The Commons Digest (01/11/2023)

The COmmons Insider Newsletter

This week's discussion...

The True Power of Community

Learning at The Commons

Two Sprints are sold out. And only a few seats remain. Apply or secure your spot asap!

If someone forwarded this to you, subscribe here.

Your Weekly Level Up

🔥Navigating Two Job Offers

✏️ Career Resource: BizOps role at Hotel Engine

✅ Community Reccos: Desks!

💭 Thought Starter: What Will You Be Reading This Year?

💡Brain Teaser: 🚗 🏨

🚀 Community Share: Starting off on a high note


We're hosting an open house tomorrow. Join us to:

  • Meet mentors from Instacart, PartnerStack, Uber and more
  • Learn about today's tech landscape and different teams at tech companies
  • Overview of our upcoming Sprints

Virtual & free. Register HERE.


The True Power of Community

We've said many times that members join us for Sprints but stay for the community. But what does that actually mean?!  

Miriam, community member and 2X Sprinter, tells us what The Commons' community means to her and others. Thanks, Miriam for perfectly putting into words the intangible feeling that is The Commons community.


When I joined The Commons in January of 2021, I could have never anticipated the impact that the community would have on both my personal and professional life.

After seeing a friend of mine from university share her experience at The Commons on LinkedIn, I decided to apply for the Strategy and Operations Sprint. I was working in the restaurant industry marketing one of Canada’s most popular chains but I had my eye on tech and I wasn’t sure how to break in.

Never a social butterfly, I was surprised by how easy it was for me to network at The Commons. The compassion of the other community members and their interest to learn alongside me was evident from day one. “Do you have time for a chat?” I would ask, and the answer was always, “yes”.

I ended up landing a role in product marketing at a Toronto-based tech company and later transitioned into product ownership. In August of 2022, I completed the Product Sprint as I looked to sharpen my skills.


In March of 2021, I responded to a post in The Commons Slack group that benefited me in unimaginable ways. Kaiz Alarakyia, who is a mentor, was looking for someone to help with marketing for his start-up First90. He had recently completed his MBA and we spent the next couple of months building out the website and messaging surrounding the product.

“I’m going to work remotely in Miami but I don’t know anyone,” I told Kaiz in the summer of 2021. Always the most caring person, he connected me with one of his classmates from HBS and that ended up shaping my entire experience in Miami. “I didn’t realize that where there is one smart person there are many,” I would joke.


I know that my experience is not unique. When Robyn Smith joined The Commons in July of 2021, I was assigned as her onboarding buddy. I quickly connected her with anyone I could and through her own networking, she found her first role in tech at a company called CommerceBear.

“Loren has fostered a community where its members are sending each other roles and are always willing to help,” she says.

Robyn met one of her now close friends, Rabia, through The Commons and the two of them have even traveled together. “It’s nice having all these new friends that work in tech because there is this sense of understanding,” Robyn shares.


At an event in Toronto in September, I met Lilian Gordan. As someone who loves to ask questions, I pried into her life, and we became fast friends. “The best part of The Commons is that once you’re in the community, you’re in the community,” she tells me. Meaning that once you join The Commons, you gain full access to events, circles, and community members.

Lilian is currently in the job search circle at The Commons. Circles are small interactive groups of community members with a common interest in a topic who meet on a set cadence to dive into that topic. Think of them like book clubs but for career stuff. Members get to learn, connect with others on a deeper level and explore new topics.


I recently connected with Fairuz Hoque who currently works in Strategy and Operations at Dolly Inc. and is the Data Lead at The Commons. He credits his mentor Wafic for being an excellent point of contact and guiding him in his transition to tech from data science. “Wafic was always more than willing to take a call or help with the cases,” says Fairuz.  

The Commons truly uses the power of community to accelerate careers.


Want to join the community? ⬇️

Join The Waitlist

What’s happening at The Commons

Upcoming events

Mentor Office Hours, January

Join two of our incredible mentors, Luca (Uber) and Noah (DoorDash), for an Office Hours with an AMA-style Q&A, covering everything from breaking into tech, to excelling in your role! They'll start off by sharing their career trajectory, and then use the rest of the time for questions and candid discussion.

Tonight 7PM
Community members only
Register here

The Commons Open House

We're hosting an open house tomorrow. Join us to:

  • Meet mentors from Instacart, PartnerStack, Uber and more
  • Learn about today's tech landscape and different teams at tech companies
  • Overview of our upcoming Sprints

Thursday, January 12 at 5PM ET
All are welcome - free & virtual
Register here

Guest Speaker: Stuart Wilson from Hotel Engine

Stuart Wilson, Senior Director of BizOps & Strategy at Hotel Engine, is joining us as a guest speaker to cover a range of topics including his career journey (pivoting from investment banking, BizOps at InVision, SurveyMonkey and Hotel Engine), advice on breaking into BizOps, typical BizOps career paths, and how BizOps teams vary depending on company stage. This is one you won't want to miss!

Tuesday, January 17 at 7PM ET
Community members only
Register here

Company Showcase: Jobber

The team at Jobber is joining The Commons for a company showcase. They'll be talking about what Jobber does, the BizOps and Data teams, some of the roles they are currently hiring for, and why Jobber is a great place to work (we have many members of The Commons who work at Jobber!).

Wednesday, January 18th at 12PM EST
Community members only
Register here

Community-only Writing Bootcamp!

We're hosting our first ever Writing Cohort, and it's kicking off next week! Last chance to sign up below to develop a consistent writing practice, find your online voice, and fostering connections with other members. This is exclusive for community members (and free!).

Kicks off next week!
Community members only
Register here

Past events

ICYMI we recently hosted these events. Members can find recordings on our platform.

  • Automating Workflows with Alexis Lopez from Spotify Pt. 2 | Alexis was back for part 2 of a 3-part series on automating workflows. Part 2 covered building an automated tracker + sending emails based on predetermined logic. Stay tuned for Pt. 3!

New member enrollments are almost sold out & closing soon!

Admissions to new members are currently OPEN but there are only 12 seats left, so act quickly.

  • If you received an acceptance, start your onboarding
  • If you're on the waitlist, stay tuned for an admissions email
  • If you're not yet on the waitlist, apply below


We're currently reviewing applications for the January 2023 Sprints. The Revenue Growth and Strategic Finance Sprints still have a few seats left.

We're also now accepting a limited number of Community Only members. If you're interested in joining the community only (instead of participating in a Sprint), you can also apply via the waitlist below.


Explore Sprints // Join the Waitlist


We added more seats for the January Strategy & Operations and Product Sprints but they sold out again! If you want front line access to join the next cohort - get on the waitlist below!

Join the Waitlist


Navigating Two Job Offers 📝

A number of community members have been in the lucky situation of deciding between two offers. While it's a nice predicament to be in, navigating the decision can be stressful. ⬇️

Thanks to Michelle S. for this advice! 💚

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Is the scope of work growing the skills I need or want to continue progressing my career?
  • How do they show employees they’re valued? (ie promotion, salary increases, more responsibilities, special projects with visibility, good benefits, recognition etc).
  • How is the business/industry doing? Is stability important to you?
  • Is this the type of organization, team, culture, mission, leadership that I want to work for/with?
  • Do you believe in the company’s future?
  • A few other considerations:
  • 1) Compensation
  • 2) Talking to others who are currently employed & ex-employees. Both can give you a perspective. I’ve always opted to message ex-employees. They’ll give you the good & the bad.
  • 3) Check your gut. Who do you get good vibes from? What do you feel good about? Make a pro/con list.

And, to answer the part about transferring internally:

  • Typically to transfer internally you have to show you’ve excelled in the role you were hired to do first. Knowing this is the norm (there are always exceptions), I would ask myself questions about the company’s performance, culture, mission etc. because you’re going to need to stay for a bit if you want to internally transfer (maybe 1 year).

The best advice I can give is to trust your gut because I’ve seen so many people look for so much advice that they get decision paralysis. You've got this. Good luck!

Read Other Thoughts In The Full Thread

Your weekly level up

CFJ (cool f'ing job) at Hotel Engine 🏨 ⚡️

Hotel Engine is hiring a BizOps & Strategy, Sr Associate | Remote, USA

What is Hotel Engine? Hotel Engine is a corporate hotel booking platform. Think of it like, but for businesses. Because it's a closed network (only for businesses that apply to join), customers benefit from better rates and get a ton of admin-level functionality they never had before. Can see more here. They're also launching international this year - a project the BizOps team leads!

We chatted with Stuart Wilson, the Senior Director of BizOps & Strategy at Hotel Engine, to get inside info on the role.

  • Ideal candidates have 2-5 years of experience from an analytical background (finance, consulting, startup ops)
  • You will report to a Sr Manager, on a lean 4-person BizOps team that also has plans to hire for more roles in 2023
  • This is a generalist role that has the opportunity to work across all functions: GTM (sales/supply-side); Support (customer support, client ops); Product and Marketing teams
  • Closed a Series B in 2021, but they operate more like a growth stage, Series C company. Have a 'bootstrapped' mentality.
  • Primary Investors: Telescope Partners (founded by ex-Sequoia partner) and Blackstone
  • 500-person company - 40% based in Denver, 60% remote in the US. They do company offsites 2x/year in Denver

➡️ If you're interested, complete THIS quick form to get your profile to the top of the pile.

💥 PS: If you're in the community, join us for a candid convo with Stuart on January 17. Sign up HERE.

New Year, New Desk!

Who knew desks were such a hot topic? Well, if you're looking for a new setup, you're in luck. The community weighed in big on this one! ⬇️

💡 Community Recommendations:

  • IKEA - Sit-to-stand desk - "This sit-to-stand desk from Ikea has worked really well for me, and it's a great price!" - Frances
  • Autonomous - "I bought a Autonomous desk secondhand from a coworker and loving it. Very stable even at its highest, 4 preset modes and wide enough for 2 monitors and a 16inch laptop." - Susan
  • Uplift - "While I never use the standing function, uplift makes a really solid one. IMO they’re the best because of the add-on’s they offer (dual monitor arms, outlets, etc). Worth the price."

Check out more recommendations + see which desks got the most votes here.

What Will You Be Reading This Year?

A little throw back to the end of the year...

Need to find something new for your reading list this year? Head over to this post (hint: they're not all business books!).

A man pushes his car to a hotel and tells the owner he’s bankrupt. Why?

Check out the answer here.

Starting off on a high note 💚 ⚡️

Interested in more?
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Skillful is now The Commons.
We’re more than just skills training. We're the place where high achievers come to fulfill their career potential. We combine education, mentorship and community to empower the next generation of ambitious professionals to achieve their career goals.
The time to build the education institution of the future is now. And we're doing it.

Careers are catalyzed through skills-training, mentorship and a supportive network. At The Commons, we're delivering those critical career elements together through learning experiences that are social, mentorship-based and community-first.

Join to learn and stay for the community.