Student Stories: Justin Carboneau

Team members of Exygy having fun! Photo via Justin Carboneau.

Meet Justin Carboneau, who enrolled in Jenn Lim's "The Building Block of Delivering Happiness at Work" class to transform the company culture at Exygy. We had a chance to learn more about how he introduced the idea of building company culture to share value, personal growth, and happiness. We hope you're inspired to incorporate Exygy's happiness principles into your own company and work as well!

Hey Justin! Tell us a bit more about yourself and your background. I'm the Happiness Engineer at Exygy. Our company is based in San Francisco, but I work remotely from Durham, North Carolina. In addition to being a web engineer and project manager for lots of our clients' WordPress websites, I also focus on the happiness of our clients and our team.

I've helped launch several cultural initiatives at Exygy designed to improve employee happiness, such as:

  • Volunteer days
  • Company outings such as bowling, disc golf, happy hours and an all-day retreat
  • Exercises to determine our company's core values
  • Individual goal-setting

One of the things I've most enjoyed as Happiness Engineer is meeting individually each month with each member of our team to discuss that person's professional goals and how they relate to the company's goals. It's very rewarding for me to be a part of my colleagues' professional development.

How has Jenn's class, The Building Block of Delivering Happiness at Work helped transform the company culture at Exygy? The Delivering Happiness course was instrumental in launching our company's exploration into core values. The course focused on the importance of determining the core values of your company, and offered us some great exercises to get us started.

Our team spent several months in 2012 determining our individual core values and then discussing those values as a team. It was a great team-building exercise and helped us all to get to know each other on a deeper level. I really enjoyed those team meetings and felt they were very valuable in shaping who we are and what we stand for as a company.

Are there other ways that Skillshare has been useful to you professionally or personally? As a lifelong learner, I feel one of the most important things I can do is to keep learning, whether it's through online courses, in-person courses, reading books or learning directly from my colleagues.

I've taken several classes through Skillshare, both online and in-person, and I've been inspired by each of them. The teachers have all been excellent - very generous with their time and expertise - and I've learned a lot from each course.

Do you have any tips for other people on how to get the most out of Skillshare? The best tip I have is to do the homework. Anyone can take a course, learn a few things, and then move onto the next thing. But the real transformations come when you take what you've learned and turn it into actions.

For me, that meant taking the core values exercises from the Delivering Happiness course and having our entire team do them. It took a little convincing - I had to bug my co-workers for a couple months to get them to buy in - but as I've found with most personal and professional development exercises, it was well worth the effort.