Workplace Wisdom: Rakesh Patel

Maeva Considine

Editor’s Note:

We have grown exponentially in the last few months. Keeping Terakeet operations running smoothly, particularly in a remote environment, would have been next to impossible without the diligent work of Rakesh Patel. Rakesh was kind enough to have a virtual chat with us about his work philosophy and, most importantly, what constitutes the perfect breakfast sandwich. Read below to get all the details. 

Q1: What is your role and how long have you worked at Terakeet?

My role at Terakeet is Sr. Operations Analyst and I have been here for over 5 years.

Q2: What advice would you give someone who is new to Syracuse or to Terakeet?

In many other companies, knowledge is what differentiates one employee from another. Often hanging on to their job knowledge gives them a sense of power and importance because they have specific information that no one else has. At Terakeet we have a culture of trust and sharing. My advice is to share what you are an expert at just as much as you learn from others. You become much more valuable to Terakeet if you can make groups of people more efficient, successful, and better.

Q3: List a quote that has helped you get through a tough time.

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” — Desmond Tutu. I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot this year. We aren’t through this tough time and sitting on the sideline isn’t sufficient to eliminate social injustice.   

Q4: How do you unwind after a long workday?

Long workday or not, I unwind by cooking and having dinner with my wife and two kids. It’s fun to try new recipes and catch up with the family. Together, we also go on a long walk with the dog after the kitchen is clean and play something like 4-square or H-O-R-S-E when we get home. This process is so ingrained into us and I think the consistency and stability of it all is what brings me peace especially when so many other worldly variables are unknown. 

Q5: If you could invite any famous businessperson or workplace guru to dinner, who would it be and why?

Elon Musk because I want to use my own intuition to determine if this is our savior or a real-life Bond villain. 

Q6: If you could only use 5 workplace tools or platforms, what would they be and why?

  • Mobile Hotspot – My remote work hinges on reliable internet access and knowing I can be ultra productive anywhere I go gives me security. It has also come in handy on one cable modem outage this year.
  • Team chat apps – This is the best way to try and simulate normal human conversations.  We use Slack at Terakeet, and I don’t think our company would have had as seamless a transition to full remote work without it.
  • Video conferencing apps – The ability for me to see my colleague’s expressions and gestures while also hearing their voice makes having meetings more effective and fun. During this quarantine I have used Zoom and Slack a lot.
  • Cloud Storage – I grew up with floppy disks. I also remember having to backup important presentations and reports to two different USB drives, my home computer, and to my email to make sure the files were not corrupt or lost when I really needed them. Today, the fact I can store everything I find valuable in my Google Drive feels like a cheat code.   
  • Online Office Suites – We use G-Suite primarily at Terakeet but, for certain applications I have also used Microsoft Office Online. I love the ability to collaborate with my colleagues within these tools. Since the apps aren’t installed onto my hard drive I know I am always working in the latest and greatest versions of these tools as well. 

Q7:  What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from a coworker?

An old supervisor once told me that if a task interrupts your day but it will only take two minutes to do, just go ahead and do it immediately. Any loss of productivity on your end is generally made up exponentially on the end of the person or team that is requesting help from you. I never want to be the speed bump in someone else’s achievements. I’ve been following this advice for so long that I have developed a skill to be able to start and stop tasks without losing my place which allows me to help more colleagues throughout the day. Another piece of advice that is just as important is putting mayonnaise on a breakfast sandwich. Meghan Collins (Digital Content Manager) and JC Eallonardo (SEO Manager) provided me with this sage advice.

This is a continuation of our “Workplace Wisdom” series. Read the previous posts here:

Workplace Wisdom: Caroline Withers

Workplace Wisdom: Frank Fallon

Workplace Wisdom: Ron Cierniakoski

Workplace Wisdom: Tristan Amond

Workplace Wisdom: Darian Carrow

Workplace Wisdom: Melissa Stefanec

Workplace Wisdom: Bridget Doherty