Join us for an evening of career advice and conversation with design trailblazer Irene Au, Design Partner at Khosla Ventures. Come and learn about Irene’s amazing journey from building robots in college, to creating her own program of study in human-computer interaction as a graduate student, and then pursuing a career in design at Netscape Communications, Yahoo!, Google, Udacity and now at Khosla Ventures. Plus ask her your top-of-mind career questions during audience Q&A.
A lifelong gadget girl and math and science geek, Irene built robots in college and went to graduate school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to pursue studies in electrical and computer engineering. There, she found herself surrounded by young men who built technology for the sake of technology; however, Irene’s passion was to build technology inspired by people’s needs directed at solving real problems, so she carved her own path. Through coursework in engineering psychology and human factors, computer science and industrial engineering, she created her own program of study in human-computer interaction (HCI) during a time when studying HCI was unheard of.
Irene then went on to be among the first designers with such a background in the consumer Internet space and began her career as an interaction designer at Netscape Communications. After Netscape, Irene joined Yahoo! in 1998, where she established Yahoo’s user experience design practice and led the team for eight years.
In 2006, Irene joined Google and led the user experience team there for six years, where she was responsible for design and research for all Google-branded products worldwide. Following Google and prior to joining Khosla Ventures , Irene ran product design at Udacity.
Irene also teaches yoga and meditation at Avalon Art and Yoga Center, one of Palo Alto’s oldest and most established yoga studios. She co-chairs the board of trustees at Bowman International School, a K-8 private Montessori school in Palo Alto, California.