By Samantha Quach ’22
For Alicen Lewis ’15, creative strategist at Twitch, a livestream platform geared towards the gaming community, the best part of attending Scripps and being part of the 5Cs was the vast network of people passionate about helping students who are new to the workforce. Case in point: After graduating in 2015 with a major in digital media studies and a minor in psychology, Lewis secured her first job at the software development company Laserfiche based on a recommendation from a Harvey Mudd student. Two years later, a fellow Scripps student advised Lewis to apply for a project manager job at the same company she worked for, The Marketing Arm.
“The Claremont Colleges network is a huge part of what has enabled me to succeed since graduation, but my time at Scripps also positioned me for this,” says Lewis. “Despite working in the male-dominant field of gaming, my background as a Scripps student prepared me to negotiate my salary to fight the wage gap and taught me other professional skills necessary to succeed in the workplace,” says Lewis.
In addition to her media studies major, which she describes as encompassing the different aspects of media through liberal arts-based education, Lewis was also part of various clubs and held leadership positions that inspired her to pursue a career in technology and management. As project manager and information technology team lead for the Office of Information Technology-Faculty Instruction Technology Support (IT-FITS) in the Scripps College Faculty Computer Lab, she was empowered to take initiative through designing websites, creating blogs, and hosting software training workshops.
This early success with IT-FITS gave Lewis confidence to pursue leadership in other ways. While at Scripps, Lewis became involved with the Alumnae Association, previously serving as a regional associate for the Los Angeles region and now serving as the communications chair for the Alumnae Leadership Council. One of her enduring goals in this role has been to bridge communication between current students and alumnae, which she facilitates by using social and digital media to engage with the alumnae community in Northern California.
“I think it’s really important for younger and older alums to connect because there’s a lot of intergenerational trade that can happen between groups that elevate the Scripps alumnae community as a whole,” says Lewis. “When Scrippsies meet up, we love to share stories, thoughts, advice, opinions, learnings, and especially support.”
Now that Lewis is firmly entrenched in her career, she is paying it forward by mentoring youth and women who are also interested in working in tech. She volunteers for New Door Ventures, an organization based in San Francisco that helps at-risk youth obtain jobs and higher education, and she is also a mentor for the University of California, Berkeley’s Women in Gaming club.
“I tell others who are interested in this field to develop a body of work you can showcase early on, whether it be a portfolio or a domain website, and pitch it in such a way that shows you’re capable of doing this work outside of college,” says Lewis. “And as for fellow young Scripps alumnae, I would say to stay connected to the Scripps College Alumnae Association, and truly tap into the Scripps and 5C network because people genuinely want to help you succeed.”