Lindsey Shindler | Alumni | Mountbatten Program

Lindsey Shindler

Lindsey Shindler

A Day In The Life

Program:  London

Intake:  March 2011

Current Role:  Head of Program PR, 2U Inc.

My Alarm Goes off…

I’m a consummate optimist when setting my alarm, usually between 5:45 and 6:45, and a total realist when I hit snooze multiple times. I’m (usually) out of bed by 7, and walking our dog Hedwig by 7:30.

I’m Responsible For…

The past three years, I’ve been responsible for the organic health of our partner universities’ program websites, increasing our sites’ rankings on search engines for high-intent keywords related to these graduate programs, and ultimately driving prospective students to our websites.

Now, I’m working directly with deans, professors, faculty, students, and alumni to increase the visibility and awareness of the research, work, and expertise of those affiliated with 2U-partner programs.

For example, last year the research team at the George Washington University Milken Institute of Public Health conducted a study and independent report on estimated deaths in Puerto Rico resulting from Hurricane Maria. Our team was on the front lines of outreach, ensuring reporters had accurate information and were citing (and linking to) the school properly, elevating the brand recognition of the school’s master of public health program and again, hopefully reaching prospective students.

I Got The Job…

I spent around 6 months researching opportunities in the DC area before moving up here from Florida at the beginning of 2016. I kept coming across 2U as one of the best places to work, and was really intrigued by their business model and way they’d disrupted higher education. At that point, they were a successful “post-start up,” having offered an IPO in 2014. After exploring my options and interviewing across a few different industries, I felt really excited by the prospect of working for a tech company on behalf of higher education.

I was employee number 1,000 when I joined 2U in January of 2016, and the company is now 2,000+, with offices across the US and abroad in Hong Kong and Cape Town. It’s been an exciting ride.

My Typical Day…

The workday starts between 8 & 9, when I skim the front pages of major newspapers, read email newsletters for various industries, and check reporter requests for any quick opportunities. Every day involves a ton of reading, but I’d read all four sides of a cereal box for entertainment, so this aspect of the role suits me just fine!

Usually I have a few externally-facing meetings, or an interview of some sort. Recently I facilitated an interview with the Dean of Dayton University’s School of Law. The 2U-powered Law@Dayton is only the third online hybrid Juris Doctor (JD) program in the country approved by the American Bar Association, and the dean spoke about how global access to higher education is going to change the world.

I hold internal stakeholder meetings, mostly to prioritize the projects at hand and ensure active campaigns are most impactful. 2U announced 17 graduate programs to be added to our roster in 2019, 21 programs added in 2020, and 25 programs to be added in 2021, so there’s no shortage of universities or specialties for me to explore.

The Culture Of My Workplace…

2U has the best culture of any workplace I’ve been in. The company’s eight principles include “Don’t let the skeptic win” “Be candid, honest and open,” “Be bold and fearless,” and “Have fun.” We also have a no-a****** policy, which is absolutely enforced. We’re scaling and hiring like crazy, but still highly selective when it comes to culture fit.

My Most Memorable Work Moment…

Last year’s Annual Company Meeting was pretty spectacular. In years prior, we had been to Orlando (our CEO Chip rented out Harry Potter world for us until 2 am; we drank infinite Butterbeers) and Long Beach (Flo-Rida surprised us with a concert), so it was a high bar to clear, but Chip made it happen by inviting former First Lady Michelle Obama to speak.

She not only told us personal stories from her life, and emphasized the importance of being authentic, but told our company that she was proud of young and diverse faces she saw in the crowd, and the work we were doing to destigmatize online education and democratize higher education.

My Role Models are…

Audrey Hepburn, Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, my grandparents

The Most Challenging Part of My Job…

Having to explain (or try to quantify) the value of pr for people who don’t see the value. It’s there!

The Best Part of My Job…

My colleagues. It is truly empowering to work with so many young, talented, passionate humans.

Also, working in higher education. One of my grandfathers never went to college, but he always emphasized the value of education, and worked hard to send all his children to college. The depth and breadth of barriers to a higher education these days are vast, and being able to help people achieve their goals, better their lives, and change the world through knowledge is truly rewarding.

After Work…

I leave work pretty close to 5 on a regular basis! Barring the occasional “work from the couch at home” project, I have an incredibly healthy work/life balance, and generally leave to-do items at my desk to handle the next morning.

I practice Wu Style Tai Chi 3x a week, and also take tap, jazz, and ballet classes. My husband Dan and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen (and watching Paul Hollywood tap the undersides of bread loves on tv), and a lot of time walking and playing with our pup Hedwig. Yes, she’s named after that Hedwig!

Plan B: If I wasn’t doing this, I would…

Buy a huge old house, renovate it, and open a bed and breakfast. Goat yoga in the barn out back, see you at 6 pm!