Inside Illumio is a monthly series that highlights the exceptional individuals behind Illumio’s world-class products. Each post will peek behind the scenes to spotlight a member of our team. Come get to know us a little better and learn more about what makes Illumio’s culture so unique.
This month, meet Ofek Avidan Antonir, Senior Member of Illumio’s Technical Staff, who’s based out of our HQ in Sunnyvale, CA. Hear about her experiences bringing colleagues together and how her passions for singing and traveling collided with a musical performance at a Thai night market.
Tell us about yourself. What do you do at Illumio?
As a senior program manager at Illumio, I support different teams, including cross-functional coordination for our endpoint product, Illumio Edge. I help my teams focus on their top priorities by facilitating collaboration, communicating release schedules, and empowering individuals to make decisions. I also work on release planning and business process.
What led you to a career in program management?
I studied electrical engineering in college. My favorite part of school was working with different kinds of people in a team environment. I always gravitated toward leadership roles and helping to facilitate team success by keeping my peers on track with timelines, regular meetings, etc. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in tech. I love technical products and I love being in R&D, but I wanted to find a path that allowed me to interact with people closely on a regular basis. I heard of program management, and the rest is history.
What made you interested in working at Illumio?
The people and the culture. I originally joined Illumio as a program management intern and absolutely loved working with everyone I encountered. I had an opportunity to learn from smart, dedicated, and respectful individuals and that experience made it an easy and exciting decision to come back full time once I completed my degree.
What does a day in the life of Ofek look like? What are you working on that excites you?
In my day-to-day life, I get to work closely with a lot of awesome people. I drive numerous meetings with the teams I support. I believe that a strong, dynamic culture is integral for a team to be productive and successful, so I have instated a fun challenge on Monday mornings, Monday Punday, where we all work together to solve a pun. This gives us a chance to work together on something silly and start our week on a fun note.
Aside from this, I also get excited about facilitating our company tech talks, hosting our annual hackathon, and welcoming our new interns. I especially love participating in our weekly new hire orientations and getting to know all our new colleagues!
How do you stay connected with your team while working remotely?
Of course we have slack, email, meetings, etc., but I’d like to think about this in terms of how we stay bonded, especially throughout this extended period of remote work. To make sure we’re all connected, I coordinate little activities throughout the week, like Monday Punday, Tuesday Trivia, and so forth. This allows our team to relax and reset before diving into retrospective meetings. It only takes three to five minutes, but it gets everyone laughing and can also spark fun stories.
I recently had a colleague tell me that he was looking forward to Monday Punday all weekend long! Having something light to look forward to that starts the week on a high note makes Monday feel less dreadful. I think we all enjoy work more when it feels challenging, yet enjoyable and rewarding, and we certainly have that experience here at Illumio.
What are you passionate about outside of your career
I love singing, dancing, and traveling. I have been singing and dancing since I was young and I love to express myself through music.
When I was traveling in Southeast Asia, one of my friends secretly signed me up for a show at the night market. It really caught me by surprise, but I found myself performing before a large audience on a big stage. I sang the song ‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen, as it’s a pretty universal song, and everyone sang along, which was fun.
Which Illumio core value resonates most with you and why?
Definitely Onwards Together. I work closely with different teams and I think each member has different strengths. When we leverage those strengths and work together, our vision becomes a reality. It’s incredibly rewarding to see those results and to see us, as a team, delivering value to our customers.
What do you want people to know about working at Illumio?
At Illumio, I’ve learned that you can take on responsibilities and get involved in initiatives that you are passionate about beyond your job title. Your ‘job’ is really what you make of it and the possibilities are endless if you show initiative.
Interested in joining the team? Check out our career openings.