Venn at Work: Omar Khalik, Integration Consultant
If you are Omar, your day is full of Red Bull, client meetings, and integration wizardry. Keep reading to find out how Omar spends his time as an Integration Consultant at Venn.
Do you have any morning rituals that help get your day started?
The formula to a productive day for me starts with a Red Bull and Spotify’s Daily Drive playlist.
What is your typical day like at Venn?
Like most people on the Integration Team, my day starts in Slack. I go through all notifications I’ve missed from when I signed off last. Then I do the same with email, paying careful attention to anything that needs to be immediately addressed.
After that, I take a few minutes to prioritize what I’m working on that day. I like to block off time on my calendar to get to specific tasks/projects done depending on the stage they’re at. Since I’m juggling multiple projects at once, it's rare that they’re ever in the same stage in the development process. In general, I transition between building, testing, and demoing until the client signs off on the integration.
“I really like the self-paced nature of Venn. I’m not being asked every day or every hour what I’ve done. Venn trusts us to keep our own priority lists and to deliver a quality work product. The autonomy and variability of the work is one of things I like most.”
When issues occur, I pivot to more of a support role for the client until we’re able to get a resolution. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, we’re laser-focused on making it right.
Did you have experience building system integrations prior to joining Venn?
Prior to Venn, I had some experience using IFTTT to enable home automations, so I understood the general concept. Within two months of onboarding at Venn, I obtained my first Salesforce certification. Once Workato rolled out their certification program I jumped on that too. I was certified within the first week of them launching it actually.
I’ve been with Venn for more than two years now, and although I see training as an important part of the onboarding process, there are some instances where experience trumps all else.
What is the primary responsibility of being an Integration Consultant?
For me, it’s two-fold:
1. Client satisfaction above all else: This means delivering on time, even if it's just one deliverable within a bigger project (i.e. sending a document to the client by close of business). That builds trust with the client when we keep our commitments, especially when they’re time-bound. Another aspect of customer satisfaction is understanding the client’s business problem and guiding them through a solution that they’re happy with.
2. Answering questions for clients that they don’t know to ask: Just because they don’t say something about a particular project, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t.
“As a consultant, your role is to be a specialist in your field, and that’s why people come to us. They don’t know what they don’t know.”
How do you break up the day?
If I’m getting tunnel vision from staring at a screen, I’ll get up and chat with someone in the office that doesn’t look like they’re too busy. We also have a bunch of different types of games around the office - from Pacman to darts to Mario Kart to a foosball table - there’s something for everyone.
What do you usually do for lunch?
There are a lot of dining options around us in Grapevine. One of my favorites is Weinbergers Deli. Plus, there’s never any traffic to contend with either so it’s easy to get around.
What is your favorite part about the job?
I primarily work with three main systems - Stripe, Sage Intacct, and Salesforce - but since every project and client is different, I am always learning.
My other favorite part is our client-base.
“We have some really amazing clients. Since we’re working with a lot of small- to medium-size businesses, we’re able to build more personal connections with them.”
We also work with a lot of nonprofit organizations which is cool because the impact of our work is actually making a difference. For example, one integration I built is helping house 100 more people per month than what the client was able to before the project with us. Another project I worked on helped a nonprofit client of ours get hundreds of hours back that they used to spend manually entering donations. The integration I built gave the finance team their time back to focus on other, higher value-added projects.
What’s your favorite thing about working at Venn?
I really feel like the mentality and people we have here is special. There’s always an opportunity to go work elsewhere, but I don’t feel like I’d have the same level of job satisfaction. It really shows that the leadership team cares about their employees. Even when they have nine hours of meetings, they still find time to check-in with us individually.
How do you describe what you do to your family?
I create bridges between different systems that streamline company’s processes to make them more efficient. Which, at the end of the day, means that they have more time to do other things.
“All of us are prone to mistakes, so the fewer files and buttons a user has to deal with, the more error-free the system will be”
As long as the integration is built correctly and tested, it's not going to make errors.
What do you do for fun outside of work?
I’ve become an avid runner and enjoy competing in local 5K and 10K races. My goal is to work up to a half marathon and eventually a full marathon one day! I also enjoy going hiking, camping, concerts, and cooking - especially smoking BBQ. I still have family and friends in my hometown of El Paso, TX, and I make it a point to visit as often as I can.
Omar enjoys spending time with family, smoking meats, and participating in fun runs.
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