Lily Snyder '10
Management, International Business, Spanish
Futures Intelligence Group / Head Writer & Metaverse Researcher
1. Tell us about your journey since graduation.
My journey since graduation was not a straightforward one. After graduating from the School of Business, I thought my career trajectory was clear. But after being fired from my first job after graduating (whoops!) I found my confidence shattered and applied for jobs below my ability. Thankfully, I was invited to interview for a business analyst consultant position. I got the job that launched me into a career in software and manufacturing. I loved the software development process and seeing the work we did help operators on the production line. After about six years I felt the pull to do something new, but I had no idea where to look. An old client of mine posted about his new company, a startup designing SCRUM applications in virtual reality. I messaged him and ended up becoming a founding member of the startup. For two years I traveled from Beijing, China to Seattle, WA to pitch our startup until I had my first child. I decided to take time off my career to be a full-time mom. That lasted for a while until the itch to create was too much. I started writing about the virtual reality industry which led to me working with the Godmother of the Metaverse - Cathy Hackl. I no longer worry about "climbing the ladder" or how to balance work and motherhood. I take each day one step at a time and am excited for where the future takes me.
2. Share a favorite Grand Valley memory.
I have so many favorite memories at Grand Valley, it's difficult to name just one. There was volunteering as a GVSU Ambassador where I got to give tours of campus to prospective students. There was the time I dared my roommate to jump into the Zumberge Pond - we had no idea it was so deep! I remember laughing so hard I couldn't help her climb out. She had to swim to the edge and walk home soaking wet. I think my favorite memory is meeting my husband (although I didn't know it at the time) at the GVSU Kung Fu Club. I met so many amazing people at Kung Fu. Steve Matchett, GV chem professor was also our instructor. We learned more than the Chinese martial arts, we learned about our perseverance, teamwork, and what it means to succeed for ourselves - traits that would help me long after graduation.
3. What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
A few pieces of advice come to mind. My mentor during my first client as a business analyst told me to "fake it until you make it". This phrase isn't so popular today but it helped me during a time when I had imposter syndrome. During that same period in my life, my mom told me to "be like a bulldog. Bite hard and don't let go". When I was struggling with what to do next in my career, my boss told me that no one cares as much about my career as I do. So I should pick what I wanted to do and go for it.
4. List three words you would use to describe your Grand
Perfect, Dream, Awesome
5. What difference would you like to make in the world?
I would like to demystify the career ladder and perfect career stereotypes, especially for the newly graduated.