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Life at Affirmed

More Than a Job

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Employee Spotlight: Poornima Ravishankar

Affirmed Networks is a close-knit company where everyone feels welcome. Take Affirmed’s own Poornima Ravishankar for example. She started at Affirmed eight years ago as an intern and went on to get her Master’s in Information Systems, eventually coming back to Affirmed for a full-time position.

Poornima’s job description centers around writing code for products, but one of the benefits of Affirmed is that employees aren’t defined only by a job description. For Poornima, she can take a much more holistic approach to coding and see the product in its developmental stages all the way through until its deployment.

The Community

Poornima Ravishankar

Working at Affirmed has given Poornima a kind of second family. It makes coming in to work a joy when you work with people are always warm and willing to help someone in need, no matter the situation. For Poornima, she enjoys coming in and seeing her second family every day. Another benefit of working at Affirmed is that the company hosts plenty of socials for everyone to meet and chat outside of a work setting. There is a monthly social, a big summer company outing, and a Christmas party, to name a few.

What Affirmed Does for You

When Poornima first started at Affirmed, her goal was to work on new technology and have a hand in rolling out the new solutions. In addition, one of the most important things for her is to not do the same tedious tasks every day. To this point, Affirmed has really helped her reach her goal and do the work she has always wanted to do. Although much of the technology is different from when she first started, she has learned all about each wave of technology that has been deployed. One of her favorite things about working with the technology is seeing how Affirmed is always one of the first companies to work on the newest material coming out. One of the biggest reasons Poornima continues to work here is that you really get to break the barriers of your job description and take on a new challenge every day.

Team Sticky Rice

As mentioned in our Sticky Rice Blog, some members of the Affirmed Team partook in the Boston Hunger Walk as a part of team Sticky Rice put together by Thuy Fernandes. It is a 20-mile walk and each team raises funds to donate to Project Bread, which gives money to local food pantries, soup kitchens, and child nutrition initiatives. Poornima was a part of team Sticky Rice this past May walking to end hunger in Massachusetts. She said that after walking 20 miles she was dead tired, but thought it was amazing to see the enthusiasm of all the people for such a great cause. It has even inspired her to do more fundraising and volunteering because of the impact it left on her. This event was extra special because it was something out of the norm that she was able to do with her second family and have a lot of fun with.

An Intern’s First Week

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Charlie Sebastyn writes about his first week at Affirmed

An internship before my 20th birthday at Affirmed Networks, a tech start-up who was just declared one of the biggest winners at Mobile World Conference 2019. How did I end up here? Honestly, it’s kind of a blur. It began when I started to browse for companies that I may be interested in for internship in the summer following my sophomore year when my dad mentioned Affirmed Networks. In the past, my father had worked with Scott Heinlein, Affirmed’s senior marketing director, and Ashwin Moranganti, Affirmed’s vice president of product management and marketing. His connections certainly helped, but as I read up on the company was taken aback by some of the technology they were working on and I became determined to end up here. Fortunately, after sending my application with a few emails, I have landed at Affirmed as summer 2019 intern.

First Impressions

As most people would be, I was nervous being that it was my first day working in an office and I had no idea what to do or what to expect. Thankfully, my coworkers were very warm and accepting. I was shown to my desk space first and although it’s nothing special it will my own for the summer. As the rest of the week continued, my nerves settled down each day as I became comfortable with my routine.

My tasks

Up to this point, I have worked closely with Scott Heinlein and Anudha Sawarkar, getting my daily tasks and projects from them and they have kept me quite busy. The focus of my first two days was getting settled and learning to use the different software implemented by Affirmed. To adjust to the software, I worked on the biweekly sales newsletter sent out to inform the sales team of progress and updates on our products. In addition, I also have been working on a customer newsletter outlining Affirmed’s 5G educational blog series. Another newsletter I have worked on is the market intelligence report where I was tasked with familiarizing myself with the information and organizing it into a simple newsletter.

Following the newsletters, I designed a QR code flyer for the Affirmed booth at 5G World London taking place June 11-13. The QR code prompts visitors to download the Affirmed UnityCloud eBook. Trending towards growing our brand, I have also been tasked to increase traffic on our LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook pages. Affirmed has given me the software needed to track our progress with a wide array of data and statistics to make it much more intuitive.

End Goal

There are a lot of things I hope to learn from my time here. I am still in college, so this internship is a great way for me to apply what I have learned so far and create a foundation of experience and knowledge to take back to school with me. Personally, I want to feel comfortable with a multitude of tasks ranging from social media work to technical writing and some design concepts. As far as skills to take away from this experience, I’d like to learn how to better manage my time, market a product to potential or current customers, expand my software portfolio and understand how enterprises go about their everyday business.

Overview of the First Week

Coming into this internship, I expected to be the office mule and do grunt work all day for the next 3 months. Fortunately, that is not the case and I have been assigned projects to apply what I have learned in school. In addition, my coworkers treat me as an equal rather than a subordinate which makes life in the office much more joyous. The people here have been nothing short of wonderful during my first week here making me feel as comfortable as possible in a new environment. I am extremely proud to call myself an employee of Affirmed.

Team Sticky Rice

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Affirmed Networks is helping to end the hunger crisis in Massachusetts. Some people may not realize that in Massachusetts, 1 in 10 people are experiencing hunger, along with 7 in 10 certain communities. How is Affirmed helping this cause? Members of the Affirmed team participated in the Boston Walk for Hunger the past two years. The Boston Walk for Hunger is put on every year in May with a goal to raise money for the hungry people of Massachusetts. The walk begins on Beacon Street, takes walkers past Boston College, Eliot Church, Charles River Road, Harvard University, and ends after a walk over the Mass Ave Bridge back to the Boston Public Gardens.

This past May, team “Sticky Rice”, led by Affirmed’s, Thuy Fernandes, helped raise $1,200 to end the hunger crisis in Massachusetts. Thuy chose Sticky Rice as the group’s name because they are sticking together as friends and they added rice to the end because of the walk for hunger. They were able to raise money through the Project Bread website, where they could send out a link to friends and family. Project Bread is the group that puts together the Walk for Hunger and accepts donations directly through the site. Another Affirmed employee, Maureen O’ Boyle, helped Sticky Rice get the word out by sending a companywide email asking all employees to donate. Thankfully, many of them were kind enough to open their hearts and wallets to give back to the community. Also taking part in the walk was Affirmed employee, Poornima Ravishankar. This was Poornima’s first year taking part in the walk, but it has left a powerful impression on her. According to Poornima, she was motivated to join by Thuy and once she was there, she could not believe the amount of support for the cause. To this day the experience motivates her to do more fundraising and volunteer work.

Thuy said many other people from Affirmed participated in the hunger walk, just not as a member of Sticky Rice. If you are interested in joining the Sticky Rice team, Thuy is always looking to add someone who can “rice” to the occasion for a good cause.