Gem’s Gems: Meet Lucy Yu
“Gem’s Gems” is our occasional blog post series in which we spotlight the employees that make Gem tick and give you a glimpse of the personalities behind our product. This week, we sat down with product engineer Lucy Yu. Before coming to work for Gem full-time, Lucy did TWO(!) mini-internships with us during her last year at the University of Waterloo, where she earned her computer science degree. Before graduating, Lucy co-founded Cactus, a social platform for close friends that was prompted by what she saw as the fundamental experience of alienation that the major social platforms had inadvertently cultivated (counting likes, crafting inauthentic captions, and so on).
We’re so grateful she brought her full, authentic self to come hang out with us full-time. Among other things, Lucy is currently the force behind Gem Jobs, our candidate management suite for recruiting agencies and talent firms.
Name: Lucy Yu
Job title: Product Engineer
Hometown: Toronto, Canada
How long have you been at Gem? 5 months
What do you do at the company? Product and engineering.
What’s the coolest thing(s) about working at Gem?
Working in such a dynamic, high energy environment surrounded by people that build each other up. Having a role that’s multi-faceted with a ton of ownership—being able to talk to customers, think about product, as well as building it out at the end of the day.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Things are never boring here and everyday is a little different! In general I like to spend my mornings doing focused individual work—being head-down either building out a feature, designing product specs, or putting together product updates. I schedule most of my conversations in the afternoon—1:1s, demos, discovery and feedback conversations with either customers, prospects, or teammates.
Do you have a favorite Gem memory?
Way before I joined Gem full-time, I did two mini-internships here (think 2-3-week trial work periods where you get to learn about the company and figure out whether it’s a good fit). During one of these internships we went oyster shucking and canoeing in Tomales Bay for a company offsite. I had a ton of fun with the team and knew in the back of my head then that I would love to work here.
Which Gem value relates to you the most?
Transparency. Transparency takes a lot of courage because being transparent—with yourself and others—means bringing to light issues that you might be uncomfortable with or that might cause disagreements. Being in an environment where people are encouraged to be transparent means no one is reprimanded for uncovering difficult truths (for fear of introducing chaos or degrading morale). This means we grow more resilient over time, as opposed to being shielded from reality.
Where do you see the recruiting industry heading?
I think we’re moving towards a knowledge-worker economy where companies are competing for the top talent, rather than just sitting back and waiting for applications to come through. I think it’s also a no-brainer that recruiting will become more data-driven over time, partly as a consequence of this shift.
What are your hobbies?
I’m a big fan of anything in the arts, highbrow or commercial—from arthouse films to EDM. Aside from consuming art, I love to write—anything from opinion pieces to short stories and poems. I also love to sing while playing (amateurly) the guitar.
What superpower would you like to have?
Teleportation. Would be great to do more and see more of the world without spending so much time en route!
Favorite book in recent memory?
Joe (our VP of Sales) recently lent me his copy of “Catching the Big Fish” by David Lynch. It’s a series of vignettes—lessons, ideas, memories—David recalls from his illustrious filmmaking career. One thing that really stuck with me is the namesake of the book: catching the big fish is about the process creative people go through while bringing an idea into reality. I think the metaphor is not only elegant but also humbling. Just like fish, ideas are elusive but everywhere and available to everyone. There are all kinds of ideas—ideas for movies, ideas for businesses—all swimming around us; and the quieter and deeper you go, the more likely you are to catch a big one.
If you’re an engineer and want to meet more folks on our eng team, check out our spotlight for Drew Regitsky. And if you just want to know more about what it’s like to work at Gem, we’ve got that for you, too.