Ariel: Meteorologist to Software Engineer with a purpose
As a second-grader, my first career aspiration was storm chaser/inventor/meteorologist. I wanted to build tough machines that could teach us about the craziest weather systems, and I wanted to be the one deploying them. Ever since I've known that engineering is my passion. I am driven by my desire to build and build with a purpose. The temporary satisfaction of finishing a project well, combined with the continual hunt for what's next and the desire to keep learning, fuels me.
At Qualtrics. I get to do engineering with a purpose. Qualtrics elevates the voices of employees and customers and turns that knowledge into useful feedback for the world's top companies. I'm at the start of my career, and Qualtrics is a great place to learn through doing. We set big goals and define ambitious projects, and then tackle them step by step.
What was the turning point where you knew you 'had to have the job' at Qualtrics?
When I interviewed at the Provo campus, I noticed how extremely collaborative each person seemed to be. People walked to each others' desks and talked eagerly. Common areas were lively, and everyone I talked to seemed genuinely happy.
I also was impressed by the logo wall. I knew that working at Qualtrics would be a way to drive impact across different industries, through many of the world's most important companies.
What does your day look like?
I will start my day catching up on email and Slack messages, and checking my calendar. Then, I will take a look at which stories (tasks) I've planned to tackle that day.
Most of my time is dedicated to development work! Our meetings are collaborative and efficient, and I get to spend most of my time doing engineering - coding and testing changes.
I usually devote an hour to reviewing code. This is helpful for staying up-to-date on the work that's being done in the projects my team is responsible for.
Sometimes, we have a time block for team games at the end of the day. We've played Among Us and skribbl.io <http://skribbl.io> recently.
I end my day by thinking through what I've successfully done that day, and what I want to work on tomorrow.
What is your favorite part of your role?
The palpable sense of accomplishment. At the end of each two-week sprint, my team gets together and demoes our work to each other. I love seeing and appreciating what our team gets accomplished, and seeing incremental work towards our end goals is rewarding. Plus, it's always impressive to see how much improvement is possible in a two-week period.
What has surprised you most about working at Qualtrics?
Qualtrics absolutely has wonderful people, but I want to get more specific than just saying "people," so I'll give a specific example. I was surprised by how open to feedback my manager is! "Open to feedback" is one of those things that every company and team claims to have, but few do well. My manager is continually asking me for my feedback during our one-on-one meetings. After the last employee pulse, my manager asked for specific feedback on several areas that they wanted to improve in, and even though I had only been at Qualtrics for a few months, they listened attentively, wrote down notes, and took me seriously. I hope to emulate this receptive leadership.
What is your top #LifeHack?
Does no-knead bread count? The New York Times recipe is a great place to start, and it's so easy to add herbs/seeds/your favorite flavors!
|Ariel is an alumnus of Princeton and started her career at Qualtrics. In her free time, Ariel enjoys playing fiddle music.|
September 13, 2021