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  • Writer's pictureShamika Klassen

Open for Hire

SHamika Klassen standing to the left of a Google sign
Summer 2023 UXR PhD Intern at Google here in Boulder

Prior to being a researcher and consultant, I held over 30 jobs spanning four states (Texas, California, Illinois, New York), two countries (USA and Japan), and a multitude of sectors: service, customer service, professional, educational, and more. From these experiences, I have learned just as much about myself as the world around me. I am motivated by direct impact, driven by service, and intentionally use my platforms to advocate for historically marginalized people and communities. My experiences taught me that everyone has a story and when we are able to weave them together, powerful change can manifest.

Looking back over my career, two pivotal moments shaped me. The first happened during my first job back in high school. I was a Party Hero for a pizza buffet and arcade restaurant with rooms to host events. I mainly facilitated children’s birthday parties. The party that I will never forget was not the 20+ birthday blowout, but the party of one. A young girl came in with her mother and younger brother to celebrate her birthday, but no one else showed up. Once I realized what was happening, I made an internal decision that I would do everything in my power to create a fun and memorable party for this young girl. For the next hour, I was her best friend and cool big sister. By the time I took her to the arcade to finish her party with her family, I had done every magic trick, made every balloon animal, told every joke I knew, and a few new ones. Afterward, her mother came up to me and thanked me deeply. The tip that she gave me was inconsequential to the satisfaction of going above and beyond to truly connect and celebrate with her daughter.

The second moment occurred shortly after graduating from Stanford. My most cherished accomplishment was raising over 5,000 books for P.S. 33 Edward Funk Elementary School in Queens Village, Queens, NY as an AmeriCorps Site Coordinator for Reading Partners. I established the reading program at the school and worked with parents, teachers, staff, and students to take a one-month-long organization-wide book fundraiser and extend it to a localized 6-month campaign. The buy-in from all the stakeholders allowed each of them to fully embrace the program and demonstrated the power of a community coming together under a unified goal.

My very first job in high school and my first job after undergrad both instilled values of excellence one-on-one and at scale. As I prepare to complete my doctoral degree and launch my career, I am eager to use my skills and experiences to discover new moments and values.

Now that I am on the job market and looking to launch my career, I want to take all the lessons that I learned from my storied past and apply them to who I want to be when I grow up.

So, if you know of any good remote roles in consulting or User Experience Research, send them my way!

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