Akanksha Gupta is someone who knows where she wants to go. When she joined us as a software engineer, she knew she wanted to develop her abilities and become a manager. To no one’s surprise, she’s done it—and she’s done it the Audible way, by embodying our culture of support and continuous learning to cultivate and develop her team.
Gupta started at Audible as a paid college tech intern in 2018. She was finishing a master’s in computer science at Columbia when she was put in touch with an Audible recruiter. After completing an online coding assessment and a few virtual interviews, Gupta was offered an internship. That summer, she came to Newark and spent about three months working with our software development team to produce code for some of the back-end features of Audible’s service.
In addition to getting valuable hands-on experience, Gupta was assigned an “onboarding buddy” who helped her learn about our tools and procedures as well as our work culture, including our People Principles. “Activate Caring stood out to me,” says Gupta, of the central tenet that drives our days at Audible. “People were so warm and welcoming,” inviting her to team-bonding activities like bowling. Upon graduating, Gupta received several offers of employment, but chose Audible in part because of the way people treated her as an intern. “It’s one of the main reasons I came back,” she says.
Now Gupta manages her own team, which is responsible for working on the code behind offers and promotions to ensure customers around the world have a seamless experience. She credits Audible’s resources and agility in helping her to progress. She says, “The company provided me with the right set of opportunities, the projects and the skill set needed to push my career to where I want to take it. And here I am as a software development manager.”
Also essential to Gupta’s career growth has been Audible’s mentorship program. She credits her mentor with helping her professional development, as well as her personal one. “I also seek guidance for maintaining my work-life balance and how to take care of myself through these unusual times.” Meanwhile, Gupta has further honed her leadership skills by taking on two mentees of her own. “One of my mentees is interested in a similar career transition to mine, so it’s great to share my learnings from that experience.”
Gupta continues to take our principle of Activate Caring to heart by proactively supporting the local community with opportunities for talented coders of the future. Last year, before the pandemic hit, she led the Girls Who Code chapter for Audible and worked alongside colleagues to provide a full day packed with activities ranging from icebreaker games to a tech discussion panel. “We gave them a tour of the Audible studios and they made some recordings. After the tour, we had a hands-on session to develop a new Alexa skill.”
Gupta’s career is a testament to what a supportive culture can enable, especially with opportunities like our college internship program. “Internship gives you a taste of what it is to work at a big company like Audible,” she says, and while that opportunity paved the way for her to start a career with us three years ago, it’s her enthusiasm for continually growing—and helping others to grow—that promises a bright future.
Gupta’s Current Listen
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is not just an inspiring story, but a great performance too. “I love the awesome narration by Noah, and how he overcame significant challenges in his life to be to be where he is today.”