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How to Thrive at Work: TEECOM Success Stories

Editorial Team
How to Thrive at Work
©TEECOM

How to Thrive at Work

TEECOM has many employees who found their way to a satisfying work practice by an unconventional path. It’s part of what makes our workforce diverse and dynamic. We recently sat down with staff members who were promoted to positions at all levels of the organization, from associate to principal, to ask them how to thrive at work: what enabled their success and what advice they’d give to others looking to advance their careers.

Nicole La, Principal, Executive Vice President, Experience Director

Nicole started her career as a marketing assistant. A little over ten years later, she sits on TEECOM’s Executive Board. The one factor that powered her success? “My ability to plan,” she says. “I’ve planned every promotion, every strategic annual year. I’m able to put into words where we want to go and take our Big Hairy Audacious Goals and break them into very specific tactical actions that my team and I can execute on.”

Her most valuable piece of advice is to “do the job you want before you ask for it.” “When I was promoted to principal, I asked David [Marks] what I should expect to be doing differently,” she says. “He said, ‘You’re already doing the job.'”

Arnel Avila, Principal Consultant

The number one factor in Arnel’s promotion to Principal Consultant, he says, is investing time in others. “It’s often easy to quickly delegate tasks without going into why we do things the way we do,” he says. “Spending the time to educate and help my team has allowed them to be successful, which has given me more time to accomplish what I need to do to.” 

To advance your own career, Arnel advises, “Continue to challenge yourself a little bit every day, and think about what you can improve on the next time you tackle a specific task.”

How to Thrive at Work
©TEECOM

Kirk Iliev, Principal Consultant

Kirk credits his success to one thing: TEECOM leadership giving him the freedom and authority to be creative in his client solutions. He’s been able to achieve satisfaction for his clients because he has a passion for providing value.

“Don’t be shy!” he says. “Explore your abilities, search for solutions, and apply aggressively, rather than being too dependent on directions, mentorship, and day-to-day guidance. If you are genuine in your attempt to provide value, the efforts will be fruitful. Be in charge!”

Tristen Connor, Principal Consultant

Tristen Connor has been leading TEECOM’s acoustics practice for a few years, and she has built up a following of repeat clients. Her dedication to clients first is reflected in her promotion to Principal Consultant. “Prioritizing my time to satisfy the needs of clients and colleagues before my own,” is her secret to success, she says.

Her advice to others? “Expect to be held accountable for everything you produce, do, and say. This applies to official project deliverables, Slack messages, and everything in between.”

How to Thrive at Work
©TEECOM

Dean Clough, Project Manager

Dean achieved perhaps the fastest promotion in TEECOM history, going from Project Assistant to Project Manager in under six months. How did he do it? TEECOM supported his pursuit of Project Management Professional (PMP) training and certification.

The one thing that has enabled me to be successful is TEECOM itself,” he says. “It is as supportive and collegial an environment that I have experienced, and that’s over the course of 35 years in a wide variety of business environments.”

“Anyone looking to advance their careers needs to remember three words:  results, relationships, and resiliency,” Dean advises. “There’s not much else to worry about, in my experience.”

Yuri Sumnicht, Associate Principal

Yuri came to the architectural engineering industry by chance, and he’s excelled at TEECOM. He credits his success to “a great team.”

“My mentors (Arnel, Ken, Ben) have encouraged me to take on new responsibilities and pursue education and certifications,” he says. “And the support of my team has afforded me the time to take those things on.”

His advice is, “Don’t say no to stretch responsibilities and tasks. If someone asks you to do something you haven’t done before, or are aren’t comfortable doing yet, say yes, give it your best shot, and rely on your team to help you out.”

Daniel Bensen, Associate

Coming from the security systems integration field, Daniel was able to hit the ground running as a designer because of the support he gets from the security team. He also credits TEECOMgrow, the firm’s career development program, with enabling him to create specific goals. “Having to verbalize and define what my long-term goals are really motivated me,” he says.

“Ask lots of questions,” he advises. “Strive to learn everything you can. Ask for challenges. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations.

Jason Brounstein, Associate

Jason’s work on audiovisual systems design at TEECOM means he’s in the midst of complex documents and conversations every day. What’s allowed him to succeed? “Consistency,” he says. “I make sure that colleagues and clients can rely on me regardless of changes to the many variables that affect projects and relationships. In an industry where reasons to panic are many, it helps to add stability.”

For those looking to take big steps on their career paths, he advises: “Take time to reflect on the impact you have and areas where you can improve. Advancement is difficult when you aren’t realistic about your strengths and weaknesses.”


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Editorial Team
Editorial Team, TEECOM | Engage

TEECOM | Engage's Editorial Team brings you the latest content and TEEm news. It’s our goal to provide actionable intelligence and engaging insight into integrated technology in the built environment. We welcome your feedback and ideas.