By Guest Author | Posted - Mar 28th, 2024





SheTech Interns Interview Carlisha Robinson

By Ava and Kira,

Carlisha Robinson is an example of persistent problem-solving.

We made that conclusion after we sat down with her to learn about her journey to become Chief Customer Officer at Beyond Inc. Previously known as Overstock. Beyond Inc. acquired Bed Bath & Beyond in June, 2023. Robinson shared that her team oversees many functions related to the Bed Bath and Beyond website and mobile app. Her background is in computer software, engineering, and tech. She has a Computer Science and Math degree from Grambling State University, a historically Black university in northern Louisiana. which served as a gateway for her entry into the world of tech. As Robinson progressed in her career, she shifted to the business side of tech rather than programming. Since making the shift to business, Robinson has held over a dozen product management positions, which proves her skills in the field.

The main purpose of a product manager is to be a problem solver, says Robinson. Finding creative ways to make customers' experiences easier is the main objective of her role. Robinson has found the most fruitful approach to problem-solving is encouraging her team to be wholly and truly themselves in their work and their teams. Success in a team is not just about what a person does but rather who a person is. In business, it is crucial to have deadlines and to get things done, but what is often forgotten is giving people the ability to express their creativity and use their flexibility in their own way to solve problems and meet these deadlines. Letting people bring their unique ideas to the table is a large part of this. Great ideas come from anywhere in an organization. A lot of successful ideas would not come to fruition unless people are comfortable with being themselves. Carlisha understands this well and makes it a goal to ensure a space for her employees to be themselves.

As Chief Customer Officer at Beyond, Robinson strives to be a servant-leader. She never expects her team to do anything she isn't willing to do, such as working late, over weekends, or on holidays. Robinson advises to lead like you want to be led. This is the best way to demonstrate a contributive and responsible attitude that will make someone a stellar example and is the attitude that makes Robinson an influential leader. 

Like many women in STEM, Robinson is continually inspired when she sees her peers succeed. Robinson’s position allows her to see how much other women excel in their careers. Watching similar people around her humbly achieving great things and supporting each other has a powerful impact on Robinson and women all over; especially seeing women break barriers and create change. She continues, that these accomplishments are not only individual but a collective accomplishment for all women.

Robinson received the Product Leadership Award of the 2023 Women Tech Council's Women Tech Awards. She admires how the WTC recognizes the phenomenal achievements of many women in tech in Utah and how it creates opportunities for others to do the same.

The most important lesson Robinson has learned from these peers and her female influences is powerful persistence. Throughout life, people are going to tell you no. It’s inevitable. But that doesn’t mean you should take every one of those no’s seriously and give up. Be persistent. Let people know what you bring to the table. Giving people the power to un-motivate you and steer you away from your goals and ambitions is a dangerous thing. Don't let them diminish your value. Furthermore, Robinson wants girls to avoid doubting themselves. Don't be the no you haven't gotten yet. Let yourself be imperfect, make mistakes, and don't hesitate because you think someone will shut you down. You never know what will happen until you let yourself try.  

To all of the high school girls struggling with uncertainty and doubt, whether in career goals or life in general, Carlisha Robinson emphasizes the importance of giving yourself grace. By permitting yourself to make mistakes and practice resilience you can allow yourself to grow and overcome the struggles you face. Life is ever-changing. We will never be stuck in one situation for long. As high school seniors now realize how ridiculous all the times we had intense stress over a small decision or mistake that we thought was going to alter the course of our future. Carlisha has helped us realize that fretting over small issues or missed opportunities makes no sense.

We loved learning about Robinson’s insights on persistence, leading, and giving yourself grace. Robinson can be a strong influence to all. She is the type of woman we have in mind when we envision our future in STEM. 

TechBuzz welcomes again the contributions of SheTech media interns, Ava and Kira, high school seniors attending Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy in Utah County. At Maeser, Ava and Kira pursue STEM activities such as learning IT and coding skills, serving as SheTech ambassadors, and attending Women Tech Council events. As part of the SheTech media internship, Ava and Kira connect with Utah tech leaders, including 2023 Women Tech Award finalists and awardees.

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