Part two: Celebrating the Humans of Avvo

Let’s keep the anniversary celebration going! Here is part two of our two-part series spotlighting the unique team members that work here at Avvo.

This week, we caught up with Senior Email Marketing Manager Emily Hieger, Director of BI and Engineering Tanuj Mehta, and Chief Product Officer Sachin Bhatia to talk all things industry trends, legacy, lessons, and more.

Whats the best lesson youve learned in your career so far?

  • Emily Hieger:Be flexible and be deliberate. People change, career paths change, jobs change. It’s important to be flexible and open to seeing what comes of a new opportunity, but to also stay true to yourself and your own goals.”
  • Sachin Bhatia: “When I was a little younger in my career, I thought I had to have all of the answers. I’ve actually learned that it’s more about asking the right questions and letting your team do its thing.”

How do you approach maintaining work-life balance?

  • Emily Hieger: “Life comes first – my son, my family – they are always my top priority. For me, knowing what the most important pieces of my life really are makes it easier to maintain that balance. Work is great – and sometimes it takes over – but I never let myself stray too far from prioritizing what matters the most to me.”
  • Tanuj Mehta: “I write notes before leaving the office about things I need to focus on the next day. It makes my work easy and I know exactly where to start in the morning.”
  • Sachin Bhatia: “[My wife and I] are pretty consistent about burning up our vacation time. We have never let a vacation day go to waste. I think that balances it out: the routine of just being able to make the time to not be online and not be connected to work is everything.”

What type of legacy do you hope to leave at a place that you work?

  • Emily Hieger: “I want to help push Avvo’s mission forward. I truly believe that there is a real, positive impact to be made here. I want to help be a part of that. It’s not my legacy though, it’s definitely a very large group effort.”
  • Tanuj Mehta: “Technology comes and goes, but the one thing that will remain is that bond and relationship you share with your team members.”
  • Sachin Bhatia: “When I started my career, I thought it was about the products, and now I’m starting to feel that the bigger legacy is the people that come through.”

Whats a trend that most excites you about your field?

  • Emily Hieger: “Getting more personal. Being smarter about what we send to people. The inbox is a noisy, crowded, aggressive place. When you’re smart, creative, and data-driven you can cut through that noise with your relevancy.”
  • Tanuj Mehta: “I’m very passionate about artificial intelligence. I’m currently studying and shadowing a couple of researchers to better educate myself and to be able to put my knowledge into practice in the near future.”
  • Sachin Bhatia: “When computers first came out, my mom never used one. But now she’s got no problem with her iPhone or iPad. She emails the grandkids, can do FaceTime, and she feels like she owns technology. That’s happened in 20 years, where more and more people feel like technology is not just some magic. I think that’s so exciting. It’s just how it hits people.”

What life or career advice would you give to your 18-year old self?

  • Emily Hieger: “Explore everything – professionally and personally. Try on as many hats as you want and don’t stop until you find a few good fits. It’s so hard to conceptualize what working adulthood really looks and feels like when you’re 18. Cultivate many ideas of where you want to go and test them out. Try to not let others’ expectations dictate too much of your path.”
  • Tanuj Mehta: “Don’t be afraid of failure or of trying new things. It’s then that you will realize your true potential.”

What do you value most in a manager?

  • Emily Hieger: “The best managers are the ones who take the time to see what you’re capable of and then let you run with it. Be there to answer questions and check-in, but know that your people are smart and capable and let them do what they do best.”
  • Sachin Bhatia: “Our job as managers is not to tell people how to do their jobs, but to tell them what’s keeping them from doing their best work. Nudge, don’t take over. Maybe there are situations where you do have to take over, but I just haven’t seen that in my career.”

Tell us something your co-workers probably dont know about you.

  • Emily Hieger: “I have a life goal to be a scuba diver and a pilot and I’m half way there. I’m PADI certified, but the pilot’s license is temporarily on hold. I’ll make it happen one day.”
  • Tanuj Mehta: “I have a personal record of sleeping for 15 hours straight!”
  • Sachin Bhatia: “I am addicted to Red Vines. If I see them on my floor, I have to move them to another floor. They are disgusting, but once I eat one I have to eat them all.”

To read part one of this two-part series, visit here.