31st July, 2020 was my last day at Meraki. My first job, first team. My first product(s) launched, first crashes in production. And most importantly, my first lives impacted.
The word bittersweet keeps coming to my mind while thinking of the current transitional period I'm in. Bitter because it is extremely hard to leave something you've spent 3 years of your life working on and sweet because of all the life experiences that lie ahead.
I started working at Meraki as a tech+design volunteer when I was still in college and eventually joined full-time as a Software Developer once I had graduated from college. While I'd always wanted to work at a startup, I didn't think I'd ever end up at one in the social sector. Heck, back then, I didn't even know that “tech for good” within the social sector was a thing.
Fast forward to now, after having spent the last three years of my life working in the social impact space, I feel so fortunate having had all the exposure.
Meraki has been an education in empathy, kindness and most importantly in using one's privilege to give back. The experience has well and truly changed how I will think about “building a career” going forward!
While being on a break this past one, I had (some) time to reflect on life and I've come to break down my experience at Meraki into 2 aspects: the work and the people.
Work at Meraki for me included a wide variety of things. I worked on a variety of zero to one products (as they say in product-speak), engaged in fast-paced problem solving, and often took deep dives into the unknown.
While my primary role was developing technology, in true startup fashion, I had ample opportunity to wear various hats and learn things across multiple domains within Meraki.
I learned how theories of change are formulated and then used to design programs, how impact assessments are performed and also how team and organization building happens (this one's my favorite!).
All of this together created a fantastic space for me to hone my skills in and also made sure that no two days were ever the same!
Over the 3 years, I had the pleasure of working and getting to know some of the best people I know in my life. I feel incredibly fortunate to have worked with all of them.
Each person was unique in their own way and brought their own set of skills and experience to the team. The diversity of people on the team was big factor in me getting to see how different people work. As someone on their first job, this was an immensely valuable experience.
In my opinion, the social sector has the tendency to attract the best humans you can ever work with and I got to experience that first hand! It goes without saying that this journey wouldn't have been the same without my teammates.
Thank you all so much!
I consider myself extremely lucky to have had Meraki as my first workplace. It's rare to find places which connect with you so deeply on a values level. I'm excited to see how Meraki grows and evolves in the coming years. There is some fantastic stuff being worked on by the current team as we speak. You should definitely go show some love to them on Meraki's socialz!
As for me and where I'm headed, stay tuned to find out! 😉