Reuters / Brendan McDermid
- Austin Geidt, Uber’s fourth employee and current head of strategy for Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group, rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange at the company’s public debut on Friday.
- Geidt joined Uber in 2010 as an intern and has held multiple roles during her time with the company.
- She has been open about her struggle with addiction and credits much of her success at the high-flying startup to skills she learned while in rehab.
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"To all you interns, keep ya heads up," Austin Geidt tweeted on her five-year anniversary of working at Uber in 2015.
It’s advice that’s paid off for Geidt. She joined Uber as an intern in 2010 — and on Friday, she got to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange ahead of the company’s public debut.
Now the head of strategy for Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group, the company’s autonomous vehicle unit, Geidt had the honor of the ceremonial role, standing beside CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
Geidt’s rise is that of Silicon Valley legend. She was the fourth employee at Uber and has filled several roles during her time with the company. She’s been open about her battle with drug addiction and recovery, and has been sober since she was 20.
Here’s how the former intern cold-emailed her way into one of the biggest startups in Silicon Valley as told in a Fortune interview from 2015, except where otherwise noted.
Austin Geidt’s journey to Wall Street wasn’t easy or predictable. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 2010 amid an uncertain job market following the 2008 recession when she was 25 years old.
Geidt has been open about her struggles with drug addiction and her time in rehab when she was 19. "I had a drug addiction. I got sober. I’m 10 years sober," she said in 2015. "I was in a really dark place."
In the uncertain aftermath of the 2008 Recession, Geidt responded to a tweet looking for interns from a new startup — Uber.
Geidt told the audience of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women conference in 2015 that her resume for Uber was effectively blank with little applicable experience to speak of. Jobs and internships were still hard to come by, and she wasn’t having much luck in the market.
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