Blog / A look into ShareYourself


As ShareYourself grows, we think it is important everyone can get a glimpse into who we are and how we operate behind the scenes. We interviewed each employee on the team! Learn more about each of us from our day to day tasks at the company, to our thoughts on our personal involvement in solving social issues.

Posted by Mitchell O'Neill on July 29, 2020
Alex Feldman
Full stack developer, moderator, (and recent copy editor) 

A look into ShareYourself Alex 

Describe your day to day tasks at ShareYourself
Depending on the day, I primarily build features, fix bugs, run site maintenance, and work with other staff and users to build a more cohesive platform. Outside of developing, I moderate the Ask page and edit ShareYourself written content. 

What made you want to work for ShareYourself? 
Before joining I had found myself in a lurch. I had interned and worked at an economics firm, which on ending, left me feeling disillusioned with working in the corporate sphere. Seeking a new position, I had the opportunity to rejoin that world or thrust myself into the unknown with ShareYourself. Working at a startup has been both exhilarating and bizarre, but I made the right decision.

What do you like about working for ShareYourself? 
There is a certain joy seeing things I've built be implemented on the site, many of which  have become cornerstones of the platform.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't have an emotional attachment to them. And, each iteration of use, of revision and release, provides them with nuance and character; it's as if I'm watching them grow up. Earlier when we had less users, something I built could remain untouched for weeks, and that would be harrowing. Do the users like it? Did it solve the problem that we at ShareYourself set out to fix? As we've grown, the development/user feedback cycle has quickened, which may be the biggest boon of working at ShareYourself; you're not throwing code into the abyss. You develop features, streamline processes, etc., and you immediately get to see the results.



Since working for ShareYourself what have you learned? 
The phrase often associated with start-ups is that "everyone wears many hats". And as such, I've had to fully extend myself as a full stack developer and beyond. However, I would like to use this section as an opportunity to thank Chris, our CTO. It's rare to be able to work with someone both so knowledgeable and inclined to share their experience. He has provided me with ample opportunities to increase my skills, to learn, and keep me on track. Moreover, he taught me a lot about the unseen parts of being a developer: which bank account is best to open when you need to do your own tax withholdings, what to look for in a contract, planning for the future, and more. I've worked at ShareYourself long enough that many of the things he taught me when I started, I am now able to see their fruit. 



What are some of the challenges you face while working for ShareYourself? 
There is an underlining direness of working at a startup. Due to our size and situation, every opportunity is a gamble with real repercussions.

Prior to joining ShareYourself how involved in social issues were you? 
Aware and semi-active, but I wouldn't say it was something I was so focused on.

Would you say that ShareYourself has increased your interest in social issues? How so? 
As ShareYourself has grown in Nigeria, it has been a privilege to hear stories and experience from individuals seeking to make changes in their local communities. There is a sense of pride working at a company knowing that the tools and services we offer are being used beyond the drawing board.



What qualities separates ShareYourself from other companies you have worked for in the past?
ShareYourself is small; that is reflected in everything we do. The positive connotation of this is nimbleness; we are able to quickly pivot and adjust on the fly. Conversely, our size doesn't guarantee a stability that a larger entity could promise.
 
Lauren McKenna

Co-founder / Clients / Partnerships


A look into ShareYourself Lauren

Describe your day to day tasks at ShareYourself
I spend my day connecting with others in the impact space to find potential opportunities to grow our client base, collaborations, partnerships and networking. 

What made you want to work for ShareYourself? 
I've always wanted to do professional work in the impact space and ShareYourself helps the underdogs. That's my mission with just about everything I do. 

What do you like about working for ShareYourself? 
Our team is multi-generational and without borders. It means several perspectives, ideas and experiences at the table, always.



Since working for ShareYourself what have you learned? 
I've worn many hats during my 6 years at ShareYourself as the Co-Founder. Each role I've learned from experience, not by book or traditional education. Suffice to say I've learned a lot!

What are some of the challenges you face while working for ShareYourself? 
Every day is a new day and new learning experience, which means I need to be easy on myself and the learning curve. "Am I cut out for this? Do I know enough?" These are questions that pop up often in my head as I carve my path within this business, but it's worth it!  

Prior to joining ShareYourself how involved in social issues were you? 
Very. It was woven into my upbringing by my parents and community.

Would you say that ShareYourself has increased your interest in social issues? How so? 
It's allowed me to be involved in ways I may not have had the opportunity to otherwise. It certainly highlights social issues, considering it's what I do all day every day.



What qualities separates ShareYourself from other companies you have worked for in the past?
ShareYourself really acts as a platform for its team to mobilize our ideas just as much as aims to do for our users. We're encouraged to explore our ideas, stretch them out, experiment and innovate. We also "drink our own beer" as Chris likes to say. We use the nuts and bolts of ShareYourself for our organization just as our users do.
 
Hannah Wright

User Engagement 

A look into ShareYourself Hannah

Describe your day to day tasks at ShareYourself
My day to day tasks include responding to messages received from users on the platform, whether they be questions, statements, or a simple hello. I also check up on our Instagram and Facebook, posting on Instagram three times a week. I check for contact form submissions and respond to those as well. 



What made you want to work for ShareYourself? 
Creating social impact is something that has always been a part of my life and having the opportunity to manifest that in a job was enticing for me. I have never worked for a startup company, or anything even close to ShareYourself so I am very lucky to have this opportunity.

What do you like about working for ShareYourself? 
I enjoy getting to communicate with people from all around the world and see what kinds of projects are taking place. There are often parallels between the work done here in the US and in Africa or other areas of the world. I also enjoy our weekly meetings and check-ins. I am very lucky to have really awesome co-workers.



Since working for ShareYourself what have you learned? 
I have gained insight on how startup companies work, and some insight on user engagement and marketing. Prior to this job, I had never really worked in any sort of field like this, so I am learning more and more each week about what it takes to grow a business and gain users. 

What are some of the challenges you face while working for ShareYourself? 
The biggest challenge I've faced while working for ShareYourself is knowing what to say or do in instances that I've never had to be in before. Like I said, this is my first time doing this sort of work, so I have to be really open and communicate with my co-workers about what things I need help with or am confused about. 

Prior to joining ShareYourself how involved in social issues were you? 
I was an IB student in high school, and have done various social impact and volunteer work since I was in middle school. I am currently a student at Champlain College, and was nominated upon starting college to be a 'social impact scholar', where I carry on work inside and outside of school.

Would you say that ShareYourself has increased your interest in social issues? How so? 
I would say that ShareYourself hasn't necessarily increased my interest, but my awareness. We live in such a bubble where we lack awareness and communication with people around the world who are in completely different situations. Seeing all of the different projects and collaborations on our site has really opened my eyes to all of the various issues around the world, and how social impact varies from place to place, but still has a central goal/theme. 



What qualities separates ShareYourself from other companies you have worked for in the past?
Working for ShareYourself has made me feel welcomed and cared for. During our meetings, we not only discuss matters surrounding the work that we're all doing, but also our personal lives. I have never worked a job before where during 'work' time and meetings I am asked about my day/week or specific things that co-workers may remember about me. ShareYourself is also very dynamic in how spread our impact is, which was never the case with any of my previous jobs. 

Kingsley Adindu

Head of African Operations

A look into ShareYourself Kingsley 

Describe your day to day tasks at ShareYourself
Responding to queries on all my social media platforms about ShareYourself, guiding new signups navigate the site, manage queries and give feedback on the Whatsapp community, inbox users on the website, scout the website for any bugs and also report them to the tech team, think of new strategies on growing our user base, reach out to people online and tell them about ShareYourself, also make virtual presentations about ShareYourself on Whatsapp groups especially (I just started this), manage my project activities (it's still running), make grant payments to grant winners, reach out to grant winners about their projects and lend support through advice or project management, review project reports, etc. 



What made you want to work for ShareYourself? 
I have always wanted to work for an international organization that is involved with social and sustainable development, especially as it involves local communities. After I won the grant, which brought me closer to the SYS team, I was amazed at the goodwill of the staff and when I got the offer, that was a miracle. Now I say a prayer for SYS everyday, with gratitude for this job. I cherish it.

What do you like about working for ShareYourself? 
I like the level of communication and team spirit in the team. Everybody's opinion counts and everyone is valued. The family bond that exists here is one I've never experienced all my life working in any organization. The zoom Meetings are like a family time for me, it helps me connect with everyone, and that also opens up my mind to new ideas for SYS. 



Since working for ShareYourself what have you learned? 
I've learned how to use Google docs, Sheets, Slack, Harvest, Leadership, effective communication and pitching skills have helped me market the ShareYourself brand. My team spirit is better, and collaboration is improved. My reporting skills have also improved and monitoring /evaluation skills are improving as well.

What are some of the challenges you face while working for ShareYourself? 
I'm always on my phone, sometimes my eyes twitch from staring so much on the screen. I also don’t know how to stop working, so I am always on a ShareYourself related business all day and even late into the night and weekends as the need arises. I'm trying to strike a balance, and it is good to know that I can now track my work with harvest I believe, and this I'm sure will help me manage my time efficiently. Monitoring and following up with grant winners is also a challenge since I have to do it virtually. Normally I'm supposed to visit the grant winners project at least once before it ends. This makes me always be on the phone trying to track their progress. Paying out funds to grant winners outside Nigeria is also a challenge sometimes, but I always find a way. 

Prior to joining ShareYourself how involved in social issues were you? 
I was very involved in volunteering for causes that address social issues, and I still am. Social issues affect everyone directly or indirectly, and it makes humanity beautiful addressing these issues so others can find life worth living.

Would you say that ShareYourself has increased your interest in social issues? How so? 
Yes ShareYourself has. Now I'm very keen to learn from other project creators about their motivation. I even advise them and follow up on them. ShareYourself has made me a focal person for project creators as they always seek my advice on even their projects outside ShareYourself.
The various projects created on the ShareYourself platform tells a story about social issues in various communities that ordinary people like myself are trying to do something about. Unfortunately, not all projects get to win the grant, but those projects give me a lot of insight and it teaches me so much about many African communities.



What qualities separates ShareYourself from other companies you have worked for in the past?
ShareYourself has a work ethic that no other organization I know has.There’s shared friendship, common goal and focus, integrity and high level of commitment. SYS is flexible and this allows for creativity, while achieving the goal at hand. ShareYourself is also consistent in its operations and always seeking ways to improve, and that's what tells me that we are growing and will become way bigger in the nearest future. We have to brace up for that expansion. 




Christopher Lewis

Chief Technical Director / Co-maintainer of the code garden

A look into ShareYourself Chris

Describe your day to day tasks at ShareYourself
I make sure the server and site are running problem-free, review and deploy features and improvements to the site, and try to stay ahead of the next feature request or platform pivot.

What made you want to work for ShareYourself? 
I love solving problems, big and small, and this project presented some especially challenging ones. This effort has been underscored by the mission-first approach to our operations.

What do you like about working for ShareYourself? 
The ambitiousness of the platform's goals, plus the rapid development cycles, make the project particularly fun and rewarding to work on.



Since working for ShareYourself what have you learned? 
I've learned that big, good, things, come in big, good, time.

What are some of the challenges you face while working for ShareYourself?
Trying to look, feel, and perform like a fortune 500 platform with a development team of just two.

Prior to joining ShareYourself how involved in social issues were you?
Not very, to be perfectly honest.

Would you say that ShareYourself has increased your interest in social issues? How so? 
One hundred percent. I've since started volunteering at the public library and it has really opened my eyes in a lot of ways.



What qualities separates ShareYourself from other companies you have worked for in the past?
ShareYourself has a truly unique mixture of people, ideas, and expertise, making the result something really special. A lot of companies will say they are quick to adapt to change, but struggle to actually do so. Our team can bob and weave through both technical and market adversity like the winning dog through an obstacle course at Westminster. It's wild.

LC Hines

Content Creator (primarily audio and video)

A look into ShareYourself LC

Describe your day to day tasks at ShareYourself

At the moment most of my time is dedicated to my weekly project. A short video for our social media about an important issue/topic. Typically I research the topic first, write a script for the video, record that. Then make the visuals for the video. I’m also always brainstorming and collecting ideas from the team to come up with ideas for larger-scale projects. 

What made you want to work for ShareYourself? 
I like the idea of an organization focused on giving people the resources to help others. It’s a community that’s growing and I value the experience of watching it evolve. 

What do you like about working for ShareYourself? 
Mainly two things. I like the creative freedom I have and I like the community. I really get to define my part in ShareYourself and use my skills to contribute to the platform. I also like the small/family dynamic of the team. Everyone’s voice is heard and there’s real respect for everyone’s opinions if we disagree. 


Since working for ShareYourself what have you learned? 
I’m learning how to properly manage my time and plan out my workflow. Adding on more responsibilities and more regular projects is giving me the opportunity to figure out how to best manage my time.

What are some of the challenges you face while working for ShareYourself?
Mostly it has to do with the challenges of remote collaboration and trying to understand our audience better. Working on the virtual concert was way more of an endeavor that I initially expected. There was a combination of issues with getting content from others outside of ShareYourself within an initial time frame, as well as technological issues I didn’t foresee.

Prior to joining ShareYourself how involved in social issues were you?
I volunteered at the local Boys and Girls Club for most of my time in high school. I also volunteered at our local public access TV station, where community members were given a platform to voice their concerns. I suppose the social issues I am most passionate about is giving people the opportunity to make the change for themselves and those around them. 

Would you say that ShareYourself has increased your interest in social issues? How so? 
Yes. I guess I’ve just never been as directly involved with social issues as I am now. Trying to make content for this community has given me perspective that I never had before. Seeing the user’s passions for issues in their communities has given me insight into topics I never had to focus on in my personal life, like climate change and giving people access to healthy, organic food. 



What qualities separates ShareYourself from other companies you have worked for in the past?


I haven’t worked for a whole lot of other companies in quite this capacity. But compared to other social engagement organizations I’ve volunteered for, I suppose the sense of family and community is what separates it. Everyone has an equal voice and in general, I feel a lot more freedom in what we can do with the platform.



Mitchell O’Neill

Digital Marketing Specialist

A look into ShareYourself Mitchell

Describe your day to day tasks at ShareYourself

My day to day can vary. A lot of my work involves analytics and making sure what we are doing is leading to growth. Lately, I’ve been on a real content creation kick with Hannah and LC. It’s very rewarding to write a new blog about a social issue or to spread awareness about something on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Additionally, I manage the flow of our meetings by introducing each discussion point, I update the dashboard frequently, and I manage any paid advertising campaigns.

What made you want to work for ShareYourself? 
About a month before I graduated from Champlain College Stu McGowan came to one of my classes and spoke to us about life and our futures. The talk he gave was very motivational. Towards the end of his talk he mentioned his newest venture ShareYourself. I knew this was a unique opportunity, and I had always wanted to work for a start up because I have dreams of creating my own start up someday. Stu said that they were looking for a marketing intern. About an hour after the talk I messaged Stu and told him that I was interested in the position. For about 3-4 months I tried my hardest to prove my worth and in September I became full time and fully invested in ShareYourself. 

What do you like about working for ShareYourself? 
There is a lot I like about it, the biggest thing is really how much say each of us have in every meeting. I’ve never really had the fear of talking during the meetings even as an intern. I also believe watching the site grow has been a pleasant experience. I believe when I joined ShareYourself there were only 300 users on the site, now we have over 2,000 and we are still growing. 


Since working for ShareYourself what have you learned? 
I’ve learned that marketing does not always need to be “paid” marketing. My big focus right now is to save all of our marketing budget and use more creative, innovative, and free ways to make our site grow. This is why I have been on such a big content kick right now, there are so many amazing individuals on ShareYourself right now, and if we can use their stories we can grow, and help those individuals project’s grow.  

What are some of the challenges you face while working for ShareYourself?
The biggest challenge is how spread out we are as a team. I’ve voiced this before, and I know that it is impossible for us, but if we all worked in an office together our productivity would be through the roof. I also think everyone would have a stronger team relationship. But there are also many pros to working from home, which I love as well.  

Prior to joining ShareYourself how involved in social issues were you?
I wasn’t necessarily involved in social issues, but I have always been a firm believer of Corporate Social Responsibility and as a marketing professional I am completely against deceptive marketing I even have a professional value statement pinned to my Twitter page that talks about my values and thoughts on ethical marketing. 

Would you say that ShareYourself has increased your interest in social issues? How so? 
ShareYourself has completely increased my interest in social issues. There are so many issues in the world that I was unaware of and I am thankful that ShareYourself and the community have opened my eyes to these issues. 



What qualities separates ShareYourself from other companies you have worked for in the past?

ShareYourself grants a lot of creative freedom, I do not just have to stick to marketing, I can help suggest potential designs layouts for certain pages on the site, and I have been able to do some graphic design work for ShareYourself as well. I love that I can do that here. 

Stu McGowan
CEO

A look into ShareYourself Stu

Describe your day to day tasks at ShareYourself

My job is to juggle all the pieces of SYS - the team, the funding, the direction we want to go. Fortunately, I have an amazing team that makes all this much easier than it could be.



What made you want to work for ShareYourself? 
I founded SYS when I “retired” from several social mission businesses I founded and operated for decades. I knew I couldn’t just sit on a beach somewhere - my life has always been about giving back. It took over a year for me to figure out what to do, and ShareYourself was the answer. 

What do you like about working for ShareYourself? 
First off, all our members on the site, and our team. The members are such amazing people, creating Projects to do good in their hyperlocal communities, and so many of the projects are very inspiring. My team is amazing. We all work together to get things done, to solve problems. That’s a gift, to be working with such talented, committed people.


Since working for ShareYourself what have you learned? 
I’ve learned that it takes a LOT of work, patience, and perseverance to make systemic change. 

What are some of the challenges you face while working for ShareYourself?
Since I’m in charge of funding, that’s always a big challenge. Also, forecasting the future of online platforms is a big one. Thus far, we’ve managed to stay well ahead of the curve, and my job is to make sure we stay there. 

Prior to joining ShareYourself how involved in social issues were you?
I started working on social issues when I was 12 years old. I’ve always volunteered for groups and activities, I’m an Eagle Scout which is all about service to your community. In my adult life, I’ve started many social mission businesses, from video production for social issues, to affordable real estate. I can’t see any other way to live.

Would you say that ShareYourself has increased your interest in social issues? How so? 
ShareYourself is the first venture I’ve started that aims to impact a much wider audience than anything I’ve done before. We have a presence on 3 continents, and over 40 countries. It’s a real challenge, and one I embrace every day. It feels good to do good.



What qualities separates ShareYourself from other companies you have worked for in the past?

ShareYourself is the epitome of a company built from the ground up to do good. That’s all we do. We don’t have a profit motive, everything we do is to maximize our ability to do good in the world. Don’t get me wrong, we make money, but after paying for our team and other expenses, everything goes right back to our members.


We hope that learning more about all of us gives you a better understanding of the platform. Please feel free to reach out to any of us on ShareYourself, we love talking with everyone on the site and helping or learning about your project. 


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