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Blossoming Technologist

Blossoming Technologist

By Marisa Hoenig
A podcast for young professionals in tech. How do you get an internship? What are the different career paths in the tech industry? We'll explore all your questions and more, hearing stories of everyday young professionals to help make your mark on the world.

Stay updated on new episodes through Instagram @blossomingtechnologist and Twitter @blssmngtchnlgst. Inquiries? Contact Marisa at
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19. Season 1 Finale
Tune in for the Season 1 Finale of Blossoming Technologist! In this episode, Marisa reflects on the past season and insights from being a podcaster. She talks about the behind-the-scenes of producing a podcast and the pros and cons of having a platform for content creation. Marisa shares some exciting news on how to get involved with Blossoming Technologist (linked below!). She also provides suggestions for other podcasts to listen to and documentaries to watch while the podcast goes on a ~2 month break before Season 2. Do you know someone who should be featured on the podcast? Reach out via social media or email to let us know. Thank you for listening to Season 1! Leave a review on Apple Podcasts: Timestamps: 0:00 Introduction 01:29 Season 1 Highlights 02:51 Reflections on Podcasting 15:20 What's Next 16:05 Getting Involved 21:47 Season 2 22:27 Wrapping Up 23:16 Podcast/Documentary Recommendations Get Involved: Mentorship/Research 1:1s: Social Media Manager Application (due May 3): Volunteer Interest Form: Podcast & Documentary Recommendations: Women in Tech Podcast: Ladybug Podcast: Passages Podcast: Make Peas Not Beef Podcast: AppThink Podcast: Connecting with Careers Podcast: "The Social Dilemma": "Coded Bias": About Marisa: Marisa Hoenig is the host of Blossoming Technologist and a software developer at ThoughtWorks. She graduated from Georgia Tech with a Bachelors in computer science in 2018. Marisa is passionate about helping others navigate the tech industry and understand different careers. Connect with Marisa: LinkedIn: /marisahoenig Twitter: @marisahoenig Instagram: @marisahoenig Follow Blossoming Technologist: Instagram: @blossomingtechnologist Twitter: @blssmngtchnlgst LinkedIn: /blossoming-technologist Contact:
April 19, 2021
18. Demystifying Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies with Nicholas Prouten
How do cryptocurrencies and blockchain work? Why is the blockchain industry great for technologists to explore? Meet Nicholas Prouten, the VP of Product Design and Head of Marketing at the LODE Project based out of British Columbia, Canada. LODE is a blockchain powered payment ecosystem and the first of its kind of cryptocurrency to be backed by gold and silver. In this episode, we discuss bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as well as blockchain technology. Blockchain can be used in more than just the financial industry, and we delve into its use cases and how this booming industry can be a great path for any technologist. Mentioned in This Episode: Two Hat Security: Bitcoin Talk: BlockFi: Wealthsimple: "Hooked" by Nir Eyal: Follow the LODE Project: Website: Twitter: @LODEpaymedia Connect with Nicholas: LinkedIn: /nick-prouten Twitter: @NicholasProuten Follow Blossoming Technologist: Instagram: @blossomingtechnologist Twitter: @blssmngtchnlgst LinkedIn: /blossoming-technologist
April 12, 2021
17. Landing a Top Tier Internship with Alexandra Foote
How do you get an internship at a top tech company? Once you secure the internship, how do you make the most of that experience? Meet Alexandra Foote, a product manager at Microsoft and career coach helping students secure internships. During her time studying computer science at Georgia Tech, Alexandra interned at Google, Microsoft, and Bank of America. With her internship experience, she began coaching hundreds of students to land job offers at top tech companies. Now, she continues to coach students through her course "Tech Internship Toolkit" and free masterclass "How to Land an Internship at a Top Tech Company." In this episode, we dive into how to get internships and why they're so important. We talk about common mistakes students make, how to make the most of your internship experience, and how to prepare for technical interviews. Mentioned in This Episode: Tech Internship Toolkit Course: How to Land an Internship at a Top Tech Company Masterclass: LinkedIn Learning: Connect with Alexandra: Website: LinkedIn: /footealexandra Instagram: @fancyfootework Facebook: @fancyfootework Follow Blossoming Technologist: Instagram: @blossomingtechnologist Twitter: @blssmngtchnlgst LinkedIn: /blossoming-technologist
April 5, 2021
16. Software Soft Skills & Writing with Lokajit Tikayatray
What soft skills are necessary as a software developer? How can writing in your free time help you advance in your career? Meet Lokajit Tikayatray, an IT Architecture consultant at Dell Technologies from Bangalore, India. With 15 years of experience as a software developer, Lokajit is passionate about helping business users understand requirements, creating optimal solutions, and helping developers implement the best product. In his free time, he writes about software engineering on Medium, helping budding software engineers learn how to succeed in their careers. Several of his articles have gone viral and have been read by thousands of people around the world. In this episode, we talk about soft skills necessary in software development and the power of having a good attitude. We also dive into the importance of a hobby like writing in helping your career as well as the specifics of what it's like to write on Medium, a platform with tons of technology content. Mentioned in This Episode: Medium: Medium Bad-Assery Course: Quora: Medium Partner Program: Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun: Lokajit's Medium Articles This is Why Software Developers Fail to Succeed in Their Career:
March 29, 2021
15. From the Recruiter's Perspective with Estefania Ortiz
What does recruitment look like from the recruiter's perspective? How do you best market yourself to a recruiter? Meet Estefania Ortiz, a Chicago-based Diversity Recruiter on the Amazon Web Services Early Career Talent team. At AWS, Estefania finds top student talent for hiring teams and helps students through workshops and individual coaching sessions. She is passionate about empowering students to leverage their skills and experience to find the right career opportunity. She is also a strong advocate for improving diversity & inclusion in the industry by helping teams and business leaders prioritize this every day. In today's episode, we dive into the recruitment process from a recruiter's perspective: How recruiters help you find the right opportunity Behind the scenes life of a recruiter Key things to understand about the recruiter's perspective How to send a message to a recruiter that stands out Common candidate mistakes Resume tips for students What to expect out of the interview experience Tips for negotiating salary Connect with Estefania: LinkedIn: /ortizestefania Twitter: @estef_oa Follow Blossoming Technologist: Instagram: @blossomingtechnologist Twitter: @blssmngtchnlgst LinkedIn: /blossoming-technologist
March 22, 2021
14. Shaping Your Software Engineering Career with Victoria Kirst
How do you shape a career you love? Why should you pursue software engineering especially if you don't want to sit behind a computer all day? Meet Victoria Kirst, an incoming software engineer at The Browser Company, former software engineer at Google for 8 years, former lecturer at Stanford, and most recently the Director of Platform and then VP of Engineering at a startup, Glitch. Victoria is passionate about software engineering and education, and in our conversation, she shares insights about her career journey to help others succeed in software engineering. In this episode, Victoria discusses what she loves about software engineering, what stops people from choosing software engineering, how to shape your career, choosing the right career, when to leave a job, how to define a startup, differences between working at a big company versus a startup, and the responsibilities of a VP of Engineering. We also talk about her new project that you can get involved in to stay on track with your learning goals: Everybody Study Club. Mentioned in This Episode: Code In Place Call for Teachers: Ashley C. Ford Quote (Twitter): "Somebody's Daughter: A Memoir" by Ashley C. Ford (preorder): "What the Hell is a Startup Anyway" Techcrunch Article: "The Manager's Path" by Camille Fournier: Connect with Victoria: Twitter: @heyvrk LinkedIn: /victoriakirst Everybody Study Club: Follow Blossoming Technologist: Instagram: @blossomingtechnologist Twitter: @blssmngtchnlgst LinkedIn: /blossoming-technologist
March 15, 2021
13. Intro to Cloud Computing with Joshua "TechDev" Walker
What is cloud computing? How do you get started in tech with no past experience? Meet Joshua "TechDev" Walker, a senior cloud engineer, diversity advocate, and the author of “Venti Fried Chicken." He is also the co-founder of Black Orlando Tech and an Army veteran. Joshua is passionate about demystifying the tech industry and promoting diversity. In this episode, we talk about cloud computing: what it is, how it works, and what resources you need to start learning. We discuss the similarities and differences between the various cloud computing services and which certification exams you should take. We also dig into do-it-yourself careers and how to start your journey in tech with no prior experience. Joshua shares what inspired him to get into tech and why you should get into the industry too. Mentioned in This Episode: Black Orlando Tech: freeCodeCamp: Pluralsight: Pluralsight Datacamp: A Cloud Guru (YouTube channel): AWS Cloud Practitioner Exam Pulp Fiction (Movie) Google SRE Book: "The Phoenix Project" by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, George Spafford: Connect with Joshua: Buy Venti Fried Chicken on Amazon: Website: TikTok: @ventifriedchicken Instagram: @ventifriedchicken LinkedIn: /jwtechdev Follow Blossoming Technologist: Instagram: @blossomingtechnologist Twitter: @blssmngtchnlgst LinkedIn: /blossoming-technologist
March 1, 2021
12. Product & Project Management with Trevor Newberry
What's the difference between product and project management? Where does Scrum fit into that? Learn from Trevor Newberry, the Owner of Newberry Consulting, Co-Founder of AppThink, and Director of Product Delivery at Harmony Venture Labs. Hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, Trevor uses his experience as a consultant, product manager, and project manager to help non-technical and first-time founders build amazing software products. In this episode, we dig into several roles in tech including (but not limited to) product manager, project manager, and scrum master. If you're looking to get into these roles, this is the perfect episode to find out what it's like from someone who does it everyday and who started with a not-so-typical background. We also discuss problems that first-time founders face that can be solved with product management, best ways to learn, the power of community, and the importance of hobbies. Mentioned in This Episode: The Product Book by Product School: INSPIRED by Marty Cagan: Measure What Matters by John Doerr: Seth Godin: Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller: The Snowball System by Mo Bunnell: Hooked by Nir Eyal: The Lean Startup by Eric Ries: Connect with Trevor: LinkedIn: /trevor-newberry Follow AppThink Website: Instagram: @appthink Facebook: /appthink LinkedIn: /appthink Podcast: Follow Blossoming Technologist: Instagram: @blossomingtechnologist Twitter: @blssmngtchnlgst LinkedIn: /blossoming-technologist
February 22, 2021
11. Freelancing for Small Businesses with Arjun Chopra
What is it like to be a freelancer? How can you help small businesses as a technologist? Learn from Arjun Chopra, a freelance software developer and web designer as the founder of 5848 Studios, a Toronto-based business that provides small and medium-sized businesses with the technology they need. Arjun started freelancing at the age of 17 and is on a mission to solve big problems with technology, building websites and apps and designing graphics for businesses. In today's episode, we talk pros and cons of freelancing, how to find businesses without spending too much on marketing, how to have confidence in starting your business, advice for anyone interested in freelancing, and more! Mentioned in This Episode: Stack Overflow: Atom: Android Studio: Flutter: Connect with Arjun: 5848 Studios Website: LinkedIn: /arjunchops Instagram: @arjunchopra__ Follow Blossoming Technologist: Instagram: @blossomingtechnologist Twitter: @blssmngtchnlgst LinkedIn: /blossoming-technologist
February 15, 2021
10. Technology's Environmental Impact with Lilly Tong
How does your everyday use of technology impact the environment? What can you do as a technologist to fight climate change? Lilly Tong is a Toronto-based iOS Engineer at VICE Media and the host of Make Peas Not Beef, a podcast about climate change, sustainability, technology, and more. It's all about deepening our relationship with ourselves. In this episode, we dive into mobile development: why it's the future and its unique challenges for developers. We discuss the double-edged sword of technology—how it helps us but also impacts our environment. We also cover what clean tech means, why climate change is the biggest problem in the world right now, what tech companies are doing to fight climate change, and how you can get involved. Mentioned in This Episode: Episode 10, Make Peas Not Beef, "Side Hustles, Building Your Dream Career, Leading with Compassion with Marisa Hoenig": Episode 4, Make Peas Not Beef, "How Can Technology Help Solve Climate Change?": "Inconspicuous Consumption" by Tatiana Schlossberg: On Fire -Naomi Klein - "This Changes Everything" by Naomi Klein: Work On Climate, nonprofit: Follow Make Peas Not Beef: Make Peas Not Beef Podcast, Spotify: Instagram:
February 8, 2021
9. Designing Products People Love with Chelsi Alise Cocking
What does a career in design look like? How do you build products that people love? Meet Chelsi Alise Cocking, a product designer at Dropbox in New York City. Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, Chelsi moved to the U.S. to study computational media, an interdisciplinary degree focused on computer science, digital media, and design, at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia. Through internships at Goldman Sachs and Apple and her classes on human-computer interaction (HCI), Chelsi learned about careers in design and how to build products for the people who use them. In this episode, we dive into what UI/UX (User Interface/User Experience) is, what a product designer does, career paths, skills for UX, resources for aspiring designers, and more! Mentioned in This Episode: "The Design of Everyday Things" by Don Norman: Figma: Sketch: Dropbox Design Community: Meetup: Ladies That UX NYC:
February 1, 2021
8. Security Doesn’t Need To Be Complicated with Sara Diaz
What does a career in security look like? Why is security crucial for everyone to understand? Meet Sara Diaz, the Information Security Lead for ThoughtWorks North America. After starting her career as a quality analyst, she moved into information security and has been at ThoughtWorks for 5 years. Sara is passionate about making security accessible and easy-to-understand; you shouldn't need to be an expert to protect your digital life. In our conversation, we talk all things security: what it means, different career paths, what a day-to-day looks like, resources, skills, and more. Mentioned in This Episode: CIA Security Triad: ( GDPR: (wiki) SANS: Axios: Password Managers: 1Password, DashLane, KeePass, LastPass Follow Blossoming Technologist: Instagram: @blossomingtechnologist Twitter: @blssmngtchnlgst
January 25, 2021
7. Finding the Perfect Mentor with Alex Berry, PMP
How do you find a mentor to help with specific skills? How do you make the most of that relationship? Learn from Alex Berry, a Portland-based Technical Program Manager within Intel’s Global Supply Chain and the Founder of Chocolate Milk Diplomacy, a social business that empowers underserved and marginalized communities with career development support. Alex's story is built from the many mentors and mentees he's had since studying industrial engineering at Georgia Tech to his job today. We talk about how he makes the most of these relationships and continues to value the stories of the people around him. We also discuss what technical program management is and how his company, CMD, helps people figure out their paths. Connect with Alex: LinkedIn: /alexberrycmd Follow Chocolate Milk Diplomacy: Instagram: @chocolatemilkdiplomacy Twitter: @CMDiplomacy LinkedIn: /chocolate-milk-diplomacy Follow Blossoming Technologist: Instagram: @blossomingtechnologist Twitter: @blssmngtchnlgst
January 11, 2021
6. Prioritizing Mental Health with Mahmoud Khedr
How can your job impact your mental health? What can you do to make your mental health a priority? Today's episode features Mahmoud Khedr, the Co-Founder and CEO of FloraMind, an organization that develops tools to guide young people toward positive mental health. Mahmoud is a proud Egyptian immigrant passionate about empowering underserved communities through mental health education. His career began in tech, with companies like Facebook and Google, which led to his focus on entrepreneurship and mental health. We discuss his experience working in tech and starting companies, with lessons on entrepreneurship and how to prioritize your well-being. We also dive into the inspiration behind FloraMind, stories from teaching mental health workshops to kids, and why toxic positivity is a problem. Get ready to be inspired! Mentioned in This Episode: FloraMind: Mahmoud’s Toxic Positivity TED Talk: Virtual Enterprises International: Crisis Text Line: or Text HOME to 741741 Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 NYC Well: 1-888-NYC-WELL or text WELL to 65173 Connect with Mahmoud: Instagram:
January 4, 2021
5. Electrical Engineering & Solar Energy with Mason Mahaffey
What is electrical engineering? What does fabricating solar cells involve? Meet Mason Mahaffey, an enthusiastic PhD student in electrical engineering at Arizona State University and a graduate from Georgia Tech. While he always knew he wanted to work with solar panels, the path to that goal was something he had to figure out along the way through classes, meeting people, and discovering a way forward. We talk about the fields within electrical engineering, what solar energy is, and how solar cells work. We also discuss how important it is to continue pursuing your passion, even when people doubt you. Mentioned in This Episode: GT Solar Racing National Science Foundation Fellowship Sunrise Movement Let It Shine by John Perlin Freeing Energy Podcast Reach Out by Molly Beck Connect with Mason: LinkedIn: /mason-mahaffey-044741137 Follow Blossoming Technologist: Instagram: @blossomingtechnologist Twitter: @blssmngtchnlgst
December 28, 2020
4. Building a Viral Side Project with Benji Bear
How do you start a side project? Learn from Benji Bear—the creator of Covidopoly, an online, multiplayer Monopoly-deal inspired game with over 600,000 plays worldwide. In our interview, we discuss how he started Covidopoly and balances it with his full-time job as a software engineer at YouTube. Benji’s start into computer science was anything but traditional; we talk about his journey from pre-med to computer science, getting into front-end development, his tips for learning new skills, and advice for starting your own side project. Oh, and you won’t want to miss Benji’s "secret to doing well in college." Mentioned in This Episode: Covidopoly Leetcode Connect with Benji on Instagram: Personal: @srrygoldilocks Photography: @benji_bear_photography Covidopoly: @thecovidopoly Follow Blossoming Technologist: Instagram: @blossomingtechnologist Twitter: @blssmngtchnlgst
December 21, 2020
3. Imposter Syndrome, Microaggressions, and Inclusivity with Katie Ho
How do you deal with imposter syndrome? How can you help others recognize their own microaggressions? Why is diversity crucial when building products? Katie Ho is a senior consultant software developer at ThoughtWorks and a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, where she founded HackHolyoke, the first 1:1 gender ratio hackathon, in 2014. Passionate about diversity and inclusivity, Katie describes how she's dealt with imposter syndrome and microaggressions from her time building robots in middle school to her job today. Mentioned in This Episode: FIRST Tech Challenge HackHolyoke Pearl Hacks Algorithmic Justice League - Joy Buolamwini Untamed by Glennon Doyle Away - Netflix Connect with Katie: LinkedIn: /katieho8 Follow Blossoming Technologist: Instagram: @blossomingtechnologist Twitter: @blssmngtchnlgst
December 14, 2020
2. Mastering the Software Engineering Pipeline with Clayton Lawrence
Finding a job is like a pipeline; it's a series of steps to reach your dream job. How do you master the software engineering job process? How do you write a stellar resume and prepare for technical interviews? Today, Clayton Lawrence takes us through his journey becoming a software engineer, providing actionable advice for resumes, interviews, and landing internships. Clayton Lawrence is a mobile developer at NCR and a Georgia Tech graduate. He recently started his own company, Pipeline Career Services, to help people find and land their dream jobs through storytelling, resume reviews, mock interviews, career office hours for software engineering, and his weekly podcast, Connecting with Careers. Technical Interview Resources: Cracking the Coding Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell Leetcode - Online practice problems Hackerrank - Online practice problems Additional Resources: Codeacademy - Free online courses Software Engineering Daily - Podcast The Other F Word by John Danner and Mark Coopersmith Connect with Clayton: LinkedIn: /claytonlawrence3 Instagram: @_claytonlawrence Follow Pipeline Career Services: Podcast: Connecting with Careers Instagram: @PipelineCareerServices Facebook: @pipelinecareerservices LinkedIn: /pipelinecareerservices Follow Blossoming Technologist: Instagram: @blossomingtechnologist Twitter: @blssmngtchnlgst
December 7, 2020
1. Mapping Your Skills Into Your Dream Job with Madeline Helmstadter
How do you map your skills and interests to a job you love? What careers exist with a computer science degree outside of software engineering? We tackle these questions and more in today’s interview with Madeline Helmstadter, an incoming product manager at Facebook and recent Georgia Tech graduate. After completing 4 software engineering internships, Madeline pursued a job that better fit her interests: product management. We discuss how she mapped her passions in theater and organization to product management and how she found a job during the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s jump in! Resources: INSPIRED by Marty Cagan How Women Rise by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith (quoted but not mentioned by name in episode) The Product Podcast by The Product School Associate Product Managers Club Connect with Madeline: LinkedIn: /mhelmstadter Follow Blossoming Technologist: Instagram: @blossomingtechnologist Twitter: @blssmngtchnlgst
November 30, 2020
0. Hello World: Introduction
Blossoming Technologist is a podcast for young professionals growing in the tech industry. How do you perfect your resume? What career paths exist in tech? How do you battle imposter syndrome? We'll answer these questions and more with episodes every Monday, interviewing young professionals in tech about college and their early career. This episode is an introduction to the podcast and the host, Marisa, as well as her journey in the tech industry. Marisa Hoenig is a software developer consultant at ThoughtWorks and a recent Georgia Tech graduate. She is passionate about helping college students and fellow young professionals navigate their first careers in tech. This podcast is a resource that she wished she had in college—a place to hear stories of everyday young professionals figuring out their paths in the tech industry. And with that, let's get started blossoming together! Connect with Marisa: LinkedIn: /marisahoenig Instagram: @marisahoenig Twitter: @marisahoenig Follow Blossoming Technologist: Instagram: @blossomingtechnologist Twitter: @blssmngtchnlgst Contact: Cover Art by Kendal Goodell @goodelldesigns
November 30, 2020
Blossoming Technologist (Trailer)
Follow Along Instagram: @blossomingtechnologist Twitter: @blssmngtchnlgst Inquiries/Suggestions: Cover Art by Kendal Goodell, @goodelldesigns
November 21, 2020