Nov. 14 2019
Liz Meyerdirk is the Global Head of Business Development for Uber Eats, one of the world’s largest food-delivery companies. In her coveted role, Liz has brokered major deals with food giants like McDonald’s and Starbucks, as well as hundreds of thousands of more restaurant partners in over 30 countries, across six continents. Before heading the food delivery business we all know and love, Liz worked in investment banking–now, she’s a Fortune 40 Under 40 executive at one of the largest platforms on the planet. How did this boss get to this impressive place in her career? She tells us how she landed her dream job below.
What was your first job out of college? How did you get it?
My first job out of college was in investment banking, where I was an analyst in the healthcare group. I was actually a summer analyst at the same firm but switched from tech to healthcare, thinking I’d get more deal experience. That turned out to be a great move: I was able to participate in a bunch of roadshows for IPOs and follow-on offerings, convertible debt deals, and even M&A. It was also very fortuitous in that the switch landed me in a group that was led by a female Managing Director. Seeing a powerful woman command a room in a very genuine and friendly way has been a huge grounding experience for me.
What was your college major? Did you feel like your major was necessary for the field you wanted to work in?
I studied biology and economics thinking I’d either become a doctor or a teacher. After my summer in investment banking, I kind of fell in love with the type of work: right at the intersection of strategy and corporate finance. I know how nerdy that sounds, but hey, that is just me.
What internships did you do prior to your first job?
I was a summer analyst in investment banking and before that, I coached high school lacrosse. Being a girl’s lacrosse coach is still one of my favorite jobs to date.
How did you land your current job?
Two of my very good friends in life – one, a former colleague and another, an old college friend of my husband’s – worked at Uber. Knowing my love of startups and building things, they recommended that I take a look at Uber. From there, it was a matter of developing a thesis and conviction on what Uber as a platform could do. The only other thing I’d say on the steps I took is that I was unafraid to propose a crazy idea with a unique angle. I pitched my boss an on-demand flower service based on the concept of expiring inventory. The idea itself may not have been amazing but I’d like to think my creative angle was what impressed.
What was the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best piece of life advice I’ve ever received is from my mom. Chinese doesn’t translate as well but it’s the same meaning as what RBG once said: “My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant to be your own person, be independent.”
Is there any part of your role that our readers would be surprised to know?
You would be surprised by how much my kids help me with my job! They love joining video conference calls when I’m at home and my colleagues are exceptionally kind and generally pretty happy to see my kids! This is a big deal for me because I adore being a momma to three young kids and at the same time, I really love what I do. I am not sure that the perfect balance is possible but I do think to be able to integrate work and life is important. I rarely miss family dinner or bedtime (when I’m not traveling), which means I usually finish my workday after my kids go to bed. I like to joke that all of my kids have that subtle tan only the soft glow of an iPhone can make.