Jana Messerschmidt

7/25/2014 Ashish Valentine, ECE ILLINOIS

ECE ILLINOIS alums are some of the most interesting people we know. To celebrate them, we’ve decided to ask them questions both serious and fun. Here, you’ll find their Ten Answers.

Jana Messerschmidt (BS CompE '01) is vice president of global business development and platform at Twitter. She is responsible for partnerships at Twitter, including business development, developer relations, partner engineering, platform operations, and strategy. She often tweets photos of notable visitors to the company, as well as her dog, Tanner Stanley.

Prior to joining Twitter in 2010, Jana was director of business development at Netflix, where she focused on mobile and consumer electronics partnerships. Earlier in her career, she worked at DivX and AT&T. She is @janamal on Twitter.

Jana Messerschmidt, Vice President of Global Business Development & Platform at Twitter.
Jana Messerschmidt, Vice President of Global Business Development & Platform at Twitter.

Where was your favorite place to study on the Illinois campus?

Grainger Engineering Library.

What’s your favorite technological advance so far?

Self-driving cars. As an absolutely terrible driver myself, I love how technology will be able to improve driver safety. I can’t wait for a combination of Uber + self-driving cars in the future!

What's one of your favorite quotes?

“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”  We can all come up with a zillion great ideas - the hardest part is picking the best one and executing.

What was your favorite ECE class?

ECE 312: Computer Organization and Design with Sanjay Patel.

If you could choose a super power, what would it be?

To be in two places at once. I’d love to be able to increase my productivity!

Where in the world have you always wanted to visit?

Russia. The history and culture absolutely fascinates me.

If you could be any animal, what would you be?

My dog, Tanner (@tanner_stanley)! He leads quite the pampered life.

If you had to turn into a food item for the rest of your life, what food would you turn into?

I’ve turned into a true Californian - sushi! I could eat it all day, every day.

You have a free half-hour. What do you do?

Check my Twitter feed so that I can be up to date with the latest news. I can get lost in the Twitter app for hours.

What do you miss most about your time at Illinois?

The smell of Kams as you’re walking down Daniel Street. Just kidding.

This story also appeared in the spring 2015 issue of Resonance, ECE ILLINOIS' biannual magazine.