Is opportunity really everything?
As it turns out, opportunity — sometimes more than talent or hard work — makes all the difference.
Take Anthony Perez, who works at healthtech company Ginger as an inside sales account executive. He said he’s experienced ample personal and professional growth in building relationships with new partners and organizations. And he attributes the majority of his success to the opportunities he’s had to try new things.
“Much of my development came through stepping out of my comfort zone and exposing myself to new experiences,” Perez said.
Below, he and fellow Bay Area professionals speak to the career openings they’ve been given –– particularly when it comes to chasing innovation in product and technology in their respective industries.
Those strides are not small feats. They include digitizing traditional behavioral healthcare, helping detect cancer signs, perfecting satellite software and creating a “virtual tour” mapping system for newcomers to certain cities.
What they do: Ginger provides users with on-demand mental health support through text and video chat.
Company culture in one word: Caring. Ginger provides more than 800,000 people around the world on-demand access to mental healthcare. According to employees, leadership also strives to make it a great place to work.
“Caring means displaying kindness and compassion for others,” Inside Sales Executive Anthony Perez said. “Team members have led a morning meditation to start the day, put together Zoom playdates for parents and children, and held a collaborative book club to keep each other motivated.”
Professional development opportunities: In the last three years, Perez has been able to grow and develop with new clients who are looking for better ways to support their employee populations. Throughout his time at Ginger, he’s held different roles, seen the company triple in size, expanded their product and services, and witnessed multiple rounds of funding.
“Over the years I’ve learned to understand the industry and the challenges that come with it,” he said. “Much of my development came through stepping out of my comfort zone and exposing myself to new experiences.”
What they do: Healthtech company GRAIL uses high-intensity sequencing, population-scale clinical studies and data science to help users detect cancer signs early. The organization is focused on creating vast datasets to develop evidence that supports their products.
Company culture in one work: Exciting. “At GRAIL, contributors from many different backgrounds work together toward a common goal,” Jan Schellenberger, a senior staff software engineer at the company, said. “We are looking at data that has never been generated before, answering questions no one has answered before, at a scale and complexity that is rarely found in the medical field.”
The coolest project Schellenberger has worked on recently: The development of their newest generation of classifiers. To build out this system, he’s worked closely with biologists, bioinformaticians, data scientists, clinicians and computer scientists.
“This artificial intelligence system lies at the heart of how GRAIL can determine if a blood sample contains cancer signals or not,” Schellenberger said. “Training such a system requires processing of hundreds of gigabytes of data on many computers to find the proverbial needles in the haystack.”
What they do: Moveworks uses machine learning to solve enterprise employees’ IT problems quickly and more efficiently over time.
Company culture in one word: Transparent. “Between our product roadmap and the updates on overall company performance as well as the state of our finances, leadership keeps us informed at all times,” Product Design Lead Ivy Wang said. “The culture of Moveworks is one where everyone is an equal part of the whole.”
The coolest project Wang has worked on recently: An AI bot they call Channel Resolver, which automatically resolves employees’ tech issues that they post on their IT support Slack channel. “Creating Channel Resolver involved many UX challenges, like shifting from a one-on-one conversation model to a multi-party environment on a channel, where the stakes for messing up an AI interaction are even higher,” Wang said.
What they do: Relocity is a relocation concierge service that connects relocating employees with a local, on-demand personal concierge via a mobile app.
Company culture in one word: Teamwork. “We are building a platform from the ground up,” CTO Rocky Demoff said. “Our tech team is routinely making real-time improvements to deliver the best service to our clients, and creating more efficiency and accuracy for our hosts.”
The most impactful project Demoff is currently working on: Altering operations in response to COVID-19. Clients were still moving, but the team could no longer pick them up in cars. So Demoff and his colleagues created a “virtual tour” mapping system that allows Relocity employees to customize a local map with photos, videos and descriptions before reaching out to clients.
“Prior to COVID-19, most of our area tours were done in-person,” Demoff said. “The host would pick up the client and drive them around the city, looking at homes and points of interest.”
“It’s totally changed our business model,” Demoff added. “Clients are trusting us to help them and Relocity is delivering, be it in an unorthodox manner.”
What they do: Employees at Planet design, build, and operate the largest earth observation fleet of satellites, providing the online software, tools and analytics needed to deliver data to users.
Company culture in one word: Inclusive. “Planet has one of the most dynamic groups of employees I have ever had the privilege of working with,” Senior Communications Manager Claire Bentley Dale said. “Our founders come from backgrounds at NASA and have hired a team of creatives, rocket scientists, software engineers, environmentalists and researchers.”
The coolest project Dale has worked on recently: An exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. “We loaned one of our SuperDove satellites to the museum for its latest exhibition, ‘Countryside, The Future,’” she said. “The exhibition addresses urgent environmental, political and socioeconomic issues through the lens of Rem Koolhaas, architect and urbanist, and Samir Bantal, director at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA).”