Cindy Gao graduated Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 2016, and her desire to drive social and economic impact through technology led to her current position at LinkedIn.
SI360 drove Cindy to discover her passion: the possibility of realizing social missions through business organizations, particularly those that empower women and minorities to embrace innovation. At LinkedIn, Cindy participates in student panels and discussions to encourage underprivileged youths in the Bay Area to pursue careers in technology. Beyond LinkedIn, Cindy is able to integrate her talents and dedication to social good through her work with Girls Who Code, where she encourages young girls to see technology as more than just a skill, but rather a creative tool to express their vision for improving their own communities. Her time with SI360 and Girls Who Code showed her that “working hard and finding creative solutions that are unique to your perspective are the best ways to make your voice heard.”
Cindy has always believed in the power of community-building, and professional experiences at social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn served as multipliers to her realizing that mission. Using her role at the prestigious networking company, Cindy hopes to bring more women into the tech industry and break down stereotypes that excellence in analytical and technical roles are necessarily male. Her genuine care for others has allowed Cindy to thrive in the SI360 organization. “[SI360’s taught me] how to combine empathy and authenticity and bring it into the workplace,” she said.
The SI360 CONNECTION
“SI360 is a very close community, focused on building authentic relationships that revolves around what you actually care about It emphasizes and celebrates being different, and the ability to make a social impact in different ways,” she said.
For Cindy, SI360 demystified the idea of entrepreneurism and what it meant to be an entrepreneur. To her, being an entrepreneur is more about the mindset than about creating your own business. Cindy continues to innovate from within LinkedIn and use her talents for social good as an intrapreneur. These unique qualities of SI360 are what allowed for individuals from many different academic backgrounds to feel comfortable learning and engaging in the world of business and entrepreneurship.