Meet the Team: Maria Cesarini, Data Specialist
We’re back with a fan favorite: VIA’s Meet the Team blog series! Through a Q&A-style interview, you will hear from our very own VIAneers about everything from a typical day at VIA to their favorite books, emojis, and activities outside the office. Now, let’s meet ‘em!
What does a typical day at VIA look like for you?
Typically my day begins with coffee and the creation of my to-do list (which more often than not includes “make to-do list” as the top item), followed by a daily check-in with my team at 9:30 where we discuss what we hope to accomplish for the day and plan any potential pair programming sessions.
I am on the JARVIS solution team, where I help ingest and visualize data pertaining to infrastructure. I usually spend my day either updating wrangling scripts, creating data visualizations in Tableau, or presenting our work to customers. Over the last few weeks, I have spent a lot of time designing a new database schema and mapping out wrangling scripts for one of our newest customers. It’s a lot of fun collaborating with my team to solve the wide variety of challenges that we encounter daily!
How has VIA’s adoption of flexible work locations impacted your work-life harmony?
I absolutely love having the option to work remotely! My apartment is only a 15 minute walk from the office and it is such a treat to have the option to start the day from home and head in a little later after my morning meetings. I walk along this really pretty path that leads directly into Davis Square, so the commute itself is quite pleasant. I’m originally from the Seattle area, so having the option to work from my parents house and not have to take time off when I travel out there is something I really appreciate.
What’s something you have worked on at VIA that you are most proud of?
I have been very proud to have ownership over the creation of various visualizations and data ingestion processes, especially this early on in my time at VIA! The responsibility can sometimes feel a little daunting, but I have an incredibly supportive team that I know I can turn to whenever I need help. I have also been proud to give several successful end-to-end demonstrations of our work to customers. As someone who never considered herself a strong public speaker, it is exciting and a little exhilarating to receive positive feedback on a skill I had always assumed I inherently lacked!
What’s your favorite VIA memory?
I have two favorite VIA memories: the first is actually from my first day working here! I was going through a career change and was extremely nervous about making a good impression and living up to expectations. That day, a group of my coworkers took me out to lunch and made me feel so incredibly welcome that it put a lot of my anxieties to rest. My second favorite memory is from the company offsite – our first night there, the People and Operations and Marketing teams put together a game night at our office in Montreal! I’m not usually a big game person, but it was so much fun to see everyone let loose and have a good time!
What’s something everyone may not, but should know about working at VIA?
All the talk about mission and values is not just lip service! The mission and values are embodied not only in the work that our company chooses to pursue, but in the very culture that has been cultivated here at VIA. Never have I experienced such an uplifting, supportive environment where I am consistently encouraged to learn and grow. It makes me want to do a good job not only for myself, but for the people around me who have so much faith in what I am capable of.
In your role, you work and collaborate closely with Colin (CEO), Kate (COO), and VIA product owners. What’s that like?
Colin and Kate are the heart and soul of VIA, and they are a huge part of what makes VIA so special! It is a privilege to be able to work and collaborate with them. Not only do they do a phenomenal job managing the company, but they always make sure to be uplifting with their employees by giving shout-outs and acknowledging a job well done. It is inspiring to be a part of their vision and creation, and I am excited to continue to learn from them.
What potential do you see in VIA’s Web3 projects?
Web3 is still very mysterious to me! Jesus (SVP, Product Architecture) gave a wonderful, informational talk about it during our company offsite and it sounds like an interesting new direction for the field. It is exciting that VIA is steering into this change and is an active participant in shaping what Web3 will look like in practice.
Just for fun this time, what are your top favorite podcasts / books?
I am obsessed with the podcast Binchtopia – I think it has shaped at least 20% of my personality at this point. If you are interested in witty and interesting sociological and psychological perspectives on pop culture, you should give it a try! I recommend the episodes “Ben Franklin off the Percs”, “In My Old Hag Era”, and “Honey, I Monetized the Kids”. My two favorite books of all time are Pride and Prejudice (which I read so much my copy fell apart) and For Whom The Bell Tolls.
Interested in joining a team like Maria describes? Check out our Careers page or contact us to learn more!