In 2004, I knew that I had to work for Facebook.
I was a senior at Stanford University, majoring in Science Technology and Society. Facebook had launched that year at Harvard and was rolling out to additional colleges. When it became available at Stanford, much like everyone else on campus, I signed up immediately and was soon obsessed with the site. I was interested in Facebook both as a user (checking out profiles of classmates, messaging friends, and uploading photos) as well as an academic (I even wrote my senior thesis about Facebook.)
At that time, MySpace was extremely popular and few people outside of a small subset of American college students had ever heard of Facebook. Despite that, I had a deep and powerful feeling that Facebook would be something very important. So important that one day everyone in the world would not only know what Facebook is, but use it every day.
With graduation approaching, I applied for job openings at several of the companies recruiting at our career fairs, but there was only one place I wanted to work. Unfortunately, Facebook was not an option: they were only hiring engineers and I did not have a technical background. I wasn’t discouraged, however, as I knew the company was destined to be successful, and non-engineering support would be needed in the very near future.
The first Facebook office was in downtown Palo Alto. Over the next few months, I made several trips to the office to introduce myself, express my desire to work for Facebook (doing anything!), and to see if there were any opportunities at that time. This was in addition to the several emails I sent to different Facebook employees reiterating the same message. It was definitely uncharacteristic for me to be so forward, but I had rarely felt this passionately about something.
Finally, there was an opening for a non-engineering role as an administrative assistant. I interviewed for and did not get the position. During that process, however, another position as a marketing associate became available and I eventually ended up getting that job. I was thrilled.
More than seven years, four different roles and one billion users later, I am now the Director of Product for Growth and Engagement at Facebook. I am where I am today because I believed in something that I wanted and I leaned in to get a foot in the door. It was a step that changed my life.