At Persona, we're incredibly proud of our amazing team. We think they're smart, funny, and kind, and we're sure you'll think the same. That's why we started this blog series to help you get to know the people behind Persona.
Today, meet Ali, one of our solutions engineers who says his spirit animal is an octopus because he usually has his hands (sadly only two) tied up in a lot of different projects. Learn more about his favorite part of being a solutions engineer, why he came to Persona, and more in this Q&A:
What does your typical day look like at Persona?
I’d say there is no typical day, at least for my role, but that’s one of the main reasons I like my job: no two days are the same.
On a high level, I make sure our customers have the tools they need to succeed with the Persona platform. I particularly enjoy designing onboarding for verification flows and ensuring they meet the company’s and user’s needs. That's probably my favorite part: chatting with customers about what the user is going through and creating a personalized onboarding flow for that specific user. Every customer and user are different, and as an immigrant myself, I always take into account those who may not have a passport but are living in the US, those who don't have an SSN, etc.
Why did you choose Persona?
I specifically wanted to work at a company that cares about its people. The two things that set Persona apart from other companies I was talking to were:
- The About Us page: When I looked at Persona’s About Us page, there was a headshot of every employee at the time, and I thought that was very cool. If a company is willing to put the faces of employees on their public-facing page, they must treat those folks well and be proud of them. Even now, although we’ve grown too big to continue doing this, the page feels even more personal.
- The candidate experience: Another reason why I chose Persona is I truly enjoyed the candidate experience: everyone here was incredibly supportive and wanted me to succeed, whereas sometimes other companies try to trick you in interviews. The people at Persona were always encouraging me to be my best, and I appreciated that.
Tell us one thing that people may not know about you.
I am super into music and enjoy listening to it. My top three favorite artists are Kendrick Lamar, Parcels, and Daft Punk.
What has been your favorite memory at Persona so far?
It is definitely hard to choose one favorite memory. However, I would say that some of my favorite moments are the SE (solutions engineering) team dinners we have every month.
Given that we're a hybrid team, I enjoy these opportunities to chat in person. It's one thing to work with team members over Zoom, but with in-person conversation, you're able to develop a stronger relationship, which in turn helps with online work. My favorite dinner so far has been at Barcha, a Mediterranean place on Market Street in SF. It was the first time every member of our team could get together in one place, and the food was also great!
Who is someone you look up to or admire at Persona and why?
I really look up to Laura, my manager; she is a great leader because she is an expert at aligning each individual’s interests to the work they do each day. For example, I enjoy doing technical work, so Laura intentionally gives me more technical accounts where I can write code or create more complex onboarding flows.
Laura is also very supportive and goes out of her way to make sure each team member has everything they need to succeed — especially newer Personerds who are still getting to know the system and learn about this space.
What do you think people should know about Persona?
One thing people should know about Persona is that it's a place where your projects don't have to be directly related to your role or team — there's a lot of potential for individuals to try different areas based on their interests.
Prior to joining Persona, I knew I was interested in solutions engineering, but I was unsure whether I wanted to dive into more technical or non-technical projects. Here, I had the chance to take on projects and be involved with teams that offered both. Because of this, I was able to make my decision, and I can honestly say that Persona is a great environment for anyone who wants to grow more in their career and interests.
What is your favorite Personerds Slack channel and why?
We have a #climbnerds channel, which started around the time I got into climbing. It's been fun seeing new nerds join and pick it up as a hobby. Sometimes there are good discussions around how to improve, and we also use the channel to organize climbing excursions.
If you were asked to create a playlist that describes you, which songs would you pick first?
1. One More Time by Daft Punk
2. Overnight by Parcels
3. Alright by Kendrick Lamar
What's your favorite restaurant, and what dish would you recommend to someone who has never been?
I really like Little Skillet, which is a Southern Soul Food restaurant near where I live. As someone who went to school in Texas, Southern food has a special place in my heart.
Stay tuned as we continue featuring more Personerds in this ongoing series!