Mike Greenfield ’96 recently joined the Computer Science Capstone class online to discuss his time at GFS and his career path. The students—a group of 10 seniors—are currently working on a sophisticated technology project of their choice, and part of the class consists of meeting with tech leaders, many of whom are GFS alums. One major goal of the class is to expose students to professionals in the industry, as many see themselves following a path into the high-tech world after school.
Mike has founded several start-ups, including Circle of Moms, Bonafide, and Change Research, which he grew from his growing concern about threats to our democracy, and after learning how expensive and slow polling practices had become.
In the early 2000s, he worked for PayPal and was responsible for back-end fraud modeling. He then moved on to LinkedIn as the lead for the analytics team, where he worked to discover and organize useful data, and how to optimize LinkedIn's viral growth.
Mike earned a B.S. in Mathematical and Computational Science (now Data Science) from Stanford University, and was the captain of a new Club Squash team during his junior year, which was his introduction to the start-up world. Mike also played soccer and squash while at GFS, and after graduating from college, he founded TeamRankings.com, a website that offers a wide range of evaluative and predictive tools and analyses for sports fans.
Mike credits GFS for shaping his career. “GFS helped me to have a problem-solving mentality,” he says. “In startups, that often matters more than the nitty gritty skills. When you build a company, something you need to do to raise money and build a team is to tell a story. I’ve always been pretty math-oriented, but GFS pushed me as a writer, and that has been valuable for me in my career in multiple ways."