Sometimes the perfect job is not one you can aim for while in college—because it doesn’t yet exist. That was the case for Miriam Warren, who oversees the international expansion of Yelp, the pioneering social networking and business review site. Yet a liberal arts education can prepare you, as it did Miriam, to make the most of unexpected opportunities.
“Mills is an incredible place to gain perspective on the world and yourself,” says Miriam. “Mills will coax you to question your assumptions. You will become wiser and look at the world through many more prisms than you did before.”
Originally from Las Vegas, Miriam chose Mills for its “beauty and history, the engagement of the professors, the quirky cool of the students.” Although she considered herself a geek, interested in computers and technology, she majored in ethnic studies. “The positive feedback I received when I voiced my opinions in class discussions was enormously encouraging,” she recalls. “I wanted to be better informed so that I could contribute to conversations as productively as possible.”
After college, Miriam worked as an executive recruiter and, for fun, wrote reviews on the fledgling Yelp site. That led to her first position at Yelp as community manager—and from there she rose through the ranks. “I never imagined I would become the VP of new markets when I started,” she says. “I had no idea that would even be a job because it didn’t exist then.”
Today Miriam travels around the world, building homegrown communities of users in each new country Yelp enters. But she stays closely connected to Mills and her college friends. “My proudest achievements are helping make the dreams of other people come true, whether by coaching a fellow alumna for a job interview or mentoring a current student to help her land an internship.”
Through her job at Yelp and her volunteer work at Mills, she says, “I hope I can make the world feel smaller by connecting people to one another.”