Category: as told to

My wife and I sold our home in Texas and started traveling the world with our 4-year-old to find a...

Jimmy, Brooke, and Isla Sweeney are traveling the world together to find their dream home. Courtesy of Jimmy Sweeney Jimmy and Brooke Sweeney decided to leave Fort Worth, Texas, with their 4-year-old daughter, Isla. They’ve been traveling the world to find a home that fits their lifestyle since June 2023. They have visited 29 countries so far and spend an average of less than $200…

I’m the 3rd generation in my family business, but I’m not sure if I want my kids to follow in...

George Vukasin Jr. doesn’t know if he wants his kids to follow the family tradition of managing the family business. Courtesy of Lori Eanes George Vukasin Jr. is the president and CEO of a company his grandfather started. He says the family legacy is important, but he’s not sure he wants his kids to work there. One of his sisters works at the company too,…

A basic income program helped me get back on my feet. Now I am an activist in my community and...

A basic income allowed Hope Davis to get back on her feet and give back to her community. Courtesy of Hope Davis. Hope Davis is a 47-year-old mom and community activist in New Orleans. She receives $1,000 monthly from the state ACLU’s guaranteed monthly income program. Framed as reparations, the program supports people who have been racially targeted by police. This is an As Told To…

I’ve worked at Meta, Visa, and Google. There are 6 steps I always take when preparing for a big interview.

Yung-Yu Lin says mock interviews and reading company news are crucial to his interview prep strategy. Yung-Yu Lin Senior product manager Yung-Yu Lin shares six strategies for preparing for FAANG interviews. Strategies include mock interviews, subscribing to company news, and contacting recruiters. He also suggests people make notes and ask insightful questions at the end. This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Yung-Yu…

I learned CPR with my kids. Then, my 14-year-old used it to save his friend’s life.

Marlana Hodgins and her son Trevor, who performed CPR on his friend after he collapsed and saved his life. Courtesy of Marlana Hodgins Marlana Hodgins helped her kids learn CPR in the family living room. About two years later, her son Trevor used CPR after a friend collapsed. Doctors say Trevor’s actions probably saved his friend’s life. This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation…

I’m a cybersecurity expert who likes using AI. But I’d never share a few things with ChatGPT or its competitors.

Most companies don’t have AI policies, but take care not to upload sensitive data to a bot. iStock; BI A cybersecurity expert warns against oversharing with AI chatbots like ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini. Chat data can be used to train generative AI and can make personal data searchable. Many companies lack AI policies, leading employees to unknowingly risk confidential information. This as-told-to essay is based…

I was laid off one day before my 2nd child was born. I landed a job at Meta in a...

Vishwanath Eswarakrishnan is a software engineer at Meta. Vishwanath Eswarakrishnan; Meta; Chelsea Jia Feng/BI Vishwanath Eswarakrishnan joined Meta after being laid off from Cruise in December. His second layoff occurred following a Cruise robotaxi accident in San Francisco. Focusing on being a good engineer and what he could control helped him land a job within a month. This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation…

I’m a Google product manager who mentors 10 people a month. Here’s how I pick mentees, based on their messages...

Pandey worked at Amazon and AWS before moving to Google in 2021. Sonakshi Pandey Sonakshi Pandey transitioned from software engineering to solution architecture. Mentoring has sharpened her leadership skills and exposed her to diverse tech fields. She looks for mentees who are self-driven, prepared, and are willing to be honest and vulnerable. This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Sonakshi Pandey, a cloud…

I gifted myself an adult gap year for my 30th birthday. I’ve never been this happy and I’m the most...

Alma Rex-Ezonfade decided to quit her job and take an “adult gap year.” Alma Rex-Ezonfade Alma Rex-Ezonfade took a yearlong sabbatical after years of working non-stop. She saved $51,300 for her sabbatical, which she spent on travel and exploring personal interests. Despite initial struggles, she found joy in her time off and plans on taking more sabbaticals in the future. This as-told-to essay is based…

I worked at Amazon, Tesla, SAP, Salesforce, and Meta. Here’s what I do 24 hours before a big interview.

Hemant Pandey joined Meta in 2021 after working at other tech firms. Hemant Pandey Hemant Pandey, a Meta senior software engineer, suggests exploring the job market every two years. Pandey’s pre-interview prep includes reading up on past interviews and preparing good questions. His strategy not only helps him stand out at interviews but also provides insights into company culture. This as-told-to essay is based on…

I’m using AI to ‘read’ my paintings and help me compose music. Here’s how I do it.

Shane Guffogg said AI helped him “unlock the musicality” in his paintings. Soni Mei Images Shane Guffogg is a multi-media abstract artist with synesthesia, meaning he “hears color.”  Guffogg worked with AI experts and musicians to compose music that corresponds to his paintings.  He believes AI is still a tool that “needs oversight” but it’s enhanced his creative process.  This is an as-told-to conversation with…

I’m using my synesthesia to create a new genre of AI art. The technology can ‘read’ my paintings and help...

Shane Guffogg said AI helped him “unlock the musicality” in his paintings. Soni Mei Images Shane Guffogg is a multi-media abstract artist with synesthesia, meaning he “hears color.”  Guffogg worked with AI experts and musicians to compose music that corresponded with his paintings.  He believes AI is still a tool that “needs oversight” but its enhanced his creative process.  This is an as-told-to conversation with…

I got offers from Microsoft, Meta, and Google. Here’s why I chose Google.

I would’ve chosen Google even if it didn’t increase its offer. Zhang Yi/VCG via Getty Images A recent tech grad received offers from Google, Meta, and Microsoft. Meta initially offered $210,700 in total compensation, but Google offered other appealing benefits. Eventually, they chose Google for its interesting work, company culture, and legacy as a tech giant.  This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with a…

Making friends and dating as billionaire Steve Ballmer’s son

Getty Images; Alyssa Powell/BI This as-told-to essay is based on a transcribed conversation with 29-year-old Pete Ballmer, a standup comedian living in San Francisco and one of the sons of billionaire and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. It has been edited for length and clarity. When I meet people, they usually don’t know that my dad is Steve Ballmer. It’s a funny thing — my…

I’m a Democrat who moved to Florida to be closer to my boyfriend. I was nervous about the politics and...

David Maughan (first picture) moved from Richmond, Virginia, to Oakland Park, Florida, in August 2023 to be closer to his boyfriend, Brandon (left in second picture). Courtesy of David Maughan David Maughan, 32, moved from Richmond, Virginia, to Oakland Park, Florida, last year. As a progressive, Maughan said he was nervous about Florida’s culture war politics. But he’s found Floridians to be accepting and welcoming,…

I’m a millennial who avoided cruises because I thought they were full of germs and kids. My first experience proved...

Left: Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady, right: Eliza Green and her husband on the Dominican Daze cruise. Left: Rachel Hosie/Business Insider, Right: Eliza Green Millennial Eliza Green avoided cruises because she felt they were germ-riddled and full of kids. A friend suggested a surprise cruise on Virgin’s child-free ship and Green apprehensively agreed.  She loved the ship experience with sizeable rooms and fun activities, but the…

I was over-employed and worked other jobs on top of my full-time one. To achieve the American dream, you have...

Millennial project manager Kendall McGill said she feels uncomfortable having just one job in the current economy. AndreyPopov/Getty Images Project manager Kendall McGill started picking up contract work after she started working from home. McGill was open about double-dipping, but after her past employer’s negative reaction she’s more covert. She’s had one remote job on the East Coast and another on the West to balance…

I moved to London and found it too stressful. Now I’m leaving for Portugal.

Michal Burton. Courtesy of Michal Burton Michal Burton, 28, thought moving from Ireland to London was a good chance to make more money. While he is earning more, Burton feels that life in London can be stressful and lonely.  Burton is moving to Lisbon in June, where he thinks he’ll be much happier. This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Michael Burton, a…

I was laid off from Google, so I started my own business. It meant taking a $100,000 pay cut, but...

Getty Images; Alyssa Powell/Insider Keith Chaney was laid off from Google in January 2023 from the strategy and partnerships team.  Despite the initial disappointment, Chaney was inspired to take his startup side hustle full-time.  As a founder, his salary is lower than at Google but he loves his job and believes in his company.  This as-told-to essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Keith…