Intuit Again is an initiative that provides an opportunity for technologists to return to work after taking a break in their career for caregiving purposes. This platform not only gives candidates a chance to work at one of the “Best Companies to Work For” (#1 in India, #13 in the U.S.), but it also provides technical and other training to sharpen their professional skills.
We talked to Mekha Varghese (pictured above, far left), a software engineer who went through the program in Spring 2018, to learn about the highlights and challenges of going back to work.
Intuit: Where did you work before you paused your career?
Mekha: I worked at Dell EMC for five years as a software engineer.
Intuit: What were the primary skills you used in that job?
Mekha: I was a back-end engineer helping to develop a web app – a central platform to monitor and do active management across Dell EMC storage arrays. We used Spring MVC, Hibernate, and a Postgres database.
Intuit: Why did you pause your career and for how long?
Mekha: Originally I worked at EMC in North Carolina. When we moved to California, I continued to work for the same company in a remote office, but juggling two work locations ended up not working well. I was also having a second child, so it was the right time for a break to have some time with my family. I was away from work for two years.
Intuit: What were the biggest challenges you faced when you returned to work?
Mekha: Getting the family adjusted to the new schedule was a challenge. Surprisingly, my younger child, who was one year old, was the first to adjust. Although I had some experience in the industry, the pace of work was a challenge at first. Intuit is a fast-paced environment, especially when getting used to some of the new technology. Figuring out work-life schedules with two kids was a bit tough, but with the support of family and coworkers I was able to adjust.
Intuit: How did you feel about your primary skills when you returned to work?
Mekha: I was lucky to be able to use some of my previous skills from my past industry experience, which helped me a lot. But there were other technologies and product architectures that were new to me.
Intuit: What new skills did you develop after joining Intuit Again?
Mekha: Intuit gives engineers the opportunity to feel empathy with the customers. This was a different experience for me coming from an enterprise company. It really helps us understand how the customers think about the product and how we can make an impact for them. As part of the team, I’m involved in the entire product design, development and release stage and have an opportunity to learn lots of new things.
Intuit: How did people help you overcome challenges?
Mekha: Each engineer is put on a scrum team, and the team is a great place to freely communicate and ask questions. All the team members were approachable and supportive during the program.
Intuit: What are you working on now?
Mekha: Currently, I work on the back-end stack of a service for our QuickBooks Accountant product that provides client insights to accountants, allowing them to become more informed, trusted advisors. I am part of the core team that builds the capability to store insights and expose these insights through APIs to be consumed.
Intuit: How confident do you feel about going to work now?
Mekha: My confidence level has increased a lot. With every new task I feel much better and more confident than when I first returned to work. Overall, it feels great to be part of the team I work with.
Intuit: What would you tell someone who’s thinking about applying for Intuit Again?
Mekha: I was lucky to be part of this program that really cares for you, and I was amazed by the team that worked so hard to make sure I had a good transition experience. I’ve already recommended the program to many other women because of my experience. During the Intuit again program, we were introduced to many executives, which was a unique and inspirational opportunity. Overall, the program will be helpful in many ways to anyone who wants to come back to the workforce after a break.
Learn more about Intuit Again here!