Here at Acorio, our clients are at the heart of all that we do. We work tirelessly to provide our clients with top-quality ServiceNow expertise. In order to deliver this mission, we are constantly adding to our team of technicians, consultants and certified-all stars. Today we’re sharing the September installment of one of our favorite blog series: The Acorio Spotlight, a monthly blog series in which we sit down and chat with different Acorio team members to learn about the work that they do.
This month’s Acorio Spotlight focuses on Aja Del Gaudio, one of our amazing Technical Consultants and one of the many people that make Acorio so special.
Let’s jump right in to meet Aja!
The Elevator Pitch: Aja in 30 Seconds
Aja has 10 years of experience connecting people, process, and technology. Her strong problem solving and collaboration skills enable her to detect challenges and identify effective action plans. She is recognized for professionalism, thoroughness and commitment to quality and teamwork; she is dedicated to delivering a positive and value-add experience for clients in her role as a Technical Consultant at Acorio.
When did you start working for Acorio?
Three and a half years ago, in March of 2016 as an Acorio Academy student in Boston.
How did you find Acorio?
I found Acorio at a place in life where I’d had enough work experience to understand that the people you work with are just as important as the work that you’re doing. When I interviewed at Acorio, the people stood out to me just as much as the company and job description did. I knew these were the people I wanted to be in the trenches with, working together to solve difficult problems. Back when I started, the company was only around 30 people total, but I still feel that same way about our team now at 200+ people.
You were a member of one of Acorio‘s first Academy classes. How has that experience shaped your consulting career?
Yes, Acorio’s second-ever Academy class! I can’t think of a better way to have gotten into consulting. We had Brianne and Andrew in the class ahead, teaching us what they’d learned so far, guiding us and checking in along the way. Mentorship from Juliet, the head of Academy and Acorio’s VP of Strategic Initiatives, was hugely helpful. She regularly took time to get to know us one-on-one, encouraged and pushed us where it was needed, and gave feedback for growth. Where we felt challenged, she would help us develop strategies for growth or explore new perspectives and ways of approaching our client interactions so that we could bring value to them. She really cares and there is a tremendous amount you can learn from her – Academy students are really lucky to have the opportunity.
Overall, we had the freedom and independence to learn however we learn best and explore what we were interested in technically, but also teammates would take you under their wing and guide you to improve your skills and provide the best solution for clients. Acorio’s full of talented, caring people and even after graduating from Academy, I continue to learn from the people around me, including clients! But something special about Academy is that it’s Acorio’s Academy – you have to go into the office in Boston and you absorb the culture that way, you see firsthand how sincere and real the people are and you know that the work you do is appreciated and your effort matters – you’re a part of the A-team.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
Is there such thing as a typical day? Right now I’m balancing a couple of projects, as well as helping with some AVAs, in addition to contributing to our company culture team, the Vibe. I work remotely now, and my day usually goes something like this:
- Wake up
- Do some exercises or take a quick walk outside, meditate, and get dressed
- Eat breakfast, check slacks and emails. Prioritize action items for the day.
- Set aside a few hours to work on projects and AVAs.
- Meetings! Throughout the day I’m on client calls, SCRUM calls, and internal calls with our team
After working for a couple years in the Boston office, you recently moved out west! What has the transition been like going from working at HQ to working remotely from the beautiful city of Seattle?
It has definitely been a transition. On one hand, I really miss seeing everyone in the office, they’re great people and it was always fun to go in and see everyone face to face. I get to see them once a year at Summit, which is awesome, but I do miss seeing them casually on a break or catching a drink after hours.
At the same time, I feel like I can concentrate more working from home; it’s quiet and less distracting. And the pacific northwest is beautiful – I appreciate tremendously that freedom to work remote.
My biggest challenge is ensuring that I’m not working all the time – it’s easy to be plugged in 24/7 and the problems we solve in ServiceNow are interesting. Sometimes you just want to get through something or are too curious and want to keep learning, but you have to pace yourself and know when to turn off the computer and take space from your work. There’s a point where you’re putting in more hours, but the efficiency drops – keeping balanced to avoid that is key.
What are three consulting tips or rules that you live by?
- Be prepared. Do your homework and your research.
- Connect. Do your best to communicate with everyone in a way where they will truly hear and understand what is said. Take the time to understand where the client is coming from and get the facts straight.
- Breathe. It can get really stressful if you’re balancing five different projects and trying to deliver for all of them. Sometimes there are moments where I’m caught off guard on a call, or something unexpected comes up, but during these moments, I do my best to keep the perspective that Juliet’s reminded me a few times – we can only do the best that we can do. So, that’s my last consulting tip: just breathe.
Is it true that you’ve only had female managers at Acorio? Has this shaped your experience working in developing?
Yes, it is absolutely true! First, Carleen Carter and now, Leanne. One of the things that stood out to me about Acorio when interviewing is our CEO, Ellen, being female and how many women were in technical delivery positions.
It feels like there’s a little more space to be myself, to bring my whole self to work. It’s a subtle thing on one level, but I really do feel it and it matters – like a breath of fresh air I didn’t know I was missing until I got it. When there’s more diversity in the people around you, especially at the leadership level and for me in delivery, you feel more comfortable and accepted as you are and that means you can focus more of your energy and attention on doing your best work, reaching more of your potential.
There’s more to it than that, but it’s something I’ve never had the opportunity to experience in this way before Acorio and makes much more of a difference than I expected. I feel very lucky to be surrounded by men and women alike at Acorio who contribute to creating this environment together.
Do you have an Acorio role model? What is your favorite thing about them?
Ellen, our CEO, of course is a role model for everyone in the company. Carleen, being a female architect, and my manager who’s taught me a lot about ITAM. Another one would be Brianne, she was in the academy ahead of me and she carries herself so well in so many situations. It’s hard to name specific people because there are so many, many people!
What professional accomplishment are you most proud of to date?
It’s hard to pick just one thing – I feel like Acorio has challenged me to accomplish a lot! I think I’m most proud during the moments when I‘m able to contribute to helping clients and my fellow Acorians. Seeing how much your work has paid off and how you can help someone with your knowledge as part of a team effort is really gratifying: I love watching all of the different pieces come together in the midst of chaos to create order.
What ServiceNow goal is next on your agenda?
Getting more ITAM experience, learning ITOM. Recently we had a 4 hour learning call with our ITOM Lead, Terrell and some other ITOM experts at Acorio. The call was a wealth of knowledge and we could ask questions or bring up any topic or problem related to ITOM for discussion. Excited for more!
What advice do you have for people looking to break into the ServiceNow consulting ecosystem?
Get yourself a personal dev instance and jump on in to start learning! ServiceNow has a wealth of resources on their development site, so I recommend to start going through modules there. Look for blogs and tutorials online, you’ll learn lots of things along the way so get excited to dive in and get started!
Acorio Spotlight is an ongoing series that highlights A-team members across platform areas who are doing extraordinary ServiceNow work. Stay tuned for our next piece to see which employee we’ll be covering next!