Oct 18, 2019
Crypto and Coffee Q&A with Gemini: Jamie Chapman
Every person on #TeamGemini brings a unique mix of experience to the table, so we’re excited to expand our #CryptoAndCoffee video series to our blog and Instagram’s IGTV to tell the stories of our colleagues who are helping us build the future of money.
Today we sat with Jamie Chapman, Project Manager, to talk #CryptoAndCoffee, what it’s like at #TeamGemini and her life outside of cryptocurrency.
How long have you been at Gemini?
Almost two and a half years. I’ve seen the company grow from about 40 people to now more than 200 so it has definitely been an exciting journey.
What were you up to before Gemini?
I was training for the 2016 Olympic Games. I rowed throughout college at Dartmouth and after I graduated in 2012, I decided to continue pursuing my passion, which culminated in the Olympic Trials. My background was a bit unorthodox to be applying for a job in FinTech, but Gemini was able to see through that and take a chance on me. This is what makes Gemini special; as long as there is alignment on core values and abilities, it celebrates different experiences and perspectives and believes that you will learn the skills you need while you’re on the job. Gemini is a culture that isn’t afraid to hire outside the box and one that fosters growth once you’re here. I joined Gemini as an all-hands-on-deck generalist, and I’m now a project manager.
What made you want to come work here? What do you love about crypto?
I love that crypto makes us rethink and deconstruct a widely accepted utility — money — and how we attribute value. I wanted to work in a fast-paced, collegial environment with lots of teamwork, smart people, and the opportunity for career growth. I had read about cryptocurrency and blockchain and found Gemini in the process. At Gemini, there is no status quo. There’s room for creativity in everything we do.
You’ve been working in crypto for 2.5 years, what makes you want to stick around?
There’s still so much to figure out. The systems by which we transmit money have lagged behind the pace of other technical innovation, and we’re at the forefront of the next big phase in the evolution of attributing and transmitting value.
What is the most exciting part of your job?
Project management is very cross-functional, and I love that because I’m always learning about different specialties within our company. I formulate ideas with our business-side teams, then translate those specs and requirements to our technical teams and help make a project happen.
I’m never bored.
What advice would you give someone who’s just starting their career in project management?
Dive in to the existing feature or process right away and understand the pain points. If you are working on a product, use it. That helps to develop empathy with the end user. Ask lots of questions and document everything. You’re working on so many things at once, and it helps to know where that last conversation left off and how to communicate decisions to other members of the team.
What makes a strong leader? What makes a strong team member?
A strong team member is an energy-giver — they are pragmatic, hard-working, and bring their teammates along with them. A strong leader lifts other people up and sets a clear direction for the team — they are optimistic, transparent, and decisive. A sense of humor never hurts either.
What do you do when you aren’t at Gemini?
I race triathlons, so I spend lots of quality time running and biking in Central Park and exploring the Hudson Valley. I raced my first triathlon when I was 12, and I loved the energy of the event. Gemini actually provides great support to be able to do that and it’s great to see a community of people who are always encouraged to try new things. Recently, I competed at the Half-Ironman World Championships in Nice, France, where I placed tenth in my age group. Otherwise, a good dinner with friends feeds the soul, and I try to go see something really weird or unique to NYC every so often.
Jamie completing the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France (top) and starting the bike course (bottom). She placed tenth in her age group for the competition, finishing the 1.2 mile swim, 57 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run in 5:10:49.
What book would you read over and over again?
Glass Castle or Half-Broke Horses, both by Jeannette Walls. She writes eloquent and acerbic memoirs that recount her childhood. I’m trudging through Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and end up reading each sentence twice before I really understand the concept. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight is also very good.
What is your proudest life moment?
Sitting on the start line of the Olympic Rowing Trials in 2016. All four boats sat in dead silence for seven minutes before the gun — I’d done everything I could for the prior four years to reach that moment, and I’ve never been more calm.
Our team is always growing! If you’re interested in joining us — check out our careers page!
Onward and Upward,
Jamie Chapman, Project Manager