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Welcome to the team, Ryan McBride! We sat down with our newest Senior Program Manager to talk about his new role, how he applies improvement methods to his own life, and how an eighth-grade spelling bee earned him a trip to Washington D.C.


What is your name, title, and what departments do you work in?

Ryan McBride. I’ll be working as Senior Program Manager for Shift supporting project management on various projects. I’m really excited about working on the CARE project. This project is focused on improving College Advising Reach and Effectiveness (CARE). We’ll be working with partners to leverage AI chat bots to increase capacity for college advising.

What’s different about the way Shift works?

Shift partners with organizations to deeply understand their needs and the systems in which they work. We then leverage the power of continuous improvement to improve their systems and processes. Shift really leans into collaboration to support our partners. With my time at Shift, collaboration has looked like working to support an Equity Design team with the CARE project. We have been intentional about making sure student and stakeholder voices have been part of the design process for the program from the very beginning.

Do you apply improvement methods to your life? If so, how?

Yes, I’ve ran a few personal improvement projects where I set aims, implemented change ideas and tracked my data. One of those personal improvement projects was focused on improving my sleep habits. I aimed to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, so I tracked my sleep hours on a spreadsheet and then discussed my progress with an improvement team (my former coworkers). I also ran a personal improvement project around my fitness goals. I set a goal to be able to bench press 300 lbs, deadlift 400 lbs and squat 350 lbs. I’m still on that long journey but making progress.

Which Shift principle resonates the most with you?

The Shift Principle of “Learn + Adapt” resonates with me most. There’s always more to learn and there are always more opportunities to grow. I’m an eternal optimist and believe that better is possible. Having lived in many different cities and worked in many different contexts has helped me to get really good at learning and adapting to new environments, cultures, networks and styles. Learning and adapting are very important to stay sharp and relevant.

How do your past experiences positively impact your work at Shift?

I have 12+ years of experience providing leadership within organizations spanning the philanthropic, K-12, higher education, nonprofit, and government sectors. I’ve had a broad range of professional experiences that have allowed me to learn a great deal about cross-sector collaboration and how organizations can form strategic partnerships to accomplish big goals.

What is your hidden talent?

As an 8th grader I won the Saginaw County Spelling Bee which earned me an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to complete in the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. Spelling hasn’t earned me any trips since then, but it remains a strength.

What type of music is on your current playlist?

I’m currently listening to a lot of Afrobeats, R & B, Hip Hop and Jazz. One of my favorite new artists is Tems, a Nigerian singer.

What’s your favorite sport/sports team?

My favorite sport is football, and my favorite team is the University of Michigan Wolverines. Go Blue!

What was the last book you read?

The last book I read was Jamie Foxx’s autobiography/memoir aptly titled “Act Like You Got Some Sense: And Other Things My Daughters Taught Me”. It’s a hilarious and insightful look at his journey as a multifaceted creative, award-winning actor, father, and Black man in America.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

I would love to learn how to fly a plane. One of my goals is to get my pilot’s license.





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