Translation: Wearer of many hats. I’m a liaison between all departments.
Fun Fact: I watch every Oscar-nominated movie every year. That typically means watching 25+ movies every January.
Hometown: Jersey City, NJ
Current city: Jersey City, NJ
You’ve had a dynamic career that’s included working for a prestigious university, managing a premium ice cream shop, and supporting recruiters at a technical consulting firm. How did Elemental Machines enter your radar, and why did you choose to write the next chapter of your career here?
While working at the recruiting firm, I became friends with one of the recruiters. When Elemental Machines enlisted the services of the recruiter, I ended up filling one of the roles myself. The role was a true growth opportunity. There was a basic job description, but it was also a blank slate that could turn into anything I wanted. I lept at the opportunity.
Describe a typical day in the life of Fani.
Because my role is so multi-faceted, I typically start by checking in with my team. Are our orders up to date? Are we low on any components or products? Do any customers need to be invoiced? If any sales reps need something to go out the door, I’ll coordinate that. Any special projects in need of a champion, I’m typically tasked with. I previously handled all consultant invoicing, departmental purchases, and purchases for parties and trade shows. Luckily, we’ve now hired an accountant who handles some of the bill-paying.
How would you describe your colleagues at Elemental Machines?
Because so many of us joined Elemental Machines in the beginning, we all have a commitment to the team that goes beyond a mere nine to five commitment. We’re all determined to progress. This team is made up of fantastic people. If there’s a way one of us can make someone else’s role easier, we’ll chip in in a heartbeat.
What has surprised you about working for EM?
This is my first experience working at a startup. The flexibility associated with being this small surprised me. You can get in touch with any department and any role. It’s a fabulous opportunity for growth.
How have you grown personally or professionally as a result of your current role?
When I started, I was just an admin. Now, I have experience with bookkeeping, setting up contracts with customers, and even being part of a fundraising series. I’ve gotten to know the due diligence process in more depth, learned inventory management, and have gained management experience by having a team under me.
What skills would you say contribute most to your success?
Number one is flexibility, followed by time management. My day spans a wide variety of touchpoints and objectives. Managing an influx of notifications and deadlines means you have to triage what’s important and what can wait. Some things that sound important don’t require a fire drill, while other seemingly routine requests can affect the entire team and customer base in significant ways.
How has Elemental Machines supported your work/life balance?
Before I became a mom, I worked for Elemental Machines in Boston for roughly two years. When I wanted to start a family, I made the case for doing my job remotely. That was before the entire world had grown comfortable with the idea of remote work, but they agreed and let me stay. As the mom of a two-year-old girl, flexibility has been key. When I managed an ice cream store, it was a 24/7 responsibility. Here, it’s not quite to that degree. We don’t have a rigid start time. I can help my daughter at 4pm, then get back to work after she goes to bed if need be.
What’s it like to watch a company grow from its infancy into a rapidly expanding organization with solid prospects for continued growth?
It’s been really exciting to watch Elemental Machines grow from where it was in 2017 to where it is today. I look forward to seeing what 2022 has in store, and am encouraged by every metric I’m seeing. And the added benefit that everything we do is furthering science as a whole? That’s a pretty sweet gig.