Amara's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Code Trip

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Boulder, CO

AMARA POOLSWASDI HULSLANDER

Senior Experience Designer
Sphero

“Whenever you’re at an impasse, think about your deathbed. Would you have regretted not doing this thing? If you think you would regret not doing it, you should absolutely go do it.”

INTERESTS:

Design Technology

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Doubt Exploration Societal Pressures Transitions Self-Reflection Choices Regrets Experience Passion Perseverance Support & Encouragement Confidence Determination Family Money & Financial Security Struggle Success Goals

FOUNDATION:

Learning and Being Challenged

TAGS:

certainty, challenges, challenging yourself, changing your mind, coding, computer science, curiosity, decision making, decisions, design, different direction, hesitation, indecisive, minority, moving, parents, regrets, start up, technology, trying everything

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Both of her parents immigrated to the United States from Taiwan; their goal for Amara was for her to have a “sit-down” job in an office, rather than a “stand-up” job.
  • When she was 10 or 11 years old, she played around with making websites by viewing the HTML source codes of sites that she liked.
  • In middle school, she worked on her school’s yearbook; she started learning about graphic design and typesetting.
  • After high school, she had a slightly “tumultuous” time where she tried everything: she enrolled and then dropped out of the Coast Guard Academy, cycled through various majors.
  • Eventually she landed on graphic design; after graduating, she worked for a few different design and marketing startups, including one of her own.
  • One day, Amazon “came knocking” and hired her, moved her out to Seattle; then a couple years later, Sphero came knocking.
  • Says she makes her life decisions based on whether or not her next move will challenge her or stoke her curiosity—she felt like Sphero would both of those things, so she made the move.
  • Believes that her upbringing as a minority in a less affluent community helped her by forcing her to have a successful mindset right off the bat.

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