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Emily Cunningham is a senior business program manager at rideshare company Lyft*, where she works on the Central Product Management team to enable consistent product excellence. Emily is also a board member of ColorStack, whose mission is to increase the retention and success of Black and Latinx students who are pursuing technical careers. Prior to joining Lyft in January 2021, Emily spent a year at Microsoft as a senior business program manager on the Talent, Culture and Diversity and Inclusion team. Before working at Microsoft, she spent almost three years working at LinkedIn.  Emily graduated in 2012 from Howard University with a B.A. in Economics. 

*Since our interview, Emily left Lyft in April 2021 and now works at Square as a program manager on the Talent Enablement team. 


  • What a program manager on the Central Management team at Lyft does day-to-day (3:54)
  • How liking and mastering puzzles as a kid relates to Emily’s job as a program manager (8:16)
  • What it’s like working for a massive company like Microsoft versus a relatively smaller company like Lyft (14:10)
  • How to determine if you want to be a generalist or a specialist (16:41)
  • Why you shouldn’t be afraid to confront your weaknesses on the job (27:03)
  • Why referrals are everything when applying for a job (38:09)
  • Why Emily is so passionate about Diversity & Inclusion (D & I) (38:34)
  • Why Emily’s advice to her college-self would be to try out a lot of different things (50:17)

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