This summer we’re welcoming our very first Apprentices to the team. The program is designed as a paid 6 month rotational crash course on everything Sidebench. Apprentices spend three months with our Product team and the other three months with our Business Development team, in addition to leading and supporting a variety of Operational initiatives over the full six months and meeting with a designated mentor on a weekly basis. The goal is for Apprentices to gain exposure to all areas of the business and build meaningful experience through significant hands-on work across the company.
The first of our apprentices, Chase Adams, is a New Jersey native who attended the University of Connecticut and finished with a degree in Finance and Biological Sciences. Our second apprentice, Cassy Gibson, is a life long Texan (not anymore) and recently graduated from Rice University with a degree in English with minors in Biochemistry and Medical Humanities.
On their way in, we vetted them with a series of serious and loose questions in order to get the real story on who they are. Check out their answers below and get to know our latest additions to the Sidebench family.
3 words to describe yourself — go.
Chase: Ambitious. Easy-going. Genuine.
Cassy: I am memes.
What drew you to the Apprentice opportunity at Sidebench?
Chase: The opportunity to learn various aspects of a fast growing, dynamic business that touches a wide array of different industries that are all fascinating.
Cassy: I studied medical humanities at Rice, and I developed an interest in the intersections of health and media. I heard about the direction Sidebench Health was taking and thought the apprenticeship would be a great opportunity to learn more about improving the patient experience through technology.
What are you looking forward to most about the opportunity?
Chase: I’m looking forward to working on some really cool projects and growing from each experience. The apprentice position is unique because, first and foremost, I have the opportunity to add value in any way I can. At the same time, the company places heavy emphasis on learning and building a solid foundation of skills across multiple disciplines, which will help me identify and develop a career path that is right for me.
Cassy: I’m most looking forward to learning more about user experience and user interface design. I like watching art and technology merge in creative spaces like Sidebench.
When your friends ask what you do for a living — what do you say?
Chase: I tell them I’m living the millennial dream — moved to LA from the east coast, living a few blocks from the beach, and doing a rotational program at a mobile app development company that does the coolest projects for large enterprise companies as well as some new and well-known startups looking to make it big.
Cassy: I have a lot of friends who work in the technology industry, but explaining Sidebench and the apprenticeship to them is still pretty involved. I think most of my friends think I’m making coffee runs all day. I’ve taken to saying things like, “Sidebench helps people solve problems and accomplish goals through technology.”
What’s your best elevator pitch on Sidebench right now?
Chase: Sidebench — a mobile app development firm that does product strategy, design, and development for innovative tech solutions at large enterprise companies and also helps startups build mobile apps that drive growth and value for their unique and brilliant ideas.
Cassy: Whenever an individual or an organization seeks to accomplish a goal, solve a problem, or fill an opportunity in the market, Sidebench can offer innovative, forward-thinking tech solutions. The brains at Sidebench stand out for making bold moves in the retail, health, and entertainment industries. At Sidebench, we take an idea, research the context, and design meaningful user experiences that bring that original idea to life.
Describe our culture in 5 words.
Chase: Fun. Engaging. Challenging. Demanding. Rewarding.
Cassy: Post dog pics to Slack.
If you could pick any professional mentor in the world, who would it be and why?
Chase: Former President Barack Obama. He is a classy guy that handles any situation with respect and dignity. I could learn a lot from him and hopefully some of his leadership and diplomacy would rub off on me.
Cassy: My dream mentor would be Angela Merkel. I’m inspired by her ability to excel in both the scientific and political realms, making a name for herself despite being from a less-than-privileged background. She’s a strong, badass woman who doesn’t apologize for taking risks.
What publications do you read every day?
Chase: I enjoy Feedly, where I can input my interests and it cranks out the top news articles and stories from a variety of publications. I also just signed up for The Hustle email subscription which gives me some relevant tech news each morning.
Cassy: Since moving to LA, I’ve been spending more and more time in my car — for obvious reasons. I use this time to listen to daily podcasts that help me stay up-to-date on the news. I listen to The Daily by The New York Times every morning. I’ll usually also scroll through my Twitter feed to pick up on any articles from the Los Angeles Times or Huffington Post that I might want to read.
Best concert you’ve been to in the past year?
Chase: Chance The Rapper last October in DC. Unreal performance.
Cassy: There’s a pretty small rock scene in Houston, but my friends and I latched onto a couple local bands as our favorites: Young Girls and Simply Always. They played a show together at White Oak Music Hall right after finals, so it was cool to be able to hang out and listen to music without the pressure of knowing there was homework waiting for me back at my dorm. We also got to take a picture with the band members’ parents and thank them for raising ⅔ of one of our favorite local bands.
If you got to switch lives with someone for a day who would it be?
Chase: Tom Brady — tell me something that guy can’t do.
Cassy: I’d switch lives with one of Queen Elizabeth’s corgis. You just know those dogs have the best, most comfortable lives.
Who are your biggest inspirations?
Chase: My parents who have worked tirelessly their entire lives to provide for my family and my siblings who have pushed themselves to follow their dreams and help others along the way.
Cassy: During my time at Rice University, I met some of the most talented, driven academics in the world. My professors were not only brilliant, but also exhibited a humbleness that allowed them to spread valuable knowledge among their community with passion and kindness. So often during my education, I felt privileged to be taught by great minds with beautiful souls. They continue to inspire me — someday I hope that I can also give freely of myself and my abilities to improve the lives of those around me.
What’s your favorite follow on social media?
Chase: My friends. I don’t have a huge social media presence, so I just use it to keep up with my squad, especially since most are back on the east coast.
Cassy: My favorite follow on social media is the Twitter account @kalesalad. They retweet viral tweets from the original source account, not from the countless viral accounts that steal content. In doing so, their feed is a fascinating collection of Twitter culture and cultural evolution. I consider it a viral archive. I’d put it on the syllabus for an internet anthropology course.
You get to have dinner with 5 people, dead or alive, who are you sitting with?
Chase: Would it be too corny to say my family? Otherwise, I’d have to say Benjamin Franklin because he is a founding father and so well-versed in many disciplines, Mike Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser from PTI so we can get some great sports debates going, Bill Gates so we can discuss tech and business strategy, and Ellen Degeneres because anything she says makes me laugh.
Cassy: I’d assemble a crew of postmodern authors and critics. I’m thinking T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Michael Foucault and Roland Barthes. The conversation would probably undecipherable, but at least it wouldn’t be boring.
What are your biggest pet peeves?
Chase: When people do not move to a side when you walk towards them and just stay in the center of the sidewalk. Right or left, doesn’t matter to me, just pick one!
Cassy: I get irrationally annoyed when use the words “ceiling” and “roof” or “ground” and “floor” interchangeably.
Would you rather win 50k or would you rather your best friend win 500k?
Chase: I’d always hook my friends up in this situation. What goes around comes around and hopefully one day they’ll return the favor.
Cassy: I’d rather my best friend win $500k. Easy. We’d buy a house.
Pick a superpower.
Chase: Not sure if being a wizard counts, but my ideal power would be to go full Harry Potter and have the ability to cast spells which can take the form of pretty much any super power.
Cassy: I’d want to be invisible so that I could go to the dog park without a dog.