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Humans of Groundswell: Gimra Malapas

Avatar photoGroundswell Team
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Gimra Malapas came to Vancouver and started at Groundswell as a Consultant 4 years ago. In the beginning, she also tackled marketing activities as well as being a Consultant. She’s since grown, become comfortable in her Consulting position, and gained the confidence she didn’t have when she started. Her experience here has taught her so much more beyond the technology itself. She has learned the value of teamwork, to trust others, and to be not only patient but humble.  

Gimra is on the far left laughing with a cup and piece of paper in one hand. To her right is two other women laughing but they are slightly out of focus.

What does your average day look like at Groundswell?

Since the COVID induced WFH setup, this has been my schedule: 

5:30-7:30 – Wake up, breakfast, go over my To-Do List and calendar, respond to emails/Slack messages (some of my clients are on the East Coast)

7:30-9:00 – Work out: go for a run, shower, and dress

9:00-12:00 – (this can vary day to day but if I can, I try to have my meetings earlier in the day) This can be a combination of client calls, internal meetings, and tasks such as reviewing the Sprint board to see the progress of tickets, writing new User Stories, and following up with team members and clients on the status of their outstanding tasks

12:00-1:00 – Lunch 

1:00-5:00 – More meetings and/or hands-on build, work on artifacts such as decks, diagrams, project plans, documentation, etc. (I prefer to do more hands-on work in the afternoons but of course, this again varies day to day); if I’m lucky I step out for a walk or do a quick errand for a few minutes in between

5:00-6:00 – Review what else I have on my To-Do list and try to wrap things up, make sure I add new tasks for the next day 

6:00 onwards – unwind, have dinner, if I didn’t get to step out at all, I do it during this time, then try to do something completely unrelated to work such as watching a movie or read; I’m usually in bed by 10 pm the latest

How is it different now working from home?

I used to hate it because I was accustomed to being co-located with my team, but over the last couple of months (I guess out of necessity), I’ve grown to enjoy it. I like being able to easily fit in a workout into my day without feeling too rushed since I don’t have to commute to the office. I also enjoy being able to step out occasionally to get some fresh air and take a quick walk by the seawall to clear my head and decompress when needed. I’m very fortunate to have a fantastic team that has adjusted well to the transition to remote work, which helps with my own adjustment. 

What are your favourite things to do in your spare time when you are out of the office?

I generally like to read, tend to my plants, watch movies, eat out, listen to music. 

In the summers, my husband and I try to spend as much time outdoors as possible – like hang out at the park or beach, kayak, paddle board, hike, run. 

In the winter, we usually find ourselves retreating indoors for the most part – either at home or in one of the multitudes of bars and restaurants around town. We enjoy watching live performances too (concerts and plays) – definitely one of the things I genuinely miss since the pandemic started.   

What do you like most about what you do?

Learning about how businesses function and operate. Insights into the various industries we deal with, especially the feeling of being able to help my clients improve the way they do things, and learning new things about technology as a whole. 

If you had a month off and money was no object, where would you go? (in a COVID-free-world of course)

I’d love to go back to Japan and explore lesser-known cities this time around. Japanese food is my favourite. A close second would be Greece (I’ve never been) – to some secluded island. I also love Mediterranean food.  

How did you come to choose this career path? 

When I moved to Vancouver 4 yrs ago, I knew I wanted to be involved in technology in some way or form. I already had relevant experience with CRM, so I thought I’d capitalize on that and further deepen my knowledge. I think there’s just something really gratifying about building something – taking something from conceptualization/ideation and seeing it come to fruition – and after that, seeing how it impacts other people and their businesses.

What is the hardest lesson you’ve ever learned?

The hardest lesson I’ve learned is that rejection and failure are facts of life and that it’s always about how you perceive them and what you do after that counts. These are two things I’ve always found very hard to accept ever since. I’m still learning, but experience has definitely made me tougher and helped me gain a better perspective. I’ve been reading a lot about Stoic philosophy—which I’m slowly trying to incorporate into my daily life—it’s helped so much in coping with adversities, keeping destructive emotions at bay, and building character.

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