Celebrating Carbon Health’s Incredible IT Team

Carbon Health Editorial Team
September 16, 2021
7 mins

All of us at Carbon Health wanted to celebrate and show support for all the incredible people who keep Carbon Health’s computer systems up and running smoothly. Thank you for all you do!

We sat down with four team members to talk about what drew them to a career in tech, what they love about working for Carbon Health, and more.

Read on to learn more about these talented techies.

Valery Shawkey, IT Project Manager

Carbon Health Editors: What drew you to a career in tech?

Valery Shawkey: It was ingrained in me from a very young age. My dad was an engineer in the very early days of technology, so we always had the latest and greatest in computers and video games. I kind of fell into it about 20 years ago when I was working for an organization as a project manager. The tech manager actually recruited me for a business analyst position because he saw the techie side of me, and the rest is history!

CHE: What do you believe are some qualities it takes to be a successful IT professional?

VS: You definitely have to think outside the box at times and, as a project manager, be as flexible as you can while keeping the customers’ timeline intact. It’s very complex, and you need to be thorough and think through solutions.

 CHE: Do you have any advice for someone exploring a tech career at Carbon Health?

VS: Be open to new ideas and new ways of working because Carbon Health is evolving so quickly. The technical teams are very well versed in all the up-and-coming technologies, and that is exciting.

CHE: What makes your role gratifying?  

VS:  To help work on the technology behind Carbon Health is awesome. We are able to help people find COVID-19 testing and vaccines very easily, which is super rewarding! Also, I really have a chance to make a difference and put processes in place. Everyone is open to new ideas and ways to make things better.

CHE: Why did you decide to join Carbon Health?

VS: Our mission is affordable healthcare for all, and that is something I wanted to be a part of! The Carbon Health core values are also inspiring, especially “Assume karma exists” — having a focus on being a good person is a great way to run an organization. 

Elise Ortiz, IT Support Engineer - Clinic IT Operations

Carbon Health Editors: Tell us about your background in tech.

Elise Ortiz: I started working at an Apple retail store as a specialist, working primarily with inventory. When I started at Apple, I was in college with no technical background and a basic understanding of how to use an iPhone. Working at Apple for eight years, transitioning through different roles in stores and an experience at HQ, really drew me into the technical world and led me to where I am today.

CHE: What are some qualities you believe it takes to be a successful IT professional?

EO: A couple of qualities that have benefitted me are having patience and being able to problem-solve an issue without getting frustrated or wrapped up in how someone has presented their issue to you. 

CHE: What has been one of your proudest moments while working here during the era of COVID-19? 

EO: My mom has been a nurse for 31 years, and when the pandemic started, you could tell it drained her in every way. A week before things got crazy, her company started doing everything virtually. My mom is not tech-savvy in any way, so being able to help her and other people who are working so hard and in very difficult situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, is extremely gratifying. It makes me feel like I am contributing to something larger. 

CHE: What makes Carbon Health a special place to work?

EO: The people I work with. This is my first remote role, and I was worried that it would be difficult to ask questions and collaborate with the team, but that has not been the case. I knew I would be working with really talented people; what has surprised me is how helpful everyone is. IT is a really collaborative team, and everyone is open to jumping in on a project or helping someone out.

Vasudha Rathni, HRIS Manager

Carbon Health Editors: When did you realize you wanted to work in tech?

Vasudha Rathni: The STEM  (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) program appealed to me when I was in school, so when I finished, it felt natural to continue in the same area. I like the concept that science is based on logic and basic principles. Once I understood the basic principles, it was easy to build on those, and IT seemed like a natural career fit. I have worked in many different industries — government, school systems, nonprofit, and healthcare — for about 15 years, and I love it. I get to work and use many tools and technologies.

CHE: Why did you decide to join Carbon Health?

VR: I was looking for challenging opportunities in my career and stumbled upon a job listing posted by Carbon Health. I had never heard of Carbon Health, but as I came to know more about the company, I grew more excited about the mission, the values, and the culture. When I saw the leadership team and their cool, casual pictures instead of formal portraits, I knew it would be a fun company to work for. The interview process confirmed that, and it was an easy decision to join Carbon Health. It just felt like I belonged at Carbon Health. It’s wonderful to work for a company with a mission that’s dear to me.

CHE: Share why your role is gratifying, especially during the COVID-19 era.

VR: COVID-19 brought its own challenges to the work environment. The initial fear and trepidation of health risks were a starting point to seek opportunities to work remotely. But I was a little concerned about what that would mean for my role in the workplace, my responsibilities, and the interaction with coworkers. It’s gratifying to see that the company has embraced the distributed work concept. I consider myself fortunate to be working in a role and at a company that allow working from home if possible. I love the flexibility, the opportunity to stay safe and healthy, and being an important and contributing member of the team.

CHE: What has surprised you about the work culture of Carbon Health?

VR: The acceptance of a distributed work environment and remote working company-wide were a pleasant surprise. The concept that employees can be productive and contribute to the company’s goal and vision even when they are working remotely was a very positive step in my mind. My colleagues are very dedicated and passionate people. They have a very positive attitude and always roll up their sleeves to get the job done.

CHE: Do you have any advice for someone exploring a tech career at Carbon Health?

VR: Carbon Health is an amazing company with a lot of good people who are passionate about their work and proud of what they do. Everyone is working toward a common mission and goal. If you enjoy collaboration and are flexible and customer-centric, have a great can-do attitude, and get things done, you will fit right in at Carbon Health.

Brandyn Vandal, IT Product Engineer

Carbon Health Editors: What are some qualities you believe it takes to be a successful IT professional?

Brandyn Vandal: Technical skills are important, but my years of customer service experience have probably helped me more than anything. That boils down to working with people, communicating, and being open-minded and willing to learn.

CHE: Tell us  about your background and what drew you to tech.

BV: I have always been into technology, whether it be computers, video games, phones — you name it. Working with electronic equipment has always been fascinating to me. A few years ago, I decided to turn that passion into a career, and I started going to school, majoring in information systems. I took an internship at a local technology company and learned a lot about the skills required to be successful. Those skills and my network landed me a job at Carbon Health!

CHE: Do you have any advice for someone exploring a tech career at Carbon Health?

BV: Go for it! In this fast-paced environment, you will learn a lot very quickly. Carbon Health allows you to pursue whatever area of technology interests you. Working here will provide the opportunity to work anywhere, though I think you will want to stay 🙂 . 

CHE: What makes Carbon Health such a special place to work?

BV: The mission and culture that are put forth by our leadership and that are displayed in the work we do really make this a great place to work. Also, having the flexibility to work remotely has been a life changer for me. Being from the San Francisco Bay Area, I used to have to commute hours each day to get to and from my job and school, which created a lot of unnecessary stress for me. That has been greatly reduced now that I can work remotely, and I have more time to spend with friends and family, as well as focus on my health.

CHE: Share why your role is gratifying.

BV: I love being able to work for a company that is passionate about not just ending the pandemic, but also providing healthcare to people who may not have access to it. The mission and culture that our leadership sets align with what I look for in a company. It’s also satisfying to work with the different organizational units of the company to accomplish cool projects that have never been done before. The innovation and passion are the things that are most satisfying to me.

Interested in joining us on our mission to make high-quality healthcare accessible to everyone? We’re currently hiring engineers! Check out our job openings here

Carbon Health Editorial Team

The Carbon Health Editorial Team is a group of writers, content creators, and thought leaders who are here to empower you to take charge of your health.