Patricia Sugi has always been passionate about giving back to others. Now she’s thriving on the Asana for Nonprofits team as an Operations Specialist in San Francisco. Get to know Sugi and why she joined #teamasana.
What was your journey to joining Asana?
My background is in journalism and political science; I worked for various media and nonprofit agencies over the years. One of my favorite career highlights was when I went back to Rwanda to work with a nonprofit that empowers young women through peer-to-peer mentoring. We’d train young women between the ages of 18-25 in the basics of journalism and they would travel around the country to find newsworthy stories. These stories were then published in the most popular publications in the country and broadcasted across the national radio. Once these women acquired journalism skills, they graduated with a certificate that helped them find jobs in the media world. I loved seeing these young women get outside of their comfort zone and out of gain more confidence in their journalism skills. Guiding their entry into professional journalism was a way for me to extend the knowledge and support that I’ve received from my schools and community.
For a long time, the tech industry wasn’t even on my radar. When I came back from my country, I got a consulting job at a tech company in the Bay Area, but I ended up working two other jobs on the side to fulfill the sense of community I lacked at that job. I heard about Asana from Ashley Bair, a former colleague, who knew exactly what I was looking for in terms of company values. After researching Asana further, I immediately felt so connected to the people, mission, and culture. When I found out that they had a nonprofit department I knew it was where I was supposed to be.
How have you felt supported in your career journey & growth at Asana?
I initially joined Asana as part of the User Operations team, helping customers find clarity in their work and get results with Asana. The UO team is very customer oriented and focuses on making sure all customers’ needs are met. Every time I received a ticket from a nonprofit organization, I was thrilled to engage with them and offer support.
My manager knew about my passion for nonprofits and supported me in my aspirations to join that team. She helped me set up networking meetings and opportunities to get to know the work better so that I could eventually make the transition. One of the things I love about Asana is how much my colleagues support me in achieving my goals and becoming the best version of myself.
What is something unique about the Asana for Nonprofits team?
The energy and cultural diversity of our team is incredible. I feel so much passion and humanity from my teammates. Even though I am the newest member of the team, I am given the same tools and opportunities to grow alongside my teammates. They are so supportive and intentional in everything they do. We’re a small team of three, each with specific roles and responsibilities, and we aim to connect every Asana to our greater mission.
During remote work, we still meet virtually to work on projects and co-create together. Sometimes I just want to present my work before sharing with stakeholders, so I’ll bring it to the team for feedback. This is just one of the many ways we support one another. It’s unique because we are independent on our own, but at the same time we are connected to a larger mission together.
How do you use Asana in your day-to-day work? And how does using it impact your work?
The Asana for Nonprofits team lives and breathes Asana. This has been a great practice for me. I cannot live without My Tasks and the real-time feedback from my Inbox. Every day I feel organized and confident because I can see what’s on my to-do list and how I’m going to tackle it.
My 1:1 projects with my team allow me to track my own progress and what I’m working on. Not to mention the task complete button is so gratifying! It’s amazing how much I learn about the product from my teammates. Everyone has their own tricks and I love learning them!
What does Asana’s mission mean to you?
On the Asana for Nonprofits team, we preach the Asana mission fully and this is reflected in the work that we do. Our goal as a team is to help our nonprofit customers thrive by giving them access to Asana. We want to ensure their long-term success, and that they have the best technology to achieve their goals. Then, they can focus on finding solutions that help fulfill their mission.
What’s your mantra and where did you first develop it?
My mantra has always been to give back to those who need it most, which is why working in nonprofits is so rewarding.
“Knowing we have a program for nonprofits doing good in the world is like waking up every day to fulfill my own personal mission.”
It makes me feel happy and proud to work for a company that emphasizes the idea of helping teams around the world work better together to carry out their mission. It’s incredible to say that I work for a company that is also fulfilling me in my own personal journey.
What makes Asana’s culture inclusive?
When I started at Asana I felt an immediate sense of community. I felt so welcome on my first day and knew I was at home. I immediately joined Asana’s Employee Resource Groups. I am a woman of color and a woman with multiple identities, so having these programs that value diversity really show me that I am seen and that I have a community that supports me. Because of this, I was really able to come out of my shell and connect with these people on a more authentic level. We spend so much of our time at work, and I want to feel that deep connection in my heart to the people around me.
On my first day at Asana, the Culinary team made Ethiopian food. It’s amazing how many different cuisines and recipes they take the time to learn and they are so intentional in doing so. It’s not just that they feed me food that has cultural influence, but they take the time to be thoughtful and nourish me with what they are serving. Asanas have such mutual respect for one another and it never goes unnoticed.
I am truly part of a culture that includes, welcomes, and invites everyone. I am so thankful for this sense of community and togetherness that we have. And I know that this will continue to grow as we grow as a company.
What is the most valuable lesson or takeaway you have learned that you would share with someone beginning their Asana journey?
At Asana, I feel welcomed, supported, and heard. I am watered to grow into my career journey. I have really allowed myself to be seen as my whole self. As a new Asana, know that your work matters, you matter, and you deserve to have a seat at the table alongside an incredible group of teammates.
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