. Sometimes I get this question when I’m interviewing people — ‘What would it take to be a star engineer on your team?’ And my answer is always if you want to get the gold star, I will say that you deserve that when the team that you’re in is better because you’re in that team. Of course, you have to have all the skills, you have to have the interpersonal relationship ability. But what you need to do is make the team better by the fact that you were there.”
Curious to learn more about Klaviyo’s unique engineering culture? Follow @LifeAtKlaviyo on instagram and be sure to check our career site for potential opportunities!