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Turkish immigrant, college dropout, self taught coder: A Calendly success story

Aryo Shokohiazar was born and raised in his home country of Turkey. He was wanting to start a new life in a far away land known as the United States of America. At the age of 18, Aryo made the daunting decision to move to the United States all on his own. Aryo was accepted to Northeastern University and began his first semester in 2014. Shortly after starting his college career, he received his Green Card through the lottery system and made the shocking decision to drop out and join the working world. “School is not for everybody and I just felt suffocated. I felt like I could be doing so much more” said Aryo. This is a major decision for any 19 year old but is even more important when living in a country whose workforce culture centers their belief around college being a must have credential to be successful. 

Aryo began his journey into the business world as a content writer but also was learning a variety of other skills to build his knowledge base and ultimately determine what he wanted to do. During that time, he stumbled upon a little start-up known as Calendly. “I fell in love with the product and I thought this was something I wanted to work on. So, I wrote a 17 page guide on how Calendly could grow by doing content marketing and emailed it to Calendly’s CEO and Founder, Tope Awotona.” Aryo’s approach worked and Tope was impressed with his pitch but the timing just wasn’t quite right for Aryo to join Calendly’s ranks.

Aryo continued to stay connected to Calendly and worked to expand his skills into coding. “I had already been coding since I was a young teenager, and I actually tried to write my own Calendly to learn Ruby on Rails! I just fell in love with the framework and continued to love Calendly’s product so it made sense.” That was when Aryo reconnected with Tope and got an opportunity to interview as a Product Manager. After almost two years of numerous conversations and networking with other leaders at Calendly, Aryo finally joined as their new Product Manager. His career journey didn’t stop there. Aryo kept assisting the engineering team in his spare time coding various product features and functionalities. Today, Aryo works as a Full Stack Engineer on the Tools Squad that works to make the jobs of our teammates easier. 

With such an impressive journey from immigrant, to college dropout turned Full Stack Engineer at his dream company, you’d think Aryo would have a chip on his shoulder but in fact, it is quite the opposite. He is incredibly humble and absolutely loves his teammates. “I have loved building relationships with people here. It is my favorite thing about this place and one of the things I miss the most since Covid sped up our remote first evolution. It has been amazing to see this company go from 15 people to over 300 and continue to see the success we are all working towards.” Aryo’s career defies the belief that you have to be college educated to find success. His story shows that hard work, resilience and determination can take you far and that your career can be limitless at Calendly.

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