Kindness & coffee can change more than you think.

A red Starbucks cup sits on snowy branches. The coffee sleeve reads “Crafted by Hand and Heart.”
A red Starbucks cup sits on snowy branches. The coffee sleeve reads “Crafted by Hand and Heart.”
Especially in 2010, this coffee sleeve was 100% accurate. (Photo by Leah Kelley from Pexels)

When I was diagnosed with lattice degeneration in 2009, I felt like I lost everything. My retinas were detaching rapidly (yes, that’s plural), I had to drop out of my master’s program with just one semester left, I had to put my internship on pause, and my boyfriend dumped me. That all happened in the span of about a month or two.

I was devastated. Less so about the boyfriend, but I digress.

When I woke up from my second surgery on my right eye, I had double vision, no depth-perception…


How Alice became a Senior Solutions Consultant at Zendesk

An image of a woman with long hair looking over her shoulder on a blue background. Text by her says “Curiosity has allowed me to go from 0 to 60.”
An image of a woman with long hair looking over her shoulder on a blue background. Text by her says “Curiosity has allowed me to go from 0 to 60.”

Alice is fearless. If you ask her about her career path, that’s probably not how she would put it. But I’ll say it because it’s true. She gets that if she doesn’t know something today, she can learn it for tomorrow. She doesn’t hold herself back the way so many people do, and that’s precisely the type of courage it takes to build a modern career.

Growing up in a New York City suburb, Alice wasn’t exposed to much of the tech world. Her father did a bit of freelance work…


Two women film themselves dancing.
Two women film themselves dancing.
Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels

Trigger warning: Discussions of body image and emotional abuse.
Note: I do not blame social media; this is about my experiences and how I have seen people trick themselves into thinking the filtered life is real. I also acknowledge that there was emotional abuse happening in parallel with these unrealistic expectations.

I froze. My boyfriend grabbed my stomach and started playfully moving it around. We had only been together (officially) for a few weeks.

Me: “What are you doing?”

Him: “Nothing, we’re just talking.”

It was that blatant, and simultaneously that ignored. …


How Allie became a User Operations Team Lead at The Predictive Index.

Allie next to the quote, ”I’m always willing to try new things in a professional setting and venture out there to learn.”
Allie next to the quote, ”I’m always willing to try new things in a professional setting and venture out there to learn.”

Allie is originally from New Jersey, just a short distance away from New York City. She enjoyed high school, attending a vocational-technical-focused county school that recently earned the distinguished honor of being named the number one public high school in the country. Every student had to select a focus, so Allie chose culinary arts and hospitality. Learning under a chef she admired, Allie absorbed as much knowledge as she could about the industry, “I think I didn’t realize at the time, it wasn’t the food I loved as…


Ever had an interviewer play a prank on you?

Two people sitting at a work desk in front of their laptops laughing.
Two people sitting at a work desk in front of their laptops laughing.
Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

Recently, I was reminded of an interview that still makes me cringe. In the mid-2010s, I was looking for new international opportunities. After finding out I was losing my eyesight, I decided to explore the world while I could still see (spoiler: I still have a fair amount of sight!). I needed some sort of employment to finance this grand plan, and so I started searching for jobs.

The Interview

Pretty quickly, someone scheduled an interview with me to discuss writing for their entertainment company. It was an industry I knew nothing about…


How Zac became a Customer Success Consultant at Zendesk.

Zac smiling in front of a colorful background with the quote: “Add as much value as you can to the people you support.”
Zac smiling in front of a colorful background with the quote: “Add as much value as you can to the people you support.”

Service. Yes, we all talk about it, especially in the support world. But how many people actually mold their lives around a dedication to service? How many light up when they talk about the people who have taken the time to support them and get genuinely moved at the thought of being able to give just a bit of that back? Without a doubt, Zac fits this description. Zac is humbled by those that have helped him, and he’s excited about the prospect of helping others. …


How Richard became Vice President of Customer Experience at Stratix.

A man smiling with the quote, ““Leadership, customer experience, and technology have driven my career.” — Richard Greenaway
A man smiling with the quote, ““Leadership, customer experience, and technology have driven my career.” — Richard Greenaway

Richard’s work history is impressive. In fact, he works on such large-scale projects that you might assume he’s too busy to be concerned with individual customer interactions. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Our discussion uncovered layer after layer of deep connection to the customers he has worked with through the projects he’s pursued. Three threads run through each role — customer obsession, technology, and leadership. …


How Oswaldo became a Customer Experience Manager at PayJoy.

A man and his son with the words “You have to make small goals to achieve bigger ones.”
A man and his son with the words “You have to make small goals to achieve bigger ones.”

How did Oswaldo become a Customer Experience Manager at PayJoy? Focus and family. At his core, he is laser-focused on his goals and uses his father’s example to drive him toward success. This attitude has allowed Oswaldo to work on exciting projects with international companies, and often to make something out of nearly nothing — as you’ll see him do throughout his career story.

Family ties

Before he began his journey in CX, Oswaldo watched his father excel as a medical representative, “He was a medical rep for about 30 years, so I…


How Curtis became a User Operations Specialist.

A picture of a man smiling next to quote, “I believe so much in the mission and vision of what we do. It’s perfect for me.”
A picture of a man smiling next to quote, “I believe so much in the mission and vision of what we do. It’s perfect for me.”

Curtis exudes a natural empathy that is so deeply ingrained in him he doesn’t even recognize it. At one point in our conversation, I mentioned how clearly empathetic he is, and he paused before responding, “I would never have said that about myself if I hadn’t just heard it from you or from other people who say similar things. My husband says things like, ‘You have one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever seen.’” To Curtis, it doesn’t seem extraordinary. It’s natural.

I think that’s what makes him perfect for human-focused roles. His…


How Tara became a User Operations Specialist.

A smiling woman with her hand out and the quote ”I want to get to know who these people are so that I can adapt to help them”
A smiling woman with her hand out and the quote ”I want to get to know who these people are so that I can adapt to help them”

When I spoke with Tara, she was upfront about her unusual career path, “It’s pretty winding.” Hearing the full story, though, there are common threads in every move she makes. Art, sports, helping people, and perhaps most powerfully, ethics and integrity are always at the core of her work. While she has tried many different roles, her unique path is deeply reflective of her personality and passions.

Discovering her motivations

Tara has always enjoyed athletics, spending much of her childhood artistic roller skating and horseback riding. She also uses art as her outlet, “I just have…

Alexa Huth

Visually impaired author and adventurer

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