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Meet Jared from the Information Security Team

Jared smiling next to Avant logo on red-coral background
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Every unique and talented Avantee is a co-creator of the Avant culture we love. We hope the @Avant series helps you get to know who we are, how we do what we do, and what it looks like to build your career at Avant.

Jared Gray

Head of Security Operations for the Information Security Team

Joined Avant in 2020

What’s it like to work @Avant? We asked Jared for his take on our culture, and here’s what he said:

1. How would you describe Avant’s culture?

Jared smiling in a plaid shirt

Agile, fast-moving—it’s a security playground. We’re enhancing every single facet of information security right now, from the endpoint security stuff to network security, data loss prevention, data security, vulnerability management, all at the same time. It can be a little stressful, but it’s fun, and there’s always something new. This is probably the most challenging position and team I’ve been on. If you like to be challenged and you like to learn, this is the spot for it.

We’ve also got the best of the best when it comes to technology. InfoSec professionals really crave that access—we want to be able to play with the best technology, and at Avant, we get that coming in the door. We get to configure and work with the very best that the industry has to offer. The opportunities are endless.

2. Why are you happy here?

Why I really enjoy it here is that even in the midst of having so many things to do, we know we’re all people with lives and other responsibilities outside of work. There’s never a doubt that if I need a break, I can take time off.

What it all comes down to is that you have to care about people, because there will always be more work to do. It’s about striking the balance between making sure my employees have enough mentorship from me, and letting them find things out for themselves.

You have to trust your people and let them go, and know they’re going to deliver. That approach has been a significant winner on our team. We have trust in our employees. It doesn’t mean we don’t mess up—we do, and we learn, and we move on and get better.

3. What’s your favorite thing about the way your specific job role works?

What I really enjoy: my team has their own ideas, and while I’m the manager, they might have an idea that makes our program better. I like that I can share how I’d approach whatever we’re dealing with and then say “I want you to go out and try it for yourself.” They apply their experience, their knowledge, then together we talk about it and sync up, and I critique and mentor as required.

I don’t always have to be prescriptive and instead can give people the chance to do it their own way, and that keeps me open to ideas. Just because I would approach a project or process one way doesn’t necessarily mean it’s best for the team. That’s my favorite part, seeing my more junior team members take on a new responsibility and realize that they actually can deliver on large-scale, enterprise-level projects. It’s really cool to see.

4. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Firefighter. Coincidentally enough!

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