At Duolingo, we pride ourselves on hiring individuals who are passionate about our mission and want to use their expertise to change the world for the better. To give you a peek into what it’s like working for Duolingo, we’ve asked our team members to share more about their experience at the company! Today, meet Sean, VP of Workplace at Duolingo!
Why did you choose Duolingo?
The core mission of the company resonates—making the best education in the world universally accessible—because education changes opportunities for people, cultures, and regions. Also specific to my role, leadership’s commitment to an in-person work culture is highly appealing to me, because I want to help provide top notch workplace design and experience that allow Duos to deliver the best work of their lives.
What are three words that describe Duolingo’s culture?
Engaging, quirky, and high-energy
What do you like most about Pittsburgh?
Obviously top of mind is cost of living and commuting times. Pittsburgh is a massive improvement over Silicon Bay or Silicon Beach. Also being a locally-grown, scaling tech company is an advantage in a smaller city because of the local impacts we can have, engaging with the community, supporting local education and business, and providing opportunities for local residents is palpable vs being even a large tech company amidst a sprawling metropolis.
What is unique about working at Duolingo?
This is a passionate bunch of achievers who have bought into a core mission. They bring their quirkiness and energy to our offices in palpable ways that are not always felt at other companies, certainly not those of a massive scale. Also, since we are growing and iterating our functions and teams, this is the chance to get in early where impacts can be delivered that are significant, yet not disruptive to progress. In corporations more mature and set in their ways, disruption and agility can stall, or be difficult to pivot from quickly and easily.
What are some of the challenges you face as Head of Global Workplace and Real Estate?
Our team needs to bring cohesion to our offices so Duos experience a consistent approach no matter what global office they are in, while also bringing in the local culture that truly resonates. We want people to know they’re in New York or Beijing yet feel intrinsically connected to our mission. Design and support operations have to be thoughtful, efficient, and inspiring!
What is senior leadership like at Duolingo?
They’re highly motivated around the mission and product while also being open-minded to new thoughts and ideas. High alignment and collaboration takes place so we can move with speed!
If you could have lunch with one Duolingo character, who would it be and why?
Falstaff….first to see how much he would eat and what exactly he wants to eat, but more importantly, why is he grumpy? As the Workplace leader I want to deliver productivity and delight to our Duos, and our characters are no exception!