When I joined Qualia in early 2019, it was a bit of a leap of faith—I hadn’t considered a career in tech before, but it seemed like an interesting opportunity. I was finishing up my graduate degree in Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University, where I spent my time analysing history through a more subversive lens, exploring and interacting with radical perspectives and theories, and ultimately envisioning a path to an inclusive, more equitable future.
As I considered my post-grad career path, I recognized an inherent value of wanting to have a meaningful impact on people’s daily lives. In a time when many companies are starting to think more critically about the employee experience, reimagining the workplace felt like a powerful way to enact change.
I started out as an Office Manager, and knew I eventually wanted to move into a role on Qualia’s People Operations team. Having never worked at a startup before, I was excited to learn not only how a high-growth company functioned, but also how the operational side of the company kept the Qualia engine running smoothly.
I helped with tasks ranging from onboarding new employees to handing out equipment and office supplies, managing vendors and catering, and ensuring people had what they needed when they came to work each day. When I eventually had the opportunity to move into a People Operations role, it felt like a natural transition—much of the work I had been doing was already focused on helping people navigate their time at Qualia.
SOPHIE DISCUSSES LIFE AT QUALIA
Over a year into my new role, I continue to learn and grow in my favorite way—by doing. While I have a wide array of projects I’m working on at any given time, I’m happy to say I don’t feel limited by my job description. It’s also been an exciting time to be a part of the People Operations team. We’ve expanded greatly—in addition to growing our senior leadership, we’ve implemented new systems to better automate operations, launched more professional development training, and leveled up our benefits and offerings to ensure we’re providing the best possible employee experience.
Whether it’s building out our internal company wikipedia or collaborating with Finance to streamline inter-departmental processes, my manager and team encourage me to explore my passions and set my own goals. While Qualia has grown significantly over the last couple of years (to over 400 employees!), I’m proud to say that it continues to be a community that’s willing to invest in its people—particularly when it comes to the development of junior employees. It’s been two years since I first joined Qualia, and I look forward to continuing to learn the ins and outs of People Operations while discovering new ways to improve the lives of our employees.
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