Since our launch in 2011, General Assembly has made tremendous progress towards our long-term vision: creating a global community of individuals empowered to pursue the work they love. General Assembly has already touched hundreds of thousands of lives, with a community of more than 100,000 students, including an alumni network of more than 6,000 graduates of our courses across eight campuses.
While our progress has been tremendous, our work has barely begun. Our mandate, our deepest organizational responsibility, is to support these alumni not just now, but for many, many years to come. It is this obligation that led to our new round of funding for General Assembly, designed to ensure that we will be able to educate students and help decades of alumni yet to come. Led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), this round represents over $35 million of investment, with participation from other investors including GSV Capital, Rethink Education, Maveron, and Western Technology Investment. IVP is an incredible firm, with an awe-inspiring portfolio including Twitter, Omniture, Netflix, Akamai, Soundcloud, and Snapchat. Todd Chaffee, general partner at IVP, is joining our board, and we’re proud to partner with the firm as we continue to expand our audience and scope of offerings.
While we look toward the future, I also want to recognize General Assembly’s team today. We have 250 amazing, talented people, working tirelessly from outposts across the globe. Working at a startup is a constant challenge and I’m proud of what our team has accomplished. Our ability to continue to invest and grow is due to their commitment to General Assembly and to our students; they are the most crucial element of our collective success to date.
While a financing round is a milestone, it is hardly an endpoint. We want to build General Assembly to still be thriving 75 years from now, and have mountains of work to do to continue to serve our students, alumni, and the countless individuals we have yet to reach. There will be new courses, new campuses, and new audiences to come. We look forward to sharing them with our growing global community.
How do you take your coffee? Milk, sugar? How about a spoonful of career advice? We’ve partnered with Timeout LA to offer career counseling for people interested in exploring jobs in technology, business, or design.
Each week we will select a coffee shop in LA and send a team familiar with the LA startup scene to help people find their path.
We’ve created the ultimate cheat-sheet for you below to get some quick facts on some of the best coffee spots in LA. To learn more about the vibe of each place, check out the full write-up on Timeout LA.
Last month, we hosted a few of our User Experience Design Immersive graduates at our NYC campus. It was great to catch up with them as they shared their experiences while going through the program, as well as the exciting work they’ve embarked on after graduation. The panel included:
Stephanie Morillo is an Associate Education Programs Producer at General Assembly in NYC.
When I was in the fourth grade, my school’s principal made us write down a list of the things we said we can’t do. She then made us put our lists in a box and we buried it in the school’s yard (RIP “I Can’t”, d. Nov 22nd 1996). Since then, however, “I can’t” has made frequent visits from the beyond, creeping into my consciousness in those moments when I was confronted with a problem I didn’t know how to solve and grew easily discouraged.
Colleen is a User Experience Researcher at GA in New York.
Recruiting for user research takes time and close attention to detail. It could easily be compared to running a bed and breakfast with users similar to houseguests. Here at GA, we use a few different do-it-yourself methods, but my recipe for recruiting always includes the user, preparation, organization and a little dash of hospitality.
Meet Abby Howell. Abby first became interested in computer programming while working with Deaf children and using Scratch, a visual programming language for kids developed at MIT. Here’s her story.
What were you doing before you came to GA?
Meet Robyn Steinberg. Robyn started her career as a recruiter in New York City, but made a major life change when she decided to move across the world and learn to code. Robyn recently graduated of our first Web Development Immersive course in Hong Kong, and she is now combining her two professional passions in her new role as a GA Instructor Evangelist. Here’s her story.
Tell us about the path you took to WDI.
Life pre-WDI was spent recruiting web developers and designers for a large marketing agency in NYC. Upon getting a promotion, the lead recruiter provided me with a list of coding key words to use in the interview process. Puzzled and intrigued, I started researching the terminology. The more I learned, the more I wanted to understand. I was hooked!
I spent the weeks following the discovery of my new-found interest applying to a handful of full-time programs in a variety of locations. The idea of quitting my job seemed scary and foreign, but I felt a strong connection to code. I wanted to be forced to learn code in a way I couldn’t do if I had a full-time role. After receiving three acceptances, GA won my vote. My goal was to be pushed out of my comfort zone and challenged to drive my own success, and I was certain GA would deliver just that.
A lot of people have been asking me what my upcoming book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, will be like. Here’s a piece that I wrote for the book that did not make the cut. I still think it’s a pretty good story and gives you a flavor.
I just tell the truth so I’m cool in every hood spot
21 years and I ain’t ever met a good cop
—Drake, “I’m Goin In”
After we transitioned the business from Loudcloud to Opsware, we needed a head of finance. Therefore, when the CFO from one of the best-run enterprise software companies became available, I jumped at the chance to hire her.
The Entertainment space and LA are no strangers at General Assembly. We are continuously striving to create enriching experiences, and this one did not fall short. Through a partnership with theAudience and Digital Marketing courses at our LA campus, students were invited to West Hollywood to experience first-hand what goes down in the world of social data around celebrities and talent.