Sabry's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Code Trip

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Los Gatos, CA

SABRY TOZIN

Director of Enterprise Applications
Netflix

“School teaches you that if you get an ‘F,’ you’ve failed and that’s that. But the more important life lesson is, how do you come back from that? What are you going to do next?”

INTERESTS:

Engineering Technology

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Confidence Desire Determination Exploration Focus Education Failure Fear Conflict Struggle Doubt Hard Work Individualism Self-Reflection Simplicity Societal Pressures Success Perseverance Transitions Acceptance Choices Regrets Fulfillment

FOUNDATION:

Learning and Being Challenged

TAGS:

appreciation, computer science, confidence, decisions, engineering, enjoyment, epiphany, experience, fun, learning, losing, math, pressure, prove yourself, proving yourself, quitting, shame, stereotype, time, trying new things

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Grew up in the Congo; he was surrounded by people who were either really well-off, or desperately poor.
  • For most of his younger years, he wanted to be a civil engineer just so he could be like his father, but as time passed, he swayed towards computer science.
  • He flunked his second calculus class; there were still six or seven more math classes to come before he could get his engineering degree.
  • He called his father crying and told him he’d flunked; his dad said, “Well, what do you want to do now?”
  • That moment made him realize that it’s not about failing; it’s about how you react to failure and how you come back from it.
  • After that he doubled down, retook the class and studied hard; he’d love to say he got straight A’s after that, but it was still hard getting through college.
  • He took a job in the I.T. department at his college; by the time he graduated, he knew he wanted to move to Silicon Valley and work in the tech industry.
  • Says he got to where he is today by finding self-confidence: he learned to love himself and to expect big things from himself.

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