Some of our team members got jealous of all the Student Spotlight posts we’ve been doing, so we agreed to give them their own 15 minutes of fame. In this week’s Knewton Peeps post, check out Christina Yu, a rockstar member of the Content Team (and blogger extraordinaire).
Position (and what you actually do):
I’m a Content Developer. I write blog posts and copy for the website as well as educational content for our math and verbal courses. I also run Knerd Week, maintain some of our social media interfaces and provide essay feedback to students through our academic support system. In the future, I’ll be working a sort of dual content/marketing role for our new APIs. I basically provide a “public face” for the APIs, and a point person for people who want to use them.
What were you up to before you came to Knewton?
I was an Adjunct Professor of English at Kean University and Southern Connecticut State. I’m also the founder and publisher of Cavalier (check it out at www.myliterarycouture.com), a nationally distributed print and online magazine featuring both established and emerging voices. I’m proud to say we’ve published winners and finalists of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Yale Younger Poets Prize. Strangely enough, I was also working as a nightclub promoter (hey, I had to survive) at the same. The funny thing is that I was able to use the nightclub-promotion skills to plan events and fundraisers for my magazine.
What part of your job do you enjoy most, or what’s the one accomplishment you’re most proud of?
I love writing blog posts and working with social media! It’s so inherently fun, and I get to learn about the world and what people are doing out there. Sometimes it’s just pure wonder. A total immersion in humanness. I got to write a post recently about 7 social media tools to use in the classroom, and I felt like a kid with new toys!
What I like best about my job overall is that we’re encouraged to solve problems and figure out how to make things better, faster, etc. We’re encouraged to be entrepreneurial, roll up our sleeves, and make things happen. It can be frustrating to be a young person trapped in a bureaucratic organization where you feel like all your skills, creativity, and energy are going to waste. Knewton is not like that.
What are you working on now?
I’m wrapping my head around the Knewton APIs!
Any hobbies, secret quirks, or talents?
Well, I like to think of myself as a serious writer of literary fiction. My stories have been published in journals nationwide, including New Letters, Fence, Indiana Review, BOMB, New Delta Review, etc. I’ve written three books–a novel, a collection of short stories, and a collection of very short pieces. I like to relax by indulging in theater, dance, art museums, craft fairs, and used bookstores. I do not like to exercise!
What’s your favorite place or neighborhood in NYC?
Truthfully, I don’t have one. I like Soho, East Village, West Village, pretty much everywhere including cheesy tourist spots like Times Square. I like contrasts, plunging into different worlds.