31 Days of Dreamers & Doers | Shonna Dorsey
Meet LaShonna Dorsey, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for AIM Institute and former Co-Founder of the Interface Web School.
"In late 2013, I was approached by venture capitalist Mark Hasebroock about joining a team to start a web developer training school. I had limited experience as an entrepreneur/business owner at the time and was skeptical of the opportunity. It took a couple of months for me to decide to quit my job and take the leap, but it's the best decision I've made in my personal and professional life."
AIM's mission: AIM is an innovative not-for-profit that grows, connects and inspires the tech talent ecosystem through career development and educational programs. Through these efforts, we improve thousands of lives in the Silicon Prairie.
SD: My group's focus is shaping tomorrow’s diverse IT workforce which means starting today. We create development opportunities, youth training programs, workforce development and educator resources that help build confident, cutting-edge, high demand individuals, prepared for versatile, innovative technology careers.
Interface School offers part-time, evening training for professionals who want to learn web development, mobile development, data science, and more with a mission to "build people who build the web".
Shonna made the cover of the December 2017 Reader and with it came a few thoughts from her -
What about this lane makes you so passionate about it?
The opportunity to help people in a variety of ways and to give back in meaningful ways, the ability to create jobs, the opportunity to prove to myself that I could do this. Now, I feel my opportunities to create the life I want are only limited by me.
SD: My journey had lots of hurdles, self-doubt and missteps. I'm not sure. When thinking of how people may have been affected after working with me, I'm sure opinions vary based on the time in my career they met me and what was going on at the time. I feel like I was most positive when I was dealing with going through a year long+ court case to defend myself against a someone who assaulted me because my work helped me retain my sanity through that ordeal. Overall, my goal is to always be understanding and patient with people. Ultimately, all of this led me here, so I wouldn't change a thing.
What would you say is a highlight of your career thus far?
Traveling to Las Vegas and learning that I won the 'Women in Technology' award issued by Informationweek in 2015. I was up against two extremely talented women from large organizations and Interface was launched less than 2 years prior at the time. When they announced my name, I yelled, "what?!". Haha.
Keep the lessons, leave the rest. People's opinions of you are not your business (unless they are your customers and it is about your business). Lead with love.
Another brilliant woman providing representation that is sought after in a male dominated lane. Creating and providing opportunity, making it cool to code.