Current location: San Diego, California
Current occupation: Digital Product Designer at Zendesk
WFB graduation year: 2010
Post high school education experience: UW-Stout, California College of the Art
Article by Anavi Prakash
Alexa Stahl loves working from home because she gets to spend time with her husband, who also works from home, and their dog, Koda, throughout the day. She has lived in San Diego for two years, but has called California home since earning a BFA in Graphic Design at California College of the Arts.
Prior to moving to California, Stahl attended University of Wisconsin-Stout to play basketball, but found she wasn’t happy there.
“I was in my ‘needing to be on my own’ era”, she said.
Hitting the “reset button” in San Francisco, Stahl spent her time at school and playing pick-up basketball games.
After more than a decade in California, she doesn’t want to move back to the Midwest because she loves the lifestyle she has on the West Coast.
“I’m so happy,” she said.
Although she now has a strong appreciation for where she grew up, for a long time, Stahl didn’t like thinking of anything related to high school.
“It was tough, but I love it,” she said.
In high school, Stahl’s identity revolved around everything basketball. She started playing in fourth grade, was on varsity as a freshman, and joined the team during its “rebuilding era”.
“We put so much hard work, grit, and perseverance into the team,” Stahl said.
She loved participating in “all of the things” sports related and building a strong team culture.
Inside the classroom, she loved art and social studies classes. Psychology with Mr. Stiedaman was one of her favorites.
“I resonated with anything project based,” she said.
Art classes were also “energizing”, as she was passionate about the subject.
Elements from high school have followed her to the present day: basketball is still one of her favorite pastimes and professionally, as a Digital Product Designer, she enjoys the various projects she gets to work on.
Her dad is also a designer, and with his support and guidance, along with design opportunities in San Francisco, Stahl found a career path that makes her happy.
“There is a lot of collaboration with a lot of different people,” she said.
She currently works at Zendesk, a company that focuses on creating better customer service. Before this, she worked at Yelp.
To get to this point in her life, Stahl has learned to embrace hard moments and accept difficult feelings.
Despite it feeling complicated at the time, Stahl said she appreciates the lessons she’s learned along the way.
“Embrace those hard moments and take in all the hard feelings,” she advises. “Take on all of the challenges.”