This blog series lets you get to know the people at Edmodo. From what we do at the company, to some of our firsts and favorites, sneak a peek as we get personal.
Jake was born and raised in Kewanee, Illinois, the hog capital of the world (we’re still trying to confirm if there was, in fact, an old Macdonald who had a farm). Taking an unofficial educational tour through several states, Jake attended Seneca Elementary School in Moreno Valley, CA; Chinn Elementary School in Kansas City, MO; and Wethersfield Elementary and Junior/Senior High Schools in Kewanee, IL, before moving on to study journalism at Loyola University in Chicago.
Currently living in San Francisco, Jake joined the Edmodo product team as a User Experience Researcher in September 2013. From a teacher in South Carolina who uses Edmodo to create an assignment, to a Bay Area developer working on a math app for the Edmodo Store, it’s his job to understand how people interact with every aspect, then identify ways to enhance their experience.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Aside from a member of the X-Men, I was convinced I’d be an artist. I’ve been drawing since I could graffiti the walls, and even won some county art fairs. Illustrating books sounded like a great way to make a creative living.
What was your first job?
I waited tables at a small cafe called Possibilities.
What was your first concert?
The Dixie Chicks at a state fair. After torturing us with their CD in the car on the way to school every day, I remember my mom dragging my sister and me to see them. We complained so much that she eventually took us home, but today I’d actually call them one of my favorite groups. (Sorry, Mom.)
What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
Studying abroad for four months. Brushing aside concerns about debt and possibly falling behind in my major, I lived in Rome, Italy, and visited seven other countries in Europe. I don’t regret a single euro spent.
What’s your greatest achievement?
Graduating college. I was the first person from my entire family to do so, and it was a great bookend to four of the best years of my life.
What do you do in your free time?
Music may as well be my middle name. Whether it’s working on my music website, participating in message board discussions, or shopping for records, I spend most of my free time thinking and talking about it. I even record my own, in preparation for when I front my own rock band!
Where are you going on your next vacation?
Los Angeles. I haven’t been since I was little, so this will be my first trip there as a big boy.
Do you have any pets?
My roommates have three: an adorable Westie Terrier named Chloe, and two cats named Casper and Maestro.
What’s the first thing you do when you get home from work?
Throw my bag on my bed and tell Chloe how exhausted I am.
- Food: Pizza! Especially if there’s sausage or pepperoni involved.
- Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- TV Show: RuPaul’s Drag Race
- Music: Impossible to answer! I probably like at least five songs from every genre (minus heavy metal).
- Book: Bossypants by Tina Fey
- Superpower: Controlling the weather, which of course comes with flying abilities.
- Quote: “I’ll reveal myself invincible soon.” – Neko Case, from her song Ragtime
Three Things I Could Never Live Without:
- My mom and sister to keep me grounded
- Music to keep me inspired
- Insulin to keep my body functioning