Jennifer Van Dam.

  • Jennifer Van Dam, 29, is a human connections product manager for Grammarly.
  • She analyzes data around perception and tone to help users write clearly and accurately online.
  • Here’s how she broke into this role and what it’s like, as told to Perri Ormont Blumberg.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

This as-told-to essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Jennifer Van Dam, a 29-year-old human connections product manager at Grammarly from Vancouver, Canada, about her career path. It has been edited for length and clarity.

I’ve always been fascinated by human interactions, primarily how we communicate with each other online.

I studied social psychology during my undergrad education and got my master’s in economic and consumer psychology. My thesis was on emotions in online communication.

After I completed my graduate degree in 2016, I worked as a product manager at a startup called Islands

For three years, I helped build a social-media app to connect people in a particular geographic area. Our ultimate goal was to find new communities and connections online and encourage in-person meetups.

Islands was acquired by WeWork in 2019. I worked on the WeWork app’s messaging and community features that allowed users to find people to work and connect with in person – until the pandemic hit and changed the space drastically.

The interview process at Grammarly focused on evaluating my competencies in product and technical acumen, as well as my creativity and proficiency working with metrics and analytics. I was fascinated by Grammarly’s ambitious mission to improve lives by improving communication.

I joined in August 2020 and helped create the human connections team. The team’s focus was – and still is – to build empathetic writing suggestions for more than 30 million daily active Grammarly users that inject compassion into digital communication and help people communicate in ways that intentionally nurture relationships.

My day-to-day involves extensively researching questions



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *