SWE Staff Finds a Silver Lining While Sheltering In Place Pt. 2

Take a dive into part two of our series featuring teams from the SWE HQ staff.
SWE Staff Finds Silver Linings While Sheltering In Place Pt. 1

Our Administrative Services & Finance team is next up highlighting what they are doing while sheltering and how they are working together while being physically apart.


Administrative Services & Finance On What They Are Doing During Sheltering In Place:

 

Trish Kolar // Senior Manager, Administrative ServicesTrish Sheltering in Place

During the shelter-in-place order, the team continues to stay connected through group video meetings or FaceTime. We also chat socially using Hangouts, sending riddles, general updates, pet photos, and lots of food photos. The support that we give each other to accomplish our work goals has always been strong. Exploring new ways to connect has brought us closer on a personal level. We are not alone in our work or emotionally during this pandemic although I really look forward to seeing the team in person.

I generally keep the same schedule daily of waking up, working, eating meals and getting plenty of sleep. My husband and I have enjoyed making dinner together nightly. When the weather is nice, we take walks with our dog, Maggie. During work hours, I spend the most time at my kitchen table. The window faces the street and I see neighbors walking, squirrels playing, and enjoy the plants and flowers that are growing daily.

I am grateful for the view while technology allows me to continue my work for SWE. One of my main focuses has been Individual Awards. Applications have closed and now is the difficult phase of judging the many worthy submissions. This past week, instead of the normal phone call, Natalie and I had a video call with the coordinator about the Poster and Rapid Fire Competition that is in process. It is interesting to me that a video call has become a norm when it used to be an email or a phone call. People all over are finding new ways to connect.


Rosalie Kapanga // Project Manager, Administrative Services 

Rosalie Sheltering in Place

With both my husband and I working from home, my work station, and his, typically alternate between the dining room table and the kitchen island, which is where I’ve been this week. Both locations have their benefits – the kitchen allows for easy snacking, and the dining room lets me spy on my 5-month-old and her time with my sister, Courtney, affectionately called Nanny Connie 😊.

Spending so much time indoors luckily hasn’t been too difficult for me, as I started work again around the time the shelter-in-place order was given after coming off of maternity leave. Getting back to work completely remote, and with a child and spouse at home, had its challenges at the beginning but we’ve all figured out a routine that works for us, and allows me to still be very productive. SWE’s cloud-based system makes remote work easy and something that much of the office was already familiar with, so transitioning to full-time remote wasn’t too difficult. It’s great to still be able to chat with my team and feel connected to them through text, Hangouts, and FaceTime. We meet once a week in more of a social way to catch up on each other’s lives and have one-on-ones later in the week with our Manager, Trish. Although life has been significantly different with everything going on, I really am thankful for getting to see my daughter grow all day every day, the quality time I get to spend with my family (everyone I’m not living with got Facebook Portals!), and the professional and personal relationships that are continuing to develop with my coworkers.


Esraa Aburass // Coordinator, Administrative Services

Esraa Sheltering in Place

Collections + working from home = insanity. That’s what I assumed my life would be like after the stay at home order. I can proudly say that it is actually doable! Although I miss my big screen back at the office. Having a big family, it’s kind of hard for me to work anywhere else but my bedroom. My work from home station is my bed. I wake up every morning with a list of things to do, and a phone that does not stop ringing and a cat that loves to lay down on my keyboard. At the end of the day I know that the work is getting done, that’s really all that matters.

I try to stay connected with everyone at the office, whether it’s using google hangouts or google meets, it’s really nice to see that everyone is doing good during this difficult time. I believe that we have become more connected than ever during this difficult time.

I appreciate the positivity that everyone has, all the hard work that’s being put in to make sure that SWE’s mission is getting accomplished on a daily basis. I miss the office environment and seeing my colleagues every day.

One thing that I learned during this difficult time is to not take what we have for granted. Many people have died from COVID-19. It saddens me to see family members mourn over their loved ones. One thing is for sure, life is too short, we should all work together to get through this.

I hope everyone is staying safe, well, and healthy.


Gadeer Jaber // Coordinator, Administrative Services

Gadeer Sheltering in Place

For a person that loves to eat, I chose my work at home station to be my kitchen table. Whether it is invoicing, or reporting my main goal is to complete my work before the due date. Every night I prepare a list of “goals” that need to be completed for the following day. Doing that helps me stay organized and stay on top of things. Since my husband works every day, I pretty much have the house to myself. I like to view the positive side of situations. Being home alone gives me the ability to really focus on work and assist my teammates when needed. Quarantining had a slight negative impact on me. The reason being is that I am an outgoing person that really likes to speak. At first, working from home and not being able to see anyone was difficult. Luckily for me, I have an amazing team that I meet up with weekly via google meet. Although it is a virtual meet, it helps to see everyone’s smiley faces.

I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to work with SWE back in February. I do not feel like I came across any challenges during this time. The most rewarding time for me is getting to work with such wonderful people that I feel like will do whatever it takes to help further SWE’s mission. With this pandemic, I learned a lot about HQ staff members. Whether working remotely or in person, everyone gets together to make sure that the work is getting done properly. It is amazing to see how much everyone has an incredible work ethic.

From a personal perspective, the main thing I am thankful for during this quarantine is that I contact my parents and siblings daily to check up on them and make sure that they are doing okay. Before the quarantine, this is something that I never really had the “time” to do

I hope everyone is staying well and safe 😊


Natalie Jones // Coordinator, Administrative Services

Natalie Sheltering in Place

During my time working from home, my work station has alternated between my couch and a variety of other chairs in my living room, with my coffee table doing double duty as a desk. I had never before spent so much time in my apartment! I’ve come to notice the noise level of the children doing gymnastics in the apartment above and the roar of the city buses, as well as the day to day activities of my current favorite colleague, Gigi (pictured below).

While my role at SWE has remained primarily the same, I have found more time to expand my knowledge base and provide more support to my team. I’ve also enjoyed my conversations with members and scholarship applicants over the phone and via email, many of whom have several COVID-related questions. These interactions with members and my team – via Google Hangouts chat, video calls, texting, and phone – have absolutely been my lifeline during this time, as I come to realize that I’m much more of an extrovert than I had believed! By connecting more consistently with my friends and family all over the globe, from California to Maine to Sweden, this time has absolutely made me value the importance of human interaction and increased my appreciation for my amazing coworkers.


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