Tracy Giest, now the manager of R&D operations at Fitbit, started her career in an unconventional way as a “corn cop.” She has since navigated through diverse roles, including teaching with Teach for America and consulting at a railroad company. Her journey led her to Fitbit, where she now leads a team dedicated to enhancing Fitbit’s technology. We discussed her varied career path, management insights, and how she prioritizes self-care in a company like Fitbit.

Reflecting on Your Career Beginnings

Giest’s first job as a “Corn Cop” in a Pennsylvania corn maze introduced her to female leadership at a young age. This experience highlighted the importance of effective communication and audience engagement, skills that would prove valuable in her future roles.

Lessons from Past Experiences

Her time as a teacher and biomechanical consultant honed Giest’s ability to tailor her message to different audiences, a skillset she leverages at Fitbit to collaborate effectively across teams.

Source: @fitbit

A Day in the Life of Tracy Giest

Her day at Fitbit involves managing human research and data collection, collaborating with stakeholders, and conducting innovative research at the Human Research lab to enhance wearable technology.

Source: @fitbit

Leadership Advice

For new team leaders, Giest emphasizes the importance of setting clear expectations, encouraging team ownership, and fostering transparent feedback channels.

Joining Fitbit

Transitioning from academia to Fitbit allowed Giest to witness the direct impact of her work on millions of users, motivating her to innovate and improve user experiences.

Source: @fitbit

Prioritizing Self-Care

Giest emphasizes Fitbit’s health-oriented culture, where activities like walking meetings and runs during lunch are encouraged. She tracks her health metrics, such as resting heart rate, to ensure she prioritizes self-care amid her busy schedule.

Advice to Young Professionals

Giest advises prioritizing retirement savings early in one’s career as a key financial strategy.

Source: @fitbit

Best Advice Received

Reflecting on her anxiety before meetings, Giest learned to trust her ability to handle unexpected situations, realizing her resilience in overcoming challenges and growing from them.

Future Endeavors

Giest looks forward to exploring clinical applications of wearable technology and engaging in early-stage product development at Fitbit.

Tracy Geist is The Everygirl…

Go-to coffee order: Large almond milk latte

Dream vacation:Giest envisions exploring Japan with a native speaker to immerse herself in the culture, inspired by her enriching experience in Mexico City.

Ideal weekend: When she accomplishes her to-do list, whether it involves outdoor activities or household tasks, Giest finds contentment in a productive weekend.

Favorite book to recommend:Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler offers valuable tools for navigating challenging discussions in both personal and professional contexts.


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