Alexxis Isaac

Tell us your story.

I’ve had a life-long love of numbers and hands-on design. As the oldest child of seven, I learned at a young age how to be independent. With continued support from my Puerto Rican mother and Panamanian father, I excelled in high school while balancing being a high-performing athlete with my AP classes and involvement with both the National Honor Society and Future Business Leaders of America. My independence led me to seek out university options and careers that offered an emphasis in math and design. As a result, I left Texas for the northeast and received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.

While at MIT, I gained a glimpse into the varied career opportunities that engineering, math, and design could bring. I landed two different summer internships with Proctor + Gamble which had a heavy emphasis on manufacturing and process optimization. In the summer preceding my senior year at MIT, I participated in the week-long SVMP program at HBS. This experience opened up my eyes to how technology, business, and the desire to innovate join to solve problems more quickly and efficiently. Hooked on the intersection of business and technology, I applied and was accepted to Harvard Business School in my senior year at MIT, and will start classes at HBS in 2017 or 2018. To advance my experience preceding business school, I sought ‘real world’ experience and fell in love with Keystone Strategy – which offered the combination of A-list clients, an emphasis on entrepreneurship, and a strong reliance on data to solve complex problems.

One example of my current work includes my role serving Nike, helping them optimize their product strategy by digitizing the process by which they cost product. The Keystone team developed an on-line tool and set of standards to capture Nike’s raw data on labor drivers and processes. I was responsible for analyzing the data that was captured and developed relevant reports and recommendations to influence the company’s product design, optimization strategy, and process flow.

What advice to you have to share with other women and young girls?

As a female in a male-dominated field, I feel an immediate connection to many of the examples in Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In.’ The book shed light on unconscious habits between men and women such as self-doubt and worthiness. While I believe that these feelings can be particularly exacerbated in the technology arena, I’m now even more cognizant of them in my own behaviors and I’m motivated to take control. For future generations, I would echo Sandberg’s theme: “you deserve to be where you are! No one is going to hand you anything. Don’t undersell yourself – it will affect you and your work adversely.”

The Women in Tech campaign exists to help redefine what women in technology means in the 21st century. Started independently by a group of professional women who, after many impassioned discussions about women in tech knew we wanted to expand this definition beyond ‘traditional’ technology skills. To us, it includes most every current, emerging or evolving role within an organization. By featuring leaders and emerging leaders across industries who embody this we hope to collectively ‘stand up’, be proud of our place in the digital world and inspire young women or those new to the ‘tech space’ to get involved.

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