Yasmin Bashirova went to college to become an energy resource engineer and worked as an Investment Banking Analyst at Goldman Sachs prior to working as Chief of Staff at Shift Technologies, Inc. She is looking to draw from her engineering, analyst, and finance expertise to transition into the AI space. Besides her professional accomplishments, Yasmin is also extremely active in her community, speaks openly on human rights and social justice issues, and strives to pave the way for young women to become tech and finance leaders.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Yasmin Bashirova and I am originally from Baku, Azerbaijan, but due to my family situation, I spent the first couple of years of my childhood in a provincial town of Ukraine called Dnepropetrovsk. After my parents’ separation, I moved back to Azerbaijan with my mom, where I studied until 11th grade. For my last two years of high school, I studied at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Upon graduation, I moved to the West Coast to study at Stanford on a scholarship, which is an opportunity for which I am thankful every single day. While at Stanford, I studied Energy Resources Engineering and participated in various organizations such as Stanford Model UN, US Mexico FoCUS, and Stanford Energy Club. I was also the community manager for a co-ed Eastern European themed house called Slavianskii Dom.
What makes you different from other professionals in your field?
My determination to work hard, never give up, and never take a single opportunity for granted. I believe that my biggest asset is the ability to pivot between and adapt to the needs of the business. Having started my career in energy, I was able to acquire the finance skills without getting a degree in business, and am now transitioning to understanding more about strategy & finance overlap with product management in tech
What was the most important part of your professional journey?
Having the endurance to persevere intermittent challenges and focusing on the long-term outcome. The only reason why I was able to get to where I am today is because my famil,friends and mentors always picked me up when I didn’t believe in my ability to turn my goals into reality
Where do you expect or hope your industry to be in the next five years?
I hope that the industry has more women in senior roles as female founders are still a small proportion of people receiving VC funding.
What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?
My Nespresso machine is the best purchase and the worst purchase was buying a new Mazda 3 in college because I didn’t know back then how much new cars depreciate.
What takes up too much of your time?
My curiosity causes me to always try to keep up with the latest news which can be
What three pieces of advice would you give to college students or aspiring professionals in your field?
Find something you like, strive to become good at it, and be kind to yourself because grades will never determine your future success
Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
My grandmother Zoya, who is a pet supply business owner and animal rights advocate at age 76.
What drives you to keep going when it’s really tough?
My goal of hopefully being able to give back in appreciation of all the great opportunities I received in my life
How should people connect with you?
I am pretty active on social media, such as Twitter and Instagram, and try to be responsive as much as I can on social platforms