In this edition of Life @ Netskope, we sat down to chat with Irish Finuliar, the Office Manager of Netskope’s Santa Clara office. Irish has been with Netskope for four and a half years and while you’ve likely seen Irish at the front desk, she wears many more hats than you may realize! In a way, she is one of Netskope’s secret weapons, as not only a key ambassador of our company culture, but also as the person who keeps everything at HQ and the San Francisco office running smoothly. Check out our conversation below:
How would you describe your role to friends and family?
Working at a startup you’re never just an office manager per se. You need to wear so many hats. My main goal is to ensure that the daily operations at the Santa Clara office are running smoothly. I coordinate the office catering, snacks, and coffee, and handle anything related to the facilities. This includes anything that’s not working in the office, like the lighting, plumbing, standing desk, or coffee machines. I help with seating arrangements, desk organization, and set up a welcome desk when we have a new hire. And because we don’t have an office manager for the San Francisco office, I help with the facilities there too. I also handle anything to do with the culture at HQ. I try to schedule fun holidays once a month, like National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day or Employee Appreciation Day. That way, we have a day where we can all gather to just talk and have fun. Similarly, I’m part of the Activities Committee, which helps to plan a bigger quarterly activity like the holiday party and summer picnic.
What’s it been like watching Netskope grow from its beginnings at the Los Altos office?
When I first started, I came into this jam-packed Los Altos office. It was just a small two-story office in downtown Los Altos with a huge chandelier. I heard it used to be a bank. I saw the growth when we started expanding from those little offices to the neighboring ones. We got suite seven, suite one, then suites two, three, and four. And it was like, “Oh, my goodness, there are too many small offices right beside ours.” It was pretty hard to manage as an office and facilities manager. But that’s a good, good problem to have because that means we are growing and almost every day we have new hires. That’s something that excites me about working at Netskope to meet new people, to see that the company is growing.
One of the biggest projects I’ve worked on was when we moved from our Los Altos office to the new Santa Clara HQ in 2018. We had matured as a company of around 200 people and it was time to move on from those small offices to a huge new office space. Helping to coordinate that move, which took close to a year of planning made me feel proud like I was part of that growth too.
What’s your favorite thing about Netskope?
I would say my favorite thing about Netskope is the culture and the way everyone works well together as a team. Our leadership team is very down to earth and approachable with their “open-door policy.” Every time Sanjay has an all-hands meeting, he always talks about the culture. I think culture matters because a happy team is a productive team. Starting from when I first interviewed with Netskope, everyone who I talked to made me feel so welcomed. That’s something we extend to interview candidates now too. At our HQ, we have two dedicated rooms for interviews and in there we have a bunch of our swag, like pens, stickers, and notebooks, for them to take. Then after the interview process, we hand you this handwritten note saying, thank you for coming, so there’s a personal touch right from the beginning.
How have you seen Netskope’s culture affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
In terms of culture, it’s pretty tricky now that everybody’s working from home and you don’t see them in person every day. What I try to do is to have at least one virtual event month that we can share as a company. Like, I recently organized a virtual wellness session, just a half-hour meditation session. I feel like everybody needs it just because during this time, we need something to hold onto and something to help us relax. I’ve also helped organize virtual bingo and have had overwhelmingly positive responses to both events. My goal right now is to make sure we keep the culture going. Even if we aren’t in the office, we should still have that level of communication and connection with each other.