Quarantine Tales & Tips Series 1 : An interview with Roman Orosco
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected everyone in one way or another, including Unravel employees. To get some insight on how the pandemic has affected the Unravel team, both in their work and social lives, at the end of August I spoke to three different Unravel employees about their experiences while on lock down. First we have Roman Orosco, VP of Worldwide Sales, who is located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas and just joined the Unravel team this June. (You can read why he joined Unravel in our blog post here.) He gave some great tips on how others can stay afloat during these unusual times.
Sara: What is the biggest impact that Covid has had on your daily life and work life? And what do you miss the most?
Roman: I recently joined Unravel, but before I came here, pre-Covid, I was traveling all the time. I’d be gone 2 or 3 days almost every other week. Now that I’m home all the time, my family and I have the ability to all have dinner together. I have 3 daughters, one 15 year old and 12 year old twins, who are competitive dancers. They’re hyper-scheduled, like a lot of youth these days, and always in the studio, so during the week, if I wasn’t traveling, we’d generally have one dinner all together, usually on a Wednesday.
However, when I was traveling I’d ask my company to 1) try not to ask me or anyone else in the company to travel on a Sunday to preserve family time and 2) let me be home for dinner on Friday nights. So probably the biggest impact on my daily life is being able to have dinner with my family every night.
On the professional side, I would say the biggest impact is, again, not being able to travel. Before, I’d be in New York one week, Chicago the next trip, and the West coast the next week. Not being able to travel and meet with customers, prospects, partners, my team members and colleagues has been very different.
I joined Unravel virtually! I never got to meet or talk to anybody in person. Not being able to take personal trips is also something I miss. I think I might shed a tear next time I get on a plane.
What I miss most is being able to physically engage with my coworkers, prospects, and partners. Before coming to Unravel, I worked in an office in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and I miss being in an office with other humans. Not that I dislike working from home, because I did that from 2001-2016, but after getting used to going into an office, I miss that human interaction.
Sara: What have you been doing to stay occupied, motivated, or just sane during quarantine? How have you been balancing working and being home?
Roman: It’s actually been much easier for me to stay consistent with exercise now. When you’re traveling, you have to show up to the airport early, land and go straight to the meeting, and probably go to dinner. By the time all of that is done, it’s 10 o’clock at night. The next day it’s meeting after meeting, allowing very little time for exercise and making it harder to watch what you eat.
Now I can control everything I consume and have more flexibility around exercise. Early in the day or whenever I have a long break, I’ll go on a 10-15 mile bike ride or a long walk. That’s probably the biggest thing that keeps me sane.
Workwise, being able to see my coworkers’, and even friends’ and family’s, faces through video calls has kept me afloat. As much as people complain about having Zoom calls, it has been huge for me.
Sara: I totally agree. I never thought that I would be using Zoom for personal reasons, but a couple of my friends and I have celebrated our birthdays over Zoom calls. Do you have any tips for how others can stay motivated right now?
Roman: I would say that people should gravitate towards what gives them energy. It might be reading, playing an instrument, exercising, doing something you’ve always loved but never have time for, or picking up a new hobby.
If you don’t know today what you really like, this is an opportunity to figure that out and do it. You can even focus on certain topics that you’re naturally curious about or have always been interested in. I was a podcast junkie before this and I’m even more of one now. I consume so many podcasts, which has been very helpful to keep me sane.
Sara: Thank you, those are great ideas. Lastly, have you learned anything at all during the pandemic thus far?
Roman: Yea, I’ve learned a handful of things. First, in both personal and professional lenses, I believe people think they need more than they actually do. I mean this in multiple ways:
I miss time with family members and all I would like to do is hang out with my large, Mexican family. I grew up around them and we all live nearby. I have 31 first cousins. During this time I’ve seen 2 of them. Family and that sense of belonging is all I need. As long as everybody is healthy, all is well.
While we love to travel and go out to dinner, family is the most important thing. After family, however, we would love to travel. My wife, 3 girls, and I just want to get on a plane and go anywhere, somewhere new or somewhere old that we love. Life is not so much about stuff, it’s about experiences.
Also, on the professional side, I think this is a wake up call for all businesses and companies to know that people will buy their goods and services when they have real value. But if it’s a “nice-to-have”, beware.
I believe in the premise that data is the new oil and I believe that insights from that data is not as impactful as it could be. We say it often: “85% of all big data projects fail. Why?” That’s the question that everyone should be asking.
It turns out that a lot of software companies really shriveled up from the renewal and new business prospective, but people are still renewing and buying Unravel’s software. The question is why?
Well, the answer is that for other companies, they have troubles getting insights from their data. They need their data pipelines optimized. (Check out our other blog post on DataOps Readiness.)
I think it has also exposed good and bad leadership and the type of companies you would want to work for versus ones that you would not want to work for. It’s exposed both great and poor leaders because at this time there is no way to hide. You have to go do the hard work. Those are the main lessons I’ve learned.
Sara: Thank you so much! You gave a lot of good insight.
Roman: You’re welcome and thank you!