Our blend of long-time employees and new hires at Athena create a diverse mix of experiences and viewpoints that contribute to our dynamic yet always-consistent culture. We brought these different perspectives together for this post by inviting two members of our Project Management (PM) team, recent hire and Project Coordinator Michael Favret and long-time Athenian and Project Manager Andreya Cybriwsky, for a conversation about their work, Philadelphia, and culture at Athena.
Michael: What has been your favorite project to work during your years at Athena?
Andreya: I’d have to say my favorite project is also the one I’ve been working on the longest (almost my entire career at Athena). I’ve been supporting a team at a large telecom company as they build out a smart solutions business. Smart solutions help businesses, communities, and cities leverage data and digital technology to inform decision-making and improve quality of life. We’ve supported the team with everything from early branding, research, project management to marketing. It’s great because I’ve had such a variety of work and it’s interesting to see a business grow from the very beginning. Additionally, the smart technology space is rapidly growing and you see the direct impact the technology has on creating efficiencies, saving money, and improving quality of life. It’s an exciting space to be in!
Michael: Can you tell me a little about what your path to Athena looked like?
Andreya: Before Athena I worked on the operational side of a sales and trading desk at an investment bank. I knew it was time for a change, and I found myself drawn to roles where I could leverage more creativity and understand where consumer behavior is at the forefront. I heard of Athena through a friend of a friend, and the role was exactly what I was looking for. Athena uses experience, data and creativity to help our clients effectively reach their audiences. During my interview, I was impressed with how much of an impact Athena makes for its size and I couldn’t wait to be part of it.
Andreya: As consultants, our clients rely on us to advise and execute expertly. At the beginning of the pandemic, we were adjusting to working from home and navigating the virtual environment at the same time as our clients. However, the standards to deliver did not change and so we had to become experts in virtual engagement overnight. It was a challenge, but I was impressed at how Athena worked together to find how we could make meaningful experiences for our clients.
Andreya: You interned with the company before becoming a full-time hire, so how have you seen your role evolve?
Michael: As an intern last summer I supported coworkers on a variety of client projects. This offered me the professional exposure I had hoped to gain back when I was considering internship opportunities. Since I transitioned to a full-time role, I have been supporting a Caribbean internet service provider in the development of a program that provides affordable broadband, devices, and digital skills training to unconnected communities. It has been incredibly gratifying to be involved in a project with social responsibility at its core, and I’m excited to see what the future holds!
Andreya: What attracted you to Athena as you were looking for internships?
Michael: When I was searching for an internship in college, I was unsure of exactly the career I wanted to pursue. One of the things that initially attracted me to Athena was the client roster. I knew I would receive great exposure to different industries and companies of all shapes and sizes. While I wasn’t sure of the exact job I was looking for, I knew that I wanted to work in an environment where I’d be surrounded by hardworking, intelligent people who would motivate and inspire me. From my first interview I could tell Athena was a place that fostered this type of environment, which ultimately sealed the deal for me.
Michael: I am originally from New Orleans and when I joined Athena last year I had never been to Philadelphia, so I didn’t really know what to expect besides really good cheesesteaks. Since then, I have come to really enjoy the city for several reasons. Philadelphia has all the feel and amenities of a city but it’s also much more affordable than other big cities in the U.S. There’s never any shortage of amazing places to eat, which is something I appreciate a lot. I also love how walkable Philly is, I can get most of what I need within steps of my apartment. The cheesesteaks are just an added bonus.