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.
Cyber Threat Operations Manager on the Cyber Threat Operations team
Joined Avant in 2021
What’s it like to work @Avant? We asked Kevin for his take on our culture, and here’s what he said:
1. How would you describe Avant’s culture?
The culture’s great. It’s very good at giving you the open space to have an idea and run with it to completion. Teammates are great, bosses are great, but I think to get the most out of the culture, you need to do two things: be open to other people’s ideas, and if you don’t like someone’s idea, suggest one of your own. Being able to take and give constructive criticism, and then have an idea for another way of doing it, is a big part of our culture.
2. Why are you happy/successful here?
It’s the freedom of just being able to be myself. I don’t have to fit a mold of how to be a manager, and my manager believes in me. He doesn’t micromanage me, he believes in the work I produce. So I have the freedom to make mistakes and then correct those mistakes without being browbeaten down. I have freedom—creative freedom.
3. If you had to describe who you are and not mention your work at all, what would you say?
Oh, this is tough! Positive person. Free thinker. Good communicator. Enjoys helping and seeing others’ success, being part of others’ success. I love being able to help people, mentor people. Just trying to be a good person! I love starting businesses, love the feeling of entrepreneurship and trying to build something from the ground up and succeeding. I like goals, any kind of goals. I’m a goal crusher. And I’m a big WWE wrestling fan. I go to as many wrestling events as I can.
4. If you could go back in time and talk to yourself as you were going through the Avant hiring process, what do you know now that you would tell yourself then?
Be you, you know what I’m saying? You don’t have to compromise who you are for anything, just be who you are. Just be Kevin all throughout the hiring process—they’re going to like you and you’ll still get the job if you be yourself. I can sometimes tone myself down a little bit, but once I got hired, people were like “Oh, we loved you from the jump” and I thought “dang, I should have just been me from the jump!”
5. At Avant, we talk a lot about our love of problem solving, taking initiative—the more technical or functional elements of our culture. What is the softer side, or the human side, of Avant like?
This makes me think of Demo Day, when new hires get up and introduce themselves to the company. We ask them to answer the same set of Demo Day questions that we’ve been using for years. What’s your DJ name, if you were a snack what kind of snack would you be, etc.—all of that shows Avant’s culture. Like, we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and it’s a good ice breaker. No company I’ve ever been in has ever done that.
5. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Wrestler. WWE Superstar, that’s what I wanted to be. And my name is embarrassing as hell but I’ll tell you. It was “Mr. Untouchable Marcus Bailey.” It just sounded good.