Executive Feature, Glassdoor Updates

#PrideProfile Series: Alicia Brown, Senior Aggregation Operations Technician At Glassdoor

1180 Alicia Brown

Alicia Brown is a Senior Aggregation Operations Technician in the Engineering department at Glassdoor. Brown has been with Glassdoor for three years, having spent two years in the Mill Valley headquarters before relocating to the Chicago office. As part of her job, she helps maintain the inventory of jobs on Glassdoor’s website to make Glassdoor the best place for job seekers to find jobs. Additionally, Alicia serves as co-chair of Glassdoor’s Black employee resource group, BUILD. We spoke with Brown about her tech career trajectory and journey to becoming part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Glassdoor: Share your career journey. What led you down the path of your current profession? 

Alicia Brown: Working in tech was my childhood dream growing up. I loved fixing computers, iPods, etc. and I was enamored with technology’s ability to connect people around the world via programs like AOL and Yahoo Messengers. I didn’t have a straight path into it, though. I took a lot of risk in order to get access to the opportunities that landed me here. When I was 20, I dropped out of nursing school in Michigan to move to San Francisco for six months (which turned into almost 8 years). I worked retail at the Apple Store while I went through the Year Up program, which landed me my first internship in a corporate environment in tech at eBay as a Program Management Intern for a Systems Admin team. I did well enough that I continued to work there as a contracted QA Analyst for almost two years in the Office of the CIO. I went on to work as a contractor at Gap in their Corporate Foundation as a Grants Administrator where I designed the process the team would use to implement the grants management system they were onboarding, troubleshoot user issues, and helped with reporting. All the while, I was pursuing a degree in Business Information Systems. While in my Javascript class my Senior year, I decided the class was too slow and I wanted a deeper, more immersive experience. I applied to a web development boot camp and dedicated myself to coding every day for 4 months. I received a scholarship for the program through Adobe’s Digital Academy and was offered an internship as a Software Engineer. I worked on a product that was recently acquired and implemented a number of new features for 6 months before my internship completed. At that point, I was interested in a hybrid role that included engineering but also allowed me to interact with teams outside of the department. My role at Glassdoor seemed like the perfect match and I’ve been doing it for 3 years.

Glassdoor: How has Glassdoor celebrated and supported your LGBTQ+ identity and surrounding community? 

Brown: I wasn’t out until somewhat recently, but I would say I connected with colleagues in the community at Glassdoor that were supportive throughout my process and that I could talk to about it. It helped tremendously knowing that I wasn’t the only one and that I could work towards being more open about it, as they were. Part of my process was attending Glassdoor’s annual Pride Bar Crawl. Additionally, when it came up in conversation in my 1:1 with my manager, I shared that I had come out recently. I felt supported when he shared that he noticed that I was happier and that that must have been why. He also asked questions about my experience coming out and the impact it has had on my life. It meant a lot that he cared at that level.

Glassdoor: What does Pride mean to you, and how are you planning to celebrate this year? 

Brown: Pride, for me, represents being your authentic self, which includes loving whoever you love. Being able to celebrate that part of me rather than feel ashamed for it or try to hide it in the company of others. This year, I’ll be celebrating by attending virtual Pride events held internally by Glassdoor, external virtual Pride events, and connecting with my friends in the LGBTQ+ community.

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