Last updated at Fri, 24 Mar 2023 13:01:40 GMT

Elianna Sfez is a Threat Intelligence Practice Operations Manager based in Rapid7’s Tel Aviv office. As she approaches her six month anniversary with the company, we sat down to chat about her new hire journey, initial impressions and experiences in her new role, Rapid7 culture, and more.

Tell me about your role at Rapid7.

I am the Threat Intelligence Practice Operations Manager. My main goal is to help our teams work more efficiently on cross functional projects, whether that's within our specific practices or between practice teams. Most of the projects I deal with are aimed at supporting the customer experience and improving the customer journey. In my role, I look at everything from R&D to Customer Success and Product and look for ways to deliver the best experience and journey for our customers. Typically, that means identifying bottlenecks and looking for ways to make things better.

What made you excited to join Rapid7?

In my career, I’ve worked with a mix of true startups, as well as companies that were transitioning from the startup phase to a more mature corporation by way of acquisition. This specific type of growth is really interesting to me—seeing the transformation happen as they move from a small startup to a larger company. With Rapid7, I was excited about the challenge of the role. With the maturity of the company and its acquisition of IntSights, I was really excited to be part of navigating that change for the team and building out this new role in Tel Aviv.

What are the major differences you see between working in a startup environment vs. a more global corporation?

There are a lot of differences moving from a startup to a larger corporation, mostly in the way you work and the pressure of the environment. In a startup, you have to be very reactive and respond to challenges at any time—even if it means being up at 3:00 am to troubleshoot issues. There’s a ‘whatever it takes’ mentality and as you are trying to build something from the ground up. It’s important to get that momentum going and have the ability to wear a lot of different hats to solve challenges. The CTO is often right in the trenches with you, and everyone is working around the clock to keep the business moving forward.

As you get larger, you have to get better at being proactive and seeing that fire coming, and figuring out how to fix it before it becomes an issue. Cybersecurity is a field where this is really important because hackers are advancing every day. We’re challenging ourselves to anticipate what customers are going to need 6 months, a year, or two years from now, so we can continue to stay ahead. In a bigger company you have more resources and people who are able to be experts in their areas of focus. We have teams that we can rely on for their insights and expertise, and you aren’t on your own to solve problems. You have more of a support system to lean on and that also helps you grow and learn too.

How would you describe your onboarding experience?

My onboarding experience was interesting, mostly because I don’t have any team members locally in Israel. My manager is in the US and we’re truly a global team. Regardless, people were really welcoming and amazing each step of the way. It was nice to meet other new hires from around the world during the global onboarding sessions, and everyone in the local office was eager to learn more about what I do, and how they can help.

My manager created an onboarding project plan which was also really helpful. I got to see an overview of what my first week would look like, what my first month would look like, and felt confident knowing everything was set up already. There was a good mix of meetings on my calendar with people my manager wanted me to connect with, but I also had enough unscheduled time where I was encouraged to do my own outreach and determine who else I would want to connect with and learn from as well.

Having ownership in the process made it really exciting and gave me permission to ask questions and learn more about the business. My manager even asked me to think about three things I wanted to go and learn more about or become an expert in. That permission to grow and learn right from the start is really empowering in terms of creating your own career path.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I enjoy the challenge of working with a global team to help build and improve on our customer experiences. I feel I am creating an impact, and that I have the support of the people around me. One thing I’ve found here is that even if someone doesn’t have an answer to your question, they are more than happy to help you find the right person or go find out and circle back with you. Everyone here has new ideas, and those ideas are really welcome. People are curious and ask the right questions to get to the root of a challenge, and there's an appetite to keep trying new things to find solutions.

How would you describe R7 to someone outside the company?

Everyone has a shared goal of bringing more value to our customers. That alignment helps us all feel connected and committed to helping each other get to the best outcomes possible. It’s a big job and it takes a lot of work, but it also gives you an incredible opportunity to grow in a place where you are supported and encouraged to try new things.

How do the Rapid7 values influence workplace culture?

The company is really living their core values, it’s not just something that they promote externally. Everyone is expected to be transparent and open, and everyone is really supportive in helping you grow and do the best work possible.

When it comes to workplace flexibility, there’s a culture where everyone trusts one another to do what they need to do. As a mom, this means I’m able to leave early and pick up my son and then jump on after hours to wrap things up. I’m having my second child in April, and Rapid7 hired me while I was pregnant. All of my team members were so welcoming and wonderful about this. I’ve even recommended a friend to cover for my role while I’m on maternity leave.

I honestly can’t say enough good things about the culture of the company, the values they have, and the exciting and interesting work that’s being done. There’s an opportunity to do really incredible and impactful work, but also have that space to create balance in our lives without being judged or feeling guilty.

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