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A day in the life: Meet Pinterest’s River Mist

Video with audio description:


Video transcript:

River Mist: It’s Friday morning, and we’re here in Oakland at the Intertribal Friendship House. We’ll be donating Thanksgiving meals to local community members. The IFH is a community center and social services organization for Bay Area Native Americans. PIndigenous has partnered with them for a couple years now, and it’s been a really good way to give back to the community. Pinterest gives employees a few days of volunteer time off each year to give back to the community and get involved. I’m using mine today to volunteer at the Intertribal Friendship House.

My name is River Mist. My pronouns are He/Him and my tribal affiliation is Cherokee. I work at Pinterest, which is located on Ohlone land. At Pinterest, I’m a Technical Lead on the Growth Team, which is basically just a fancy engineer. Instead of writing code day-to-day, I kind of more help plan the direction for the team and sort of set the technical direction.

PIndigenous is a Pinterest Community made up of employees here at Pinterest that are either Native American, Indigenous or just allies to the Community. What we really focus on is building awareness and advocacy for indigenous people both within the product at Pinterest, within the industry, within tech and within the communities as a whole.

For Indigenous people looking to build up their tech skills as they try and move into a full-time position within tech, there’s a lot of good resources out there, such as like boot camps online, that you can do for programming and traditional resources such as Leet Code for practicing interview questions or even a lot of companies even have resources on how to interview at that specific company. For example at Pinterest we have a program called Pin It to Win It, in which we give advice on how to interview, how to prepare and what to expect when you’re actually here. Those resources can be really invaluable in terms of understanding what it’s like to work at a specific company or interview there.

One of the things that Pinterest values coming into meetings or planning or just informal conversations with your team is presenting an informed decision, whether it be on metrics orevidence or sort of experience in that field. And I think that’s a natural fit for sort of my cultural background coming from an Indigenous community. I think there’s a tendency to be a little bit more reserved, kind of hang back a little bit. And I think that’s really benefited me well at Pinterest. So, you know, in meetings, I tend to hang back sort of taking what’s going on and then present my evidence well informed instead of just sort of shooting from the hip at whatever comes to mind. I think that works really well for me to kind of come off as you know knowledgeable about the subject and give sort of well-informed decisions.

Pinterest culture really empowers me to make time in my schedule for both my normal engineering responsibilities as part of my day job and my involvement in the PIndigenous community. In fact, at the end of the year, when I fill out my performance review, I’m actually able to reference my involvement in the community, which actually makes me feel like the work I do matters to the company. For more information about opportunities at Pinterest, visit