T-Mobile Taught Me I Was Doing The Right Thing

Leah Shin
4 min readMar 15, 2020


This was originally posted in September 2017 on LinkedIn

Throughout the course of my 20 years I felt like I was not doing the right thing. Growing up we were told to treat others the way we want to be treated. However, that concept never stuck with me. I was the type of person who had an insatiable curiosity on the feelings and experiences of others, not just mine.

The madness started with middle school birthdays. For me, birthdays were an excuse to make others feel loved, appreciated, and special. So, it became me texting a PSA seeking birthday dates (yes, before the time of Facebook), making birthday cards for those in my class, running around having others sign it, and then by the end of the day decorating their locker with streamers and taping up that very card.

Then I entered the world of student leadership where I learned to reach out to the students in ways that would challenge my comfort zone. For me, student leadership became taking the time to make others feel heard, accepted, and represented. So, it became me spontaneously walking up to others where I learned to listen story after story. Then acting as their spokeswoman to fight for their wants, needs, and ideas.

And most recently, I began to tackle real world problems, struggles and pain points that lead local and global impact.

The English Language Learner community did not have access to educational resources — led us to create a community organization where we collected over $55,000 books by holding a book drive in Washington State.

The high amount of SMB’s run by immigrants permanently closing — led us to create a phone app concept to help support those businesses with a $5,000 grant.

The amount of Asian-American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) who felt silenced — led us to create a nationwide movement to address our AAPI history and tackle lack of representation in mainstream U.S. media with over eight universities participating.

However, was it wrong that I wanted to treat others the way THEY wanted to be treated? Not just on how I wanted to be treated…

The concept of obsessing over the feelings of others, their overall user feedback, and then the entirety of their experience was something I struggled to embrace confidently. I was starting to lose my spark and question everything.

Then right in the middle of my “mid-life crisis”, I was blessed with the opportunity to immerse myself in the un-carrier movement as a Coverage Solutions Product Manager intern. The summer kicked off with me being surrounded by fellow co-workers, mentors, and interns who were obsessed with the customer experience. All major decisions and solutions were based off what our customers wanted or needed.

“Listen to your employees, listen to your customers, shut the f — — up, and do what they tell you […] Ask your customers what they want and you give it to them, you shouldn’t be shocked if they love it.” — John Legere

View Final Internship Presentation Here

I never felt more at home. It started with journey maps, where I went undercover in retail stores and calling customer service to identify pain points for products. Then assisting with Friendly User Trials (FUT) for the second versions of those products, collecting and tracking user interaction.

I was also able to sift through usability studies and collect user research, which led to writing user stories to help improve T-Mobile’s Coverage Comparison Map. There I was able to communicate and help project manage with several stakeholders: product management, design, digital, marketing, legal, finance, EIT, engineering, web, retail, and care on the necessary changes needed from a user perspective.

Lastly, I was able to organize a focus group to collect feedback from an “millennial” perspective on best ways to communicate the marketing message, what features to include or exclude, and what overall questions arose from their interaction.

During these past three months I witnessed T-Mobile absolutely crush their Q2 results, place first in every category in OpenSignal, and launch Un-Carrier Next. The power of listening to the customer voice is undeniable in our results and overall growth of everything T-Mobile is today.

T-Mobile has truly fed my fascination with all things customer experience and has taught me that I was and am doing the right thing to make lasting change.

I am looking forward this school year to continue working at T-Mobile part time as a Product Manager intern and joining the TechX Program. Here’s to making the lives of humans easier because we won’t stop.



Leah Shin

I’m a Brooklyn, NY based product builder @ LinkedIn @boredcolabs that has a love for writing, reflection, and storytelling | leahshin.com 👩🏻‍💻 — (she/her)