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NextGen Collective: Meet Meta Project Manager Kasey Sanseverino

NextGen Collective: Meet Meta Project Manager Kasey Sanseverino

The Meta employee and 2021 NextGen Collective 30 Under 30 honoree dishes about her journey with the tech giant, her community service efforts, her cat Otto, and more.

Photo credit: Tory Williams
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Where are you from and what is your background? 

I was born and raised in San Diego and studied at UCLA. My mom’s side of the family is from Mexico and my dad’s side of the family is from Italy. I consider myself to be Mexican American. I recently moved back to San Diego with my husband and our cat, Otto, who has his own Instagram account, @otto.el.gato. 

How did you come to intern at Meta?

I studied math in undergrad and most of my peers were looking at jobs in consulting or at PhD math programs. I didn’t have a lot of direction as far as what I wanted to do with this degree, but I saw that some of my engineering peers pursuing computer science degrees were applying to internships at tech companies. That inspired me to look around. Tech seemed like an interesting industry.

I found that Meta had internships for folks from underrepresented backgrounds, and I chose one specifically focused on business and based in Austin. The second internship was as a product specialist and, overall, a more formal opportunity based out of Menlo Park.

What was it like to be an intern at Meta?

Meta’s internship programs are amazing. They put us up in corporate housing, held events for us, and went above and beyond to help us build strong relationships and feel welcome. I have made lifelong friendships and network connections through those internships. One of my Meta internship friends was even a bridesmaid at my wedding.

How did you decide to go to Meta full time?  

I realized that tech is a fun industry and that I enjoyed the work. Prior to my first Meta internship, I didn’t know about the many types of roles available in the tech industry. Meta provided an opportunity to start on that path and helped me learn about the variety of roles I could be interested in. I realized I wanted to be closer to the engineering side without actually being an engineer.

When I got an offer to be a full-time product specialist, I was able to learn and build upon my knowledge. That’s the reason I’ve stayed at Meta, I have learned so much and so quickly here. I feel the company really cares about us.

What is your role today and what are your major responsibilities? 

I’m a product manager on the privacy team. I work with a team of engineers and other Meta professionals to build out products that help people better protect their privacy on Instagram. I work with our data scientists to determine the biggest problems on the platform. From there, I work with researchers to come up with best solutions, and then with engineers and designers to test possible solutions. 

How has Meta supported you in your career journey? 

The biggest thing they’ve done is encourage a culture of mentorship. That has helped tremendously. I’ve been able to move up and switch job functions thanks to them. There are people here who really care about my career and have helped me do what I’m most passionate about. There’s also a culture of encouraging mentors. The people we hire tend to care about this anyway, but we’re also just actively encouraged to become mentors.

Meta has also been great about supporting remote employees like me. They’ve helped us set up our offices at home and help us travel to meet in person with our coworkers.

How do you work to increase representation in tech? 

I do a couple of things. First, I work a lot internally to advocate and support the communities that are closest to my heart like Latino communities. I lead our employee resource group for Latino-identifying employees at Instagram. We put on events and support members by, for example, helping them acquire the necessary skills to build their dream careers at Meta.

What initiatives/activities outside of Meta are you involved in? 

I’ve been very involved in helping increase the number of women in tech. I started a coding camp for underrepresented kids in my community with the goal of increasing girls’ confidence. Once a year, we hold a free, week-long camp that hosts anywhere from 60 to 120 students and teaches them coding basics. I now have a team of six people who work at the camp and help recruit high school volunteers.

I’m also involved with an organization that helps recent refugees & immigrants to the US learn English.

Why are all of these activities so important to you?

I think the most important thing to life is giving back what you can to the people around you and these activities allow me to do that. I try my best to make a difference through my work in my community and my work at Meta on privacy efforts for Instagram.

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