5 Inspiring Yahoo Girls — And Their Cool HQ

There’s no denying that Yahoo is having a moment right now. From a slew of noteworthy acquisitions to some big-name hires (hi, Katie Couric!), the company has been making the news a lot, lately. And as you can expect, there's a gaggle of whip-smart employees working hard to make it all happen.
So, we ventured down to Yahoo HQ and met up with five inspiring, stylish ladies who showed us around and let us in on what it’s like to work for the buzzy brand. Ahead, get the scoop on their tech-savvy lives and head-turning style.

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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
Name: MJ Speakman
Gig: Senior Copywriter
Hood: Mountain View

Tell us more about your role at Yahoo and how you got where you are.
"I’m a Brooklynite by way of Pittsburgh. I got my start in high-end fashion and parlayed that into styling and editorial. From there, I launched and developed the voice for three brands in NYC. When Yahoo called, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take on the West Coast and tech industry with a brand that has such great buzz! So, here I am, the senior writer for Yahoo’s in-house creative agency. My role is to help evolve the brand voice and capture the re-energized vibe of the company."

What do you love most about working here?
"I get to work with the most wonderful, hilarious, creative, positive people, ever. It’s so nice to come to work and see your friends. Also, I have never had this much variety in a job. Constantly brainstorming, collaborating, and kicking off new projects keeps things interesting."

MJ gives us office-style envy in an Yigal Azrouel leather jacket, Brooklyn flea market necklace, Neil Barrett booties, and Goldsign jeans.
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
Run us through a typical workday.
"There is no 'typical' workday for me, which I love. In any given week, I might concept and script a video, craft headlines and copy for a big campaign, brainstorm party themes, or dig in with brand partners to make important updates. I’ve even been known to do a bit of wardrobe styling on our shoots."

What are some things you’re working on you’re excited about?
"Most of it is top secret! But, there’s a special place in my heart for music, festivals, and road trips, so Yahoo On the Road is probably my favorite ongoing project."
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
Everyone here seems so fun — what’s the wackiest thing that’s happened while working here?
"We take birthdays pretty seriously around here, and we’re always upping the ante. We’ve rocked masks and wigs, choreographed music videos, covered cars in whipped cream (sorry, Anthony), destroyed piñatas, and even performed a 'wedding' ceremony."

Any other fun or memorable moments you’ve had while working here?
"Cruising around in the giant purple Yahoo On the Road tour bus tops that list. I saw some amazing shows in historic local venues across the country while helping to lead the social media efforts for the campaign. It was like Almost Famous, except everyone had a laptop and I was the only one wearing bell bottoms."
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.


It’s been exciting to see all the cool things happening at Yahoo — what’s something you’re really excited about?
"Watch out, world — 2014 is going to be huge."

How would you describe your style?
"A little bit country and a little bit rock-'n-roll."

What’s your go-to work outfit?
"Big hair, neutrals, and layers. I go for giant flares or faux-leather leggings and boots, too. I tend to pick an accessory and wear it every day until I never want to see it again. Right now, that’s my man-sized gold watch."
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
What’s your favorite on-campus dish to chow down on?
"I’m a big fan of the fresh juice bar...and the coffee bar...and the salad bar."

What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received and who gave it you?
"My good friend, and former boss, Cristina Angeli always reminds me, 'You gotta do what makes you happy.' That’s not a common refrain in the corporate world. For me, as a creative, business is a little bit personal. I have to care, I have to believe in the work I’m doing, and I have to be myself."
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
Name: Sima Sistani
Gig: Director of Mobile Growth
Hood: Menlo Park

Tell us more about your role at Yahoo and how you got where you are.
"I am focused on ways to accelerate growth and user adoption of our mobile and emerging products. This ranges from product strategy to business development and go-to market. My path has been a circuitous one. I started out on the Goldman Sachs international trading floor, but when I was more excited for the weekend box office report than the Financial Times, I needed to change gears and pursue a career in media. That led me to the entertainment talent agency. Between getting my business chops at Goldman and building an entertainment/media network at CAA, I felt ready to combine the two worlds into a new venture. When I left CAA, I didn’t realize at the time that I was starting down a road that would eventually lead me to Silicon Valley. Media was moving to a digital landscape and ultimately, to be in media, I needed to be in tech!"

What do you love most about working here?
"I love the energy. We are the biggest startup in Silicon Valley. We are all working hard, fast, and collaborating to bring new products to market and refresh existing ones. All the excitement and momentum of startup life, but without the emotional rollercoaster!"

Sima is sitting chic in in J. Crew Minnie Pants, Lele Sadoughi Stone Column Slider Bracelet and Orbit Necklace, Anyi Lu Boots, and a Vince Camuto Sweater.
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
Run us through a typical workday.
"My day starts between 5 to 6 a.m. thanks to my baby boy. I am typically offline for the first hour of the day and focused on him — except for a quick temp check on the Yahoo Weather app. I read once that the most successful people start the morning without 'logging on,' so even before my baby, I dedicated the morning to reflection with either a workout or introspection. It’s a great way to center before the day unfolds. After that, it’s off to Yahoo’s Sunnyvale campus for a mix of meetings, brainstorms, presentations, and the occasional Nerf warfare. I meet with a lot of external partners as well, so I’m on the road quite a bit. At Yahoo, I sit with engineers, designers, and product managers. We all sit together so we can work like a startup and iterate fast."

What are some things you’re working on you’re excited about?
"What happens in Building D, stays in Building D. No seriously, I wish I could tell you specifically, but let’s just say that we have some amazing new mobile apps coming down the pipeline. Mobile is leading a revolution at Yahoo and I’m really excited about our roadmap."
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
Everyone here seems so fun — what’s the wackiest thing that’s happened while working here?
"I don’t know about wacky, but it’s definitely fun! Yahoo Fantasy Football challenges are alive — currently the weekly loser of my league has to sport a purple Justin Bieber backpack around campus. Later this week, I’m choreographing my boss in a dance video because he lost a bet to our CMO and Chief Counsel. You know, just a typical day at the office."

It’s been exciting to see all the cool things happening at Yahoo — what’s something you’re really excited about?
"I’m really excited about the recently launched Yahoo Screen app. It blends technology and media — my two favorite things! — in an app that brings users an entertaining video experience."
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
How would you describe your style?
"I’ve never really internalized it, but I suppose it’s some twist of L.A. meets Silicon Valley. I’m not one for fads, though I love seeing others sport the latest trends. I generally follow a rule that if I wouldn’t wear it next season, it doesn’t play."

What’s your go-to work outfit?
"Michael Lewis reported that President Obama only wears two kinds of suits. He does this to pare down decisions he has to make in his day. Ever since I became a mom, streamlining has become important. Interestingly, keeping things simple actually opens the door for spontaneity. My go-to are the J. Crew Minnie pant — not to mention the stretch was forgiving during and after pregnancy. I have them in all colors! The length allows them to be dressed up with heels, dressed down in flats, or out for a night in boots. Tops are usually solid sweaters or tanks layered under a blazer. I tend to gravitate towards neutrals and use accessories for a punch."
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
What’s your favorite on-campus dish to chow down on?
"I’m partial to the morning fresh juice bar. My mix of choice: kale, cucumber, spinach, celery, honeydew, and beets!"

What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received and who gave it you?
"When I was at Goldman Sachs, my managing director told me that only 10% of the population really love their jobs. I don’t know where she heard that fact, but I vowed to always be part of that 10%. I’ve switched jobs several times along my career path, sometimes for career development and sometimes because I felt the path I was on would leave me in the 90%. There have been cross-country moves and a lot of risk taking, and it’s all been worth it…it has lead me to where I am today, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Don’t be afraid to take risks to pursue your passions, personally and professionally."
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
Aaaand, action!
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
Foos Hungry?
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
Pool party!
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
Name: Andrea Joe
Gig: Senior Manager, Events
Hood: Russian Hill

Tell us more about your role at Yahoo and how you got where you are.
"I am the senior manager of corporate events. This includes all employee events, business meetings, seasonal events, and weekly all-hands. The best part about my role is I have the privilege of working with people across the entire company. I’ve been creating and managing event experiences for our employees for over 12 years. I started at Yahoo back in 2001 and the vibe of the company right now mirrors the time back when it all began. I feel like we are a startup again, breathing new life into a great company. It continues to evolve here and I’m lucky to be a part of it."

What are some things you’re working on you’re excited about?
"Making each event memorable is the challenge and the fun of the job. I always try to note what is new and different. Being thoughtful about the goal of the event and experience you want is critical. I constantly find myself taking photos of things that are new and unique. I might not know at the time what I want to use it for, but I’ll have it ready for when the right opportunity comes up. I try hard to never forget the details."

Andrea is a couch cutie in a Theory dress, rag & bone boots, and a Gabriella & Karina Iskin necklace.
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
Any other fun or memorable moments you’ve had while working here?
"My most recent favorite event was P.L.A.Y. — our Year-End Party 2012. The party featured different cinema genres and the energy in the room was something I hadn’t felt before. It was a room that was full of pride, a feeling that something exciting was in store for Yahoo."

It’s been exciting to see all the cool things happening at Yahoo — what’s something you’re really excited about?
"I was really excited about the recent launch of Yahoo Weather. I am constantly traveling and the app is a total addiction. It helps me pack for trips and keep track of weather forecasts while I’m planning events — and makes it a beautiful and enjoyable experience!"
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
How would you describe your style?
"Modern chic."

What’s your go-to work outfit?
'Jacket, blouse, and jeans with flats or boots."
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.


What’s your favorite on-campus dish to chow down on?
"The fresh and delicious sushi."
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.


What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received and who gave it you?
"My dad always said figure out your passion and you’ll love your work."
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
Awesome Flickr gear? We'll drink to that!
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
With that bright hue, it's always sunny at Yahoo Headquarters!
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
Name: Cynthia Maxwell
Position: Director of Engineering
Hood: Portola Valley

Tell us more about your role at Yahoo and how you got where you are:
"Currently, I am a director of engineering in the Mobile and Emerging Products teams at Yahoo — which means I lead iOS and Android teams making great mobile apps. I caught the bug for making mobile applications in 2008 while at Apple, and have been working on large-scale, successful products ever since."

What do you love most about working here?
"Since Mobile and Emerging Products is a very new department, there is a lot of opportunity and excitement about building new teams and products. I thrive in environments with small, tight-knit teams with great focus and Yahoo provides that atmosphere."

Cynthia cools down in head-to-toe BCBG Max Azria
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
Run us through a typical workday.
"I wake up and scrub through the pile of email waiting for me, which typically consists of a combination of questions to answer, bugs to triage, and meeting invitations to consider. I arrive at work and sync with the team-leads about the issues that need addressing and reiterate the priority for the day. After that, I sync with each team in a format called 'standup' meetings. Then, it's lunch time, which is either grabbing a quick bite at my desk or going with the team to one of the three nearby cafes. After lunch, I am normally either reviewing code that is waiting to be merged into each project, following up with members on my team about areas we need to fix, or in a meeting with a collaborator. Later that night, I'll often follow up with one of the team leads about any fire drills, submit an app build to the company, and coordinate with our teams across the globe."

What are some things you’re working on you’re excited about?
"My current project is top secret, but rest assured it's a cool new product that will surprise you."
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
Everyone here seems so fun — what’s the wackiest thing that’s happened while working here?
"Our Senior Vice President had the idea of presenting our project in a music-video type format to the entire company. My team and I went on stage and pantomimed a demo of our app to music. That was embarrassing, funny, and silly. My peers never let me forget it."

Any other fun or memorable moments you’ve had while working here?
"I really like the Yahoo hackdays. Those are really fun. It’s great to see the ideas that people come up with. I used to participate in hackathons in the past, so I can relate with the excitement and terror that comes with live hack demos. Yahoo has a very strong hacker community and I love it."

It’s been exciting to see all the cool things happening at Yahoo — what’s something you’re really excited about?
"I am excited about the growth of mobile and seeing a great plan come into action. The quality of the team being assembled here is inspiring and I am excited to work with the people I work with every day."
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.


How would you describe your style?
"Elegant, muted, and professional."

What’s your go-to work outfit?
"It depends on what stage in the release cycle we are. If we are still in the exploring and creative stage, I will be wearing a dress with heels and curled hair. If we are close to shipping, I will have my hair pulled back, wearing jeans and a sweatshirt with wedge sneakers."

What’s your favorite on-campus dish to chow down on?
"The catch-of-the-day is usually very good. I also sometimes go for the stir-fry."

What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received and who gave it you?
"An internship mentor I had at NASA said, “Take initiative, don’t wait to be told what to do.” I think that was great advice. I think that if you approach your career with that advice in mind, you will always be moving forward. People recognize others who help solve problems, and are always thinking about improving the status quo."
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
Name: Stephanie Rose Stalker
Gig: Lead Environmental Designer
Hood: San Jose

Tell us more about your role...
"I’m a big-time creative from a small town in Wyoming that landed in the Silicon Valley by chance. I’m the daughter of an architect, the middle sister in a design trio, and an Art Center College of Design grad who’s lived and worked on five continents. Now, I’m an environmental designer at Yahoo. What’s that look like? It’s one part branding, one part architecture, one part product design, one part graphic design, and one part marketing. Essentially, I translate the brand personality, look, and feel into any and all physical environments, including our campuses, events, retail spaces, and studio."

What do you love most about working here?
"Without a doubt, it’s my team. Everyday, I’m surrounded by people who are the best in their fields. When we combine powers, it’s truly awesome...I’m not kidding, it’s ridiculous!"
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
Run us through a typical workday.
"There’s no such thing as a 'typical' day. Last week, I was meeting with architects on the design of the NY and S.F. offices. Today, I’m organizing a trunk show for the company store and collaborating on our year-end celebration. My role is ever-evolving and keeps me on my toes. Good thing I’m a marathon runner."

What are some things you’re working on?
"Blueprints and paint chips and furniture, oh my! I am working to redefine what the Yahoo workplace looks like and how we work in it — across all our campuses, globally."
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
Any other memorable moments?
"Seeing our event space come to life at Cannes Lions, working on the redesign of the logo, bringing to life Yahoo On The Road, a concert series that spanned 30 cities from NY to S.F. and Berlin to London, lighting up Times Square for the amazing Flickr launch event, collaborating with the 49ers to bring a bit of Yahoo to its new stadium, and completely overdoing it with decorations for my team anytime there is even a remote reason to celebrate!"

It’s been exciting to see all the cool things happening at Yahoo — what’s something you’re really excited about?
"We’ve got an impressive lineup of events for 2014. South by Southwest and Yahoo On the Road were two of my first projects when I joined Yahoo earlier this year. Now that I’ve got a bit more ‘Yahoo’ under my belt, I’m ready to take 2014 by storm!"
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
What’s your style manifesto?
"All colors match, there is no such thing as mismatched patterns, and toenails must be painted. Also, fall is the best season — layer, layer, layer! Pretty much, the more colors and patterns, the merrier. Here's a style tip: If you find something that fits, buy one in every color. Then you can mix and match the same pieces while keeping it fresh."

What’s your daily dress code?
"Colors, patterns, and layers. Repeat."
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Photographed by Michelle Drewes.
What’s your favorite on-campus dish to chow down on?
"Hands down, it’s the soup, namely carrot orange and the clam chowder. Shout out to Chef Bob!"

Best professional advice you’ve received.
"'Chart your own course,' and 'Keep it all in perspective.' Words I love and need to hear from my mother just about every time we talk. The key is to try to do both at the same time. As a designer, it’s really easy to become hyperfocused on the details. So, I always try to remember to take a step back, stay positive, and consider the larger story."
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