Project WoAH (Women of AngelHack). It’s a movement. One led by the amazing Women of AngelHack, who have stories to share. And share we will! Check out the intro below, and tune in LIVE on December 17th (5pm PST) to check out and ask questions during our WoAH livestream.
Name: Cassey Gatchalian
Role: HACKcelerator Program Manager
Been With AngelHack: A little over 2 years
Works Out Of: San Francisco HQ
"If you have a well rounded team, you can take on any challenge together, playing off each other’s strengths and weaknesses."
What do you do at AngelHack?
I manage all of the logistics for the HACKcelerator program and make sure that it’s running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. In addition to my role in the HACKcelerator, I'm also responsible for curating and maintaining all client websites. As well as fulfilling any of AngelHack's graphic design needs.
Can you tell us about your toughest day on the job?
The toughest day that comes to mind was last year, the night before our PR release for our AngelHack Series 8 was going out. As mentioned earlier I help manage all of our websites, so I had someone on my team responsible for making sure we get our 40+ cities up, and accurately represented on our website. However, when I checked the page, I noticed not a single city was added even though I was assured it would be done. I stayed up until 4am to make sure all cities were up and accounted for. With the PR release scheduled for 6AM, I made it just in time!
AngelHack is a global company, requiring frequent travel. You must have had some memorable experiences. Give us one!
I usually travel alone when I travel for AngelHack, so a memorable travel story/memory for me would be the time I travelled to Bali, Indonesia for our yearly Ambassador Retreat. Hanging out in a new country with your colleagues, some of whom I met for the first time there, was an incredible experience. They watched me collide into a wall for my first scooter experience and had my back when haggling at tourist shops. Thanks guys!
Has there ever been a time you felt discriminated against as a woman? Explain.
Oh man- there’s a bunch of times that come to mind! One in particular was when I was studying in college. I was only one out of two women in my Physics major (go STEM!), and I had a classmate who would crack offensive jokes about women. He would either direct them at me or go, “right Cassey?” and laugh like he was so original. Look, I can take jokes here and there but the reason why it irritated me was because I knew it came from a person who believed it. From a person who felt that women were inferior. So, that’s why it ticked me off so bad and why I remember it now.
What challenges have you faced because of being a female at a hackathon or in business?
Being in the tech industry, I had to get used to the fact that I I would be one of the few women at an event, whether it’s a conference, a hackathon, or a meetup. It was pretty startling to me at the beginning, but one positive is that the women’s restroom lines are nonexistent for a change. Also - I got cat called once while I was being introduced at an event. It was totally out of place and threw me off for a few seconds. That’s not the type of attention I want and that’s not the reason I was there! Here’s a hint: If it’s not ok on the streets, it’s not ok at an event!
What about the startup culture do you like?:
I love the intimacy of the startup culture. I get to work closely with a diverse group of people, who have a range of experiences and expertise. All of the time I get to work 1:1 with them and don't have to deal with any of the extra frills of "going up management". The opportunities that working in a startup is incredible as well. You can find your passion, and you would be immediately encouraged to do it. You're encouraged to be bold, innovative and to think and aim big - there's no restrictions, procedures or hierarchy you have to go through to achieve it.
What about the startup culture do you dislike?
What I don’t like about startup culture is that there’s so much emphasis and importance that’s centered on being a founder. Which, you know, I understand of course. That’s the point - being an entrepreneur and starting your own business - but there’s so much more to the startup culture than that. You build teams around you who are just as equally important. We see that in our hackathons - if you have a well rounded team, you can take on any challenge together, playing off each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
How does it feel that 80% of your community is male based?
Honestly, I'm used to that. As I mentioned in an earlier question, I was only one of two girls in my major. I didn't even have a female professor. Which is (unfortunately) expected, as it's part of the recurring problem of the lack of women in STEM. So I'm used to being and acknowledging that I would be one of the few women in the room for classes, meet-ups, or other events. And that translates to how it looks like now - it's just an extension into the real world. One where I'm still one of the few women in the room.
What do you love about working for AngelHack?
My favorite part about working at AngelHack is the team and seeing it grow. I love seeing all of the different personalities that each one of us brings to the table. I also love that we get to travel for events!
It's definitely a huge perk as I get to experience not only the culture but also the tech ecosystems of the different cities and countries that I explore.
As the HACKcelerator Program Manager, my favorite part about working at AngelHack is watching our HACKcelerator teams grow, I love seeing the diverse skills sets of each person!
What’s your spirit animal?
I would say my spirit animal is a dog because I consider myself to be a very loyal person.
What’s one word you would use to describe yourself?
Lubricant. Because I’m a smooth operator. Also because I like to make work easier for everyone :)
What’s your favorite thing in the world?
My most favorite thing in the world is waking up late on a Saturday and catching up on the most recent video games
My biggest fear is not finding a career path "in time" and that I'll get older and still be struggling in figuring out what I want to do.
What’s your definition of success?
My definition of success is finding a job that I love to do and that I'm good at! I'd work the shit out of that job. It reminds me of that saying, "find a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life". I'd be happy doing what I love, and that to me is success.
The stage is set, December 17th at 5PM PST. Submit your questions ahead of time using #ProjectWoAH or through the YouTube LIVE chat on December 17th. Mark your calendars, and make sure you tune into the livestream!