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Product Manager shares her unique interview and onboarding experience amid the COVID-19 pandemic

It’s been a year since our teams shifted to a remote environment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we caught up with some team members who have joined the firm over the past year. Hear from Elena, Product Manager based in Chicago, on her interview and onboarding experience.

How did you learn about DRW?

I was referred by a friend who works at DRW. I joined DRW because I was looking for a company where people like each other and I was impressed by the longevity of the employees. Most people I talked with had been at the firm at least four years, and some more than ten. I wanted to work at a place where people are smart, motivated and emotionally intelligent. Those standard DRW cultural qualities came through loud and clear during the interviews. Also, the friend who referred me here said there is a "no jerk” policy; I was impressed by that.

Can you describe your interview experience?

The interview experience was great. The recruiter I worked with was super kind and communicated a lot with me during the entire process. I had two initial phone screens, and then an in-person interview which took place right before the lockdown due to the pandemic. It was nice to be able to come in to the office for a brief period of time to meet a few people! My in-person interview also included a case study, this gave me an opportunity to see what my experiences might be like here at DRW.

How do you and your team members stay connected?

We have a bi-weekly meeting with the tech team and the compliance officers that we serve, a daily standup meeting for the team only, and a sprint planning meeting every two weeks. We stay in pretty much constant touch via Slack, and if we need to discuss something, we launch a quick video call. We also have as-needed meetings to discuss specific points on an appointment basis, also via video call.

The internal communications team does a great job with the weekly newsletter, which goes out on email as well as Slack. Pretty much all of the information I ever need is available on DRW’s intranet as well, this has been helpful as well to stay connected with office activities and updates within the firm. I have also interacted with other teams and departments, either in formal meetings, through self-improvement activities like the annual review process or the recent activity to plan a learning path for the year.

Have you been able to participate in any virtual activities since joining the firm?

I have enjoyed virtual events like Friday trivia or the Women’s Resource Group terrarium building workshop. As a team, we are looking to start playing remote jack box, which I also think will be fun. I would also like to join the daily yoga class, but I haven’t managed to fit it into my day (yet)!

I will also add that in some ways, onboarding was a lot easier to do remotely than I have found it at every other place I worked, where I onboarded in person. It can be a little overwhelming to take on a new commute, a new building, a new desk, saying hello to everyone who passes by in an open seating arrangement, on top of trying to focus and learn the job, having a team get-to-know-you lunch, remembering lots of names in addition to job details, etc.

DRW’s remote experience has been seamless and essential to my experience so far. I don’t think that my onboarding experience would have been as effective elsewhere, so I applaud the teams that helped to make it such a smooth transition for me.

With all of that being said, I am looking forward to seeing people in person and having organic conversations hopefully sometime in the near future!