Working at Facebook in 2020

Christopher Maddox '17
Photo provided by Christopher Maddox '17

Facebook was the first social media network to surpass 1 billion registered accounts.

Today, it is the largest social media platform in the world with more than 2.6 billion monthly active users.

Christopher Maddox ’17, who dreams of pursuing entrepreneurship, professorship, and maybe even public office someday, is currently an account manager at this social conglomerate.

Quick to note that he does not speak for Facebook, Maddox says that from within the company, he sees its power to amplify underrepresented voices and ideas, and to fuel movements.

And, by working for such a powerful human resource during a time of social unrest, he is learning a lot about our collective ability to make change.

“Success does not come from climbing over others. It comes through building with them.”

Christopher Maddox '17

What a time to be working for Facebook. What role does Facebook play in our modern day crises?

With greater power comes a greater responsibility to do good.

This moment in time presents a great opportunity for Facebook and other social media brands to reimagine the way they give people voice … and to find the right balance of allowing freedom of expression, while, at the same time, keeping people safe.

What power does social media, and the entrepreneurial leaders working within such big brands, have in fueling a movement?

Social media as a whole has been instrumental in redefining the Black Lives Matter movement because it has democratized news.

It has reduced the power of mainstream media to control one narrative. It also has inspired a healthy curiosity and skepticism of all content we ingest, causing us to think critically about the opinions we form.

Personally and professionally, it has served as a place for me to educate and to be educated. It has taught me to ask the right questions and do the right research.

Most importantly, social media has and continues to empower individuals to take action on their values, easily and efficiently. TikTok, for example, is one of the most impactful tools for helping to ignite and sustain the Black Lives Matter and other movements, because it gives a platform to people regardless of how many followers they have. Anyone can be someone on TikTok, which is critical when making changes takes everyone.

What are your biggest takeaways from your time in the working world?

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that done is better than perfect. I’ve always aimed to give my best in everything that I do, but, while at Facebook, I have learned that getting to ‘final’ requires iteration.

Don’t hold onto an idea because you’re seeking perfection.

Your father was a serial entrepreneur. What kind of influence has that had on your life and career?

My dad is the prime example of an individual who understood the circumstances he came from and made the most of them.

Among the many things I have learned from him, one of the most important is to understand your strengths and weaknesses and find people that complement them.

Success does not come from climbing over others. It comes through building with them.

What advice do you have for Babson students and those who may have just launched their career?

Come curious, come hungry. Say yes to new things, things that may make you uncomfortable. Come with a test and learn mindset, and you will be amazed by the connections you will make and the growth you will experience.

I’m also a firm believer that you do not need to make it to an ‘end destination’ before giving back and positively impacting the communities around you, whether that be through working to add representation from underrepresented groups or working toward more sustainable business practices.

Posted in Entrepreneurship of All Kinds

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