Voices of Posh: Celia Chen, Ph.D., Staff Software Engineer, Tech Lead

Meet Celia Chen and learn about her time here at Posh!

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Celia's Posh Perspective

I can say that working at Posh can be both exhilarating and challenging. As someone who comes directly from academia as an assistant professor, everything seems to be so exciting and different. Academia values consistency, stability and autonomy. Compared to industry jobs, academic positions often have significantly less oversight. In my daily life as a professor, I didn’t really report to anyone. I also got to set the pace of my own research and rules in my own classrooms. I can say there was definitely a “culture shock” when I first joined Posh. The list of stakeholders can be very lengthy. Not only did I have to work with other engineers to come up with engineering solutions, I also had to collaborate with product managers and designers to bring their visions into reality. There is always something new to learn and something to do. For a while, I was only absorbing information and trying to pick up as much as I could. The first couple months were pretty rough. Although I had a lot of book knowledge, the lack of actual industry experience was haunting. I was constantly comparing myself to others on only things that I didn’t know. However, with time, I started to realize that I have a unique perspective to offer and my confidence as an engineer grew. I slowly realized that I was bringing a different set of experiences and ideas to the table, which is invaluable in a startup environment where innovation is key. Things range from experimenting with new technology or improving existing development processes. As soon as I started speaking up and sharing my ideas in meetings, I found that my colleagues actually appreciated my perspective and my input. 

Investing in Each Other

One of my favorite Posh values is “Invest In Each Other” - “We choose Posh because we're passionate about the work. We empower one another to keep pushing”. After I decided to leave academia, I interviewed at a lot of places but none felt like what I needed to succeed. I did a lot of thinking and realized the importance of positive company culture. It is the personality of the company. It defines how people within an organization interact with each other and the outside world, and it shapes the work environment and the overall employee experience. I initially applied for the Research Scientist position at Posh and later was placed into the engineering track. However, during my many rounds of interviews, every person I interacted with was consistently reflecting the “invest in each other” value. People genuinely wanted to get to know me as who I am and what interested me, rather than the bullet points on my resume. Even during the interview process, I was able to discuss my career goals and how Posh can help me reach them. 

Posh has been making strides in promoting diversity and inclusion. From sending people to conferences that celebrate diversity in tech to organizing support groups for women, as a fellow woman engineer, I can see the efforts and have been really enjoying the monthly meetups for women of Posh. With determination, hard work, and such a supportive system, women and underrepresented groups can succeed and thrive at Posh.

Looking ahead, I am invested in the Posh’s mission and values and am excited about the prospect of growing alongside the company as it evolves and expands. More concretely, I am looking forward to the opportunity to become a manager in the future, as it will allow me to have a greater influence on the development of products and company processes.

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