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State Street to CHAOSSEARCH Co-Op – Why I Made the Switch

Marisa Dell'Anno
Marisa Dell'Anno
June 19, 2019

“I will do anything except get your coffee for you… and even then, if you asked, I would still get you coffee.” This was my plea to the senior officers at CHAOSSEARCH.

After taking most of the day before my CHAOSSEARCH interview to scour the internet to learn what an ELK Stack or Amazon S3 was, I was more than scared that I would blow my only chance to escape the clutches of the large corporate behemoth of State Street Bank to an early-stage start-up.

Although the interview went better than expected and they ended up offering me the intern position (no coffee delivery needed), accepting the job was not an easy task. I had to quit my current co-op, feel the wrath of a huge corporate company on my back, and face Northeastern University to explain what I’d done.

Despite the turmoil and “chaos” that followed, working at CHAOSSEARCH has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.

While some may take comfort in the structure, security, and steady pace a well-established, giant corporation such as State Street provides, I felt extremely  limited and under utilized . The path was rigid, the technology was slow and antiquated, and the work they assigned me was mindless.

Some people get sucked into the “start-up bro dream.” They picture ping pong games, cereal bars, and cold brew pouring from taps, all while someone else is picking up the slack of their work.

But not here. CHAOSSEARCH is bareboned.

It took time for us to get a Keurig, and even longer to get K-cups. Our “treat” is Friday lunch, where we all sit together to eat and reflect on our progress.

At CHAOSSEARCH, the perks aren’t physical or fattening. The perks are being able to work alongside a group made up of unique and frighteningly intelligent individuals, who are working together because they believe in the problem that CHAOSSEARCH solves.

Walking to the Boston Public Market for lunch; listening to Tom O’Connell continue to answer automated spam phone calls; getting excited to come in on a Monday morning to dissect and argue about the latest GOT episode; and cracking up over how people believed Pete’s #meatleadership post was a true story (it wasn’t, but the comments were still great).

These are the perks.

Working here for almost four months, I’ve seen the company grow — in both size and in the confidence of its product. I belong here; I’ve put in work that I have seen come to fruition, something I didn’t know could feel so fulfilling.

Here, we get excited about others and their successes — the work your colleagues contribute is helping to make the company that you work for a better place. Lift them up! Say congratulations! It’s not a competition.

If I had to do this past year over, I would have told Northeastern that no twenty-year-old student wants to work a 9 to 5 at a massive corporation — where the hard work that you’ve put into your classes will translate into organizing file cabinets for an executive that doesn’t know your name (true story).

But If I had to redo these past four months over, I would do it all the same.

Sorry, State Street.
Sorry, Northeastern.

I guess this is more of a thank you note to my company than a blog post. I’ve grown so much here. I know what a log is. I can tell you how you can turn your Amazon S3 into a fully searchable Elastic Cluster. I can put out an email to over ten thousand people (and only induce mild anxiety in Melodye Mueller, my CMO).

I am much more confident in myself than I have been in a while.

You don’t have to offer free coffee and unlimited snacks to tempt people to work at your company; what you should offer is an explanation of why you love what you do and why you love who you work with.

Thanks, CHAOSSEARCH!

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