Thought Leadership

Quarantine Q&A: How Tripp Sommese & Ofer Perry Are Adapting

May 8, 2020
By The Rubicon Project

It’s been over 8 weeks since our employees began working remotely as the global pandemic took shape. While Telaria and Rubicon Project continue to focus on integrating, we’ve been checking in with some of our employees to see how they are handling their quarantine.  

We spoke with Tripp Sommese, Sr. Account Manager, Private Marketplace, and Ofer Perry, Director, Technical Account Management, to find out how they are doing, what’s keeping them busy, and to discover their tips for getting through this unprecedented event.

TRIPP SOMMESE

What is your name? 

Tripp Sommese

What do you do at Telaria/Rubicon Project? 

Sr. Account Manager, Private Marketplace.

How are you doing with the quarantine? 

I didn’t realize how much of an extrovert I was until the first 20 minutes into working from home. I miss physically being around people. This is hard.

What adjustments have you made to your work life? 

I now sit on an exercise ball to strengthen my posture & core. I will likely continue this when we are all back in the office. I am more comfortable with removing myself from work to focus on going outside, knowing I will jump back into my tasks later in the day. 

What gets you going in the morning? 

I am staying with my parents in Pennsylvania and my mom wants an “accountability buddy” to workout with. If we don’t follow our run routine (and I use “run” as broadly as possible) in the morning, it will affect the rest of my day. 

Do you have some productivity tips for working from home? 

Create a separate “work space” if you have the room to do so. I’ve always had trouble in the past working from home because I was trying to do work at the kitchen table, on the couch, or in my bed. 

Creating a space where I specifically do my job has helped me get into the mentality of “I am in this space to be working, and nothing else.” It has removed a lot of distractions for me. 

What are the best things you’ve experienced during this situation? 

Family dinners. Being fortunate enough to stay at my parents house comes with the privilege of everyone eating together and saving money on a lot of everyday things. Not everyone is able to experience this, so I’m grateful for it. 

How are you keeping in touch with friends and family? 

FaceTime, VideoChat, and Zoom

What is your favorite recipe you’ve concocted out of things lying around the house? 

The suburbs have A LOT more variety of Ben & Jerry’s dairy free ice cream compared to Washington Heights. It’s nothing I’ve concocted, but it certainly would not be possible to have as much of it if I were staying in my apartment. 

What are you doing to stay occupied outside of work hours? 

ZOOM viewings with friends of RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1) Season 12 & Insecure (HBO) Season 4. Also the Libby App by OverDrive has been absolutely amazing for reading/listening to books without buying them. If you have a local library card and are comfortable reading books on an electronic device, I cannot speak more highly of this app. It’s like going to your local library while social distancing. 

How are you staying active during this situation? Are there any exercise videos or tips you recommend? 

Accountability buddies are the most important thing to keep staying active. Sometimes it’s hard to hold yourself accountable to exercise/stay active. A buddy system, even during quarantine, is an absolute MUST. I’ve been sending/receiving BEAUTIFUL sweaty selfies from friends, family, and even some co-workers to keep the motivation going. 

What TV shows, movies, or books do you recommend? 

Really into Lindsay EllisNerdwriter1, Patrick (H) Willems, Just Write, Now You See It, Pop Culture Detective, Lessons from the Screenplay; Renegade Cut, and SB Nation’s “Dorktown” (all on YouTube).

When all this is over, how will you celebrate? 

I’ll probably happy-cry in the office and give my desk neighbor of three years, Molly Zhao, a huge hug. 

 

OFER PERRY

What is your name? 

Ofer Perry

What do you do at Telaria/Rubicon Project? 

I joined Rubicon Project nearly three years ago as part of the nToggle acquisition. I lead our Technical Account Management team, which optimizes the performance and health of our DSP partners. We ensure that DSPs take full advantage of Rubicon’s extensive product capabilities, technology, and inventory — working closely to ensure that they and their advertisers are as successful as possible.

How are you doing with the quarantine? 

I feel very fortunate to work for a company that understands work-life balance and that I’m able to spend so much quality time with my family. At the same time, there is absolutely zero time in between kids and work for anything else, which is exhausting.

What adjustments have you made to your work life? 

With no commute, I’m able to start the workday a bit earlier than normal and end it a bit later. Since my wife and I both work full-time, that extra time saved from scrapping the commute is crucial. We are constantly switching off with the kids to accommodate our schedules, but one added benefit to working from home is that we get to all eat dinner together almost every night. That’s something we were never able to do before the pandemic.

What gets you going in the morning? 

Every day is different.  Some days we wake up from our three-year-old Mia screaming “Mama! Daddy! Is it morning yet?”, and other days it’s our one-year-old Emma who likes to start her day with a nice “Waaaaa!”  

I’m always amazed at how every morning those are the first “words” out of their mouth like clockwork. There’s never a morning where they wake up slowly and quietly, but one can hope. So, while every day is different, they all start like this – followed by an immediate shot of espresso.

Do you have some productivity tips for working from home? 

If at all possible, avoid multitasking. Better to spend less time on kids and work, but be 100% focused and present. In the end, it allows you to be more productive and it’s also how I keep myself sane while trying to balance work and parenting. Trying to multitask only ends in chaos, so it became clear from the get-go that there needed to be a separation between the two.

What are the best things you’ve experienced during this situation? 

In a hard situation, there’s still a huge benefit. I’ve been able to enjoy lots of quality family time. And one of my highlights is getting to see my daughter, Mia, learning more and more Hebrew every day as she gets to spend more time with me.

How are you keeping in touch with friends and family? 

Non-stop video calls, which we also rely on for babysitting and keeping the kids busy. This was already a fairly normal routine for us, as my parents and family are in Israel and it’s our only way to stay in touch with them regularly. In general, we don’t let our girls watch TV, but we allow them unlimited time on video calls, which keeps them occupied and our families feeling a bit closer.

What is your favorite recipe you’ve concocted out of things lying around the house? 

I learned a new artisan bread recipe from a friend in Spain, who also walked me through the entire preparation on a video call. It is now my go-to and I always try to keep a fresh loaf around.

What are you doing to stay occupied outside of work hours? 

I have always enjoyed gardening, but, looking to keep the girls busy and entertained, we really took it to the next level. During the past few weeks, we planted dozens of seeds for all sorts of herbs and vegetables. One of my favorite activities with the girls is checking to see what has sprouted.

How are you staying active during this situation? Are there any exercise videos or tips you recommend? 

I’m not! I have an elliptical I use maybe once a week, but I simply can’t find the time or energy to prioritize exercise. The closest thing I get to exercise is practicing animal yoga with the girls. Mia’s favorite posture is butterfly. And occasionally I sprint around the backyard holding Emma so she can move fast enough to keep the kite in the air.

What TV shows, movies, or books do you recommend? 

I highly recommend reading Why We Sleep by Dr. Matthew Walker. It really changed my perception of sleep and helped me prioritize sleep, even during these crazy times when my time is more precious and limited than ever. It is very tempting to wake up a bit earlier and go to bed later to get extra work done, but you really have to fight that because even one less hour of sleep can really ruin your productivity the following day.

When all this is over, how will you celebrate? 

I can’t wait to bring the girls to daycare, take a day off from work, and stay home and do nothing. Did I say a day? Make it a week!

To learn more about life at Rubicon Project, email us: contact@rubiconproject.com


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