Hailey Mahan

Front End Developer, Fiverr
Hailey Mahan

Hailey Mahan (MSJ13) is a front end developer for Fiverr in Chicago, Illinois. In her role, she codes for the web and assists developers in creating content and design principles.  Mahan is a self-proclaimed “non-traditional Medill journalism graduate,” who does not do a lot of writing, but rather assists a media company in navigating the switch to digital.  “It is a very great time to be in media,” she says. Studying journalism at Medill helped her in her role today. “Sometimes developers have no idea about content and design principals, and I come in with a different standpoint where what I develop is very thoughtful with user interaction. I can provide insight into what works and what doesn’t work,” she says.

Mahan credits her capstone project at Medill for helping her gain experience as a developer as a student.  Mahan’s project called “Capture” included creating long-form interactive web pieces for a site called “The Asking Price.” The project taught her the process of creating, designing, testing, and reevaluating a product.  “The capstone project was a huge help and it gave me a lot of stuff to talk about in interviews,” she says. Mahan says the technical Medill classes which taught her JavaScript, coding, and user testing gave insight into testing for digital products which helps her in her current role. As a student, she worked on a HTML5 video where she spliced together clips for a video header.  Mahan says all of her classes and projects were great in helping her practice using computer software that she would later come to use in the work force.

After graduation, Mahan found her job by applying online using job search databases, but suggests that other graduates do not follow the traditional route for applying. Instead, she emphasizes networking by pointing out that while at Medill she “talked to absolutely everybody.”

Looking toward the future, Mahan hopes to become a leader in her industry that is traditionally male dominated. “I really want to help other women become interested in the web development industry.  I also really love media and telling amazing stories.  I want to gain more control over what gets put on the web and how these stories are being told.” On looking back at her time spent studying at Medill, Mahan says, “I had a great time. I love the school and loved the program. Medill offers great jobs and great connections. I can’t recommend it enough.”