Success Stories

From writing degree to Paper app

Allen Williams

Allen Williams has taken his liberal education above and beyond in the technology industry with his most recent work at Facebook, as part of the team that developed the Paper app.

In 2013, Williams joined Facebook as a product specialist within the Product Operations team. He developed all test plans and managed the entire quality assurance process for Paper. Williams said the app works from the Facebook newsroom and enhances storytelling with an immersive design and full screen.

“My role focuses on setting and maintaining a high-quality bar for the product while making sure we are delivering the best experience for everyone using Paper,” Williams said.

Williams graduated from Grand Valley in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a minor in theater.

He made the most of his college experience by becoming involved in several organizations. Williams actively participated in “10% of U,” which was the LGBT student-run organization at the time. He also wrote for the Lanthorn, acted in the first Shakespeare Festival, served as writing consultant and worked as a library aide. His involvement paid off as he accepted a full-time position with University Libraries after graduation.

“I managed the periodicals collection and worked to help diversify its offerings, bringing the first LGBT publications into the collection,” Williams said.

After a few years, Williams left Grand Valley to pursue a master’s degree in library and information science at the University of Texas at Austin. From there, Williams moved to Silicon Valley to work for eBay Inc. as a senior product manager.

He plans to continue to work in the technology industry and said he enjoys the vast amount of opportunities that exist in Silicon Valley.

“I focus on making quality products, which utilizes my ability to work cross-functionally with diverse teams to accomplish a set of goals,” Williams said. “GVSU helped me attain a broad set of skills, the most important being communication skills.”

by Jarrett Weber

This story was filed with the tags: Diversity, Impressive Jobs, Writing