SWE Staff Finds Silver Lining While Sheltering In Place Pt. 5

Take a dive into part five of our series featuring teams from the SWE HQ staff.

Our Membership & Data Management team is next up highlighting what they are doing while sheltering and how they are working together while being physically apart.

Membership & Data Management Team on What They Are Doing During Sheltering In Place:


Honna George // Director, Membership & Data Management

SWE Staff Finds Silver Lining While Sheltering In Place Pt. 5 swe staff

While it was hard at first, my partner, Eric, and I divided up the childcare responsibilities at the beginning of our stay-at-home order and this has allowed us to get our work done. For us, maintaining a set schedule is key – we all get up at 6:45 a.m. and get ready for the day just like we did before COVID-19. I try to block all of my calls/video appointments together in the morning, so I can focus for longer periods of time during the afternoon (while my son takes a nap). I stop working every day at 4 to 4:30 to spend a few hours of family time and then will pick it up again at 7 p.m. if I need to finish work. Prioritizing structured time to focus on one priority task (family or work) at a time has been helpful.

SWE utilizes cloud-based solutions for almost everything so it was easy to move to a remote environment. It has been harder to find how to be “connected” in meaningful ways to colleagues when face-to-face interactions are not possible. I have been making an effort to communicate on a daily basis with most everyone on my team – be it through email, chat, text, video calls, or group calls. For membership, we each write down the 3-4 main goals we’re going to accomplish each week, so when we do video group check-ins we are more focused on problem-solving vs. restating what we’re each working on. At the office, it was easy to take advantage of knowing someone is “always there” but with the virtual work environment, I’ve found myself being more proactive to engage the people I directly work with to ensure we’re all on the same page.

Usually, I’m working in the small office I set-up for myself in the basement (where I have my James Webb picture), but when Eric needs that to teach virtually, I work upstairs in the sunroom. I try to keep my NASA mug with me at all times.

Briana Aviles // Senior Manager, Membership & Data Management

SWE Staff Finds Silver Lining While Sheltering In Place Pt. 5 swe staff

My work from home space changes day-to-day. Sometimes it’s helpful to sit at the dining room table but if I want more sun and fresh air, I’ll sit anywhere in my living room. My fiancé is also working remote and we start our morning with coffee & NPR before moving to our separate workspaces. I’m currently working on my everyday items that include many year-end reports, helping all our new collegiate and professional sections get set up and working to get our registration system up and running for WE20. Besides not being able to see all my awesome co-workers in the office, this pandemic luckily hasn’t affected my work too much. There’s so much technology that’s available to keep in touch with everyone. Our team frequently uses Google Hangouts for weekly meetings, check-ins and even virtual happy hour.  I’m grateful to my colleagues who share new recipes and fun activities to try during the quarantine. They also showed me how to regrow scallions in just a glass of water; I haven’t needed to purchase any more for the last two months 🙂

Hoping everyone is staying safe!

Angelica Beresheim // Manager, Membership & Data Management

SWE Staff Finds Silver Lining While Sheltering In Place Pt. 5 swe staff

Since COVID has forced our entire office to work remotely, I can definitely say I miss the separation of work and home life. My new co-workers have quite opposite personalities – my fiance keeps busy in his makeshift office on the lower level and my dog doesn’t seem to understand the concept of personal space. I’ve got my dual monitors set up in my living room right next to my bay window so I can soak up some vitamin D while my dog supervises me from the nearby couch. With the weather warming up in the Chicago suburbs, it’s been great to be able to take a midday break and walk my dog to get some exercise and fresh air. For me, work itself has not changed too much as we are moving ahead with membership renewals, issuing dues rebates to sections, and organizing the WE20 volunteer schedule. My team and I have always utilized Google Hangout chat, though we are relying on it much more these days to stay in touch and collaborate on projects. During our weekly virtual meetings, we share fun ideas on what we’re doing to keep busy and compare the growth of green onions that we’ve all started to regrow in our kitchens.

Mary Katrina Firor // Coordinator, Membership & Data Management 

SWE Staff Finds Silver Lining While Sheltering In Place Pt. 5 swe staff

While I have experience working remotely for extended periods of time, I still miss the smiling faces of my SWE colleagues! However, the biggest silver lining is the increased feeling of solidarity as we experience the social, economic, and psychological impacts of COVID-19. I find that authentic conversations with members and fellow staff occur more frequently as we all adapt to the rapid changes; while being physically distant, we are becoming more socially connected.

Our team meets virtually every week to discuss challenges and highlights, exchanging unique solutions. It is great to hear how the work we do is still impactful to our members, especially during a time of collective uncertainty and stress. I’m really grateful that I can continue to further SWE Mission from the safety of my apartment, with a fresh cup of coffee.

Abby Watson // Collegiate Coordinator, Membership & Data Management

SWE Staff Finds Silver Lining While Sheltering In Place Pt. 5 swe staff

As SWE’s newest staff member (Collegiate Coordinator), I only worked in the office for 8 days. I was looking forward to getting to know everyone and enjoying the building’s roof deck as the weather got warmer. Instead, I am experiencing the spring weather through my apartment windows. My wife and I rearranged our furniture so that our dining room table functions as a desk and we have a nice view of the blooming trees in our courtyard. It has been a challenge to familiarize myself with the organization while working remotely, but I have learned to be patient with myself and trust in my ability to take on this new role under such stressful circumstances.

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