14 Mar Interview with Kelly Castaldo
Kelly is a California native, Studylog’s Project Manager, and a treasured member of our team.
Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school?
I grew up in Marin County, California, which was wonderful because it was in-between San Francisco and Wine Country. There were endless activities and events which made it easy to have a fantastic weekend for both the adults and the kids. I then went to the University of San Diego, where I pursued a degree in mechanical engineering.
What sparked your interest in Science and computers?
I have always had that kind of mind. My dad was a civil engineer and really liked to introduce me to his work when I was growing up. When we would have family dinners, he would just be like “Kelly, why does a tree grow straight,” and you know I would be sitting there trying to figure out why a tree grows straight. He talked to me about gravity and all those kinds of things, so growing up, I was exposed to the water so to speak and I liked it, even though I didn’t want to like it. It was always what I was good at, so when I first started college, I actually went into science. I went into pre-med first. I love science, but then I dove into the physics side of things and found that I also love physics, and then eventually rolled into engineering and loved engineering. I just like to find out the why behind everything, and for the why to have an actual answer or an answer that can be found. I enjoy there being finite answers and a reason why everything functions as it does.
What would you say to a young person considering a career in science or computers?
Do it. It’s really rewarding and so vast as far as what you can go into. If you’re the kid who appreciates the things around you and wants to know the why behind it, you can go into so many things. Everything in this realm makes the world better whether it’s improving knowledge-wise, or nature-wise, improving our footprint, curing disease, whatever it is. If you can make a difference, that’s fantastic! So if any kid wants to get into it and be that next person that makes some sort of a change for a better world, do it.
What is important to you personally? I.e.what things do you value most in life?
The closest, most valued things to me are my pets, family, and nature, so every morning I wake up and take my dog up to the top of the hills around my house and look at all the rolling hills, the sun coming up, the birds, the deer, and all of nature and I feel so free. Having that moment of calm in nature with my dog is just really important.
What are some of the challenges you have faced either in your career or personally that you feel have helped you become the successful person you are?
When I started college, I went in as pre-med, then switched to architecture, then to industrial engineering, and when I went into mechanical engineering, I told myself, “you’re not switching, you are going to graduate within five years and it’s going to happen, no matter what.” I was trying to find out what makes me happy and what moves me forward. So much struggle trying to find out what made me happy, but it got me to the point where I found out that I genuinely love just finding out “The Why,” which makes me really successful in my career now because, with Studylog if you don’t dig into every single section and understand the science and technical sides, you’re not going to get very far on the development side of things.
What is your favorite Studylog feature?
I genuinely really like our custom functionality, because you can go in there and have a vision of something that you want or need, then try to figure out how to build it. It’s the design aspect that I really like because I just really love to design and the ability to create your own version of Studylog that matters to you, I really like that.
What is your favorite part of being part of the Studylog team?
I like that it is genuinely like a family, which is corny in and of itself, but everybody knows everybody and you don’t feel weird about just calling somebody or asking somebody a question. I can rely on the people around me and that is super cool about everybody here.
What do you do for fun?
I am a total water baby so anything water-related! Snorkeling, water-skiing, you name it!