Lillian Rundio is an Alexandria, Virginia-based Impendi Analytics associate. The Bethesda, Maryland native discusses how she and her team have transitioned to socially-distanced work during the COVID-19 outbreak, takes us through the complexities of her position, shares how Impendi has fostered exceptional professional growth, and more.
Tell us about your role – what are your responsibilities as an associate?
I am an associate on a procurement project. In the diagnostic phase of a project, my responsibility is to analyze the client’s historical spending for a category and recommend a plan to capture savings.
In the sourcing phase of the project, my role is to execute that plan in collaboration with our client.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
I love the rapid pace of projects, working with our clients, and creatively solving problems or adding value.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job and how do you overcome it?
The most challenging aspect is that I am advising our clients on a host of complex categories.
Luckily, for every category I lead, I have the support of my manager and a partner subject matter expert (SME) from Impendi’s Center of Excellence. The SMEs have decades of experience in different categories, such as marketing and information technology. They are hands-on and advise me and the client throughout the project.
As a fringe benefit, I learn more about the category and benefit from their mentorship.
Take us through a typical day in the life for you.
I always start my day taking my dog on a quick walk. I then down several cups of coffee while reading the news—the New York Times Morning Briefing and The Skimm, at a minimum.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, my days are a bit different. I wake up around 7 am, have coffee, and read the news. Then I check my email and calendar to see if anything important happened overnight.
I often have early morning calls with members of our India team. I have internal, client, and vendor meetings throughout the day and sometimes additional meetings with our India team at night.
When I have time during the day, I love to walk my dog around my neighborhood. I live in historic Alexandria, Virginia, just a few blocks away from the water.
Tell us about your background! What did you major in college and how did that prepare you for life at Impendi?
I went to Mount Holyoke College, where I majored in history and minored in Italian.
As a history major, you learn how to research effectively using the resources available to you, think critically, and make a compelling argument. Those skills have been instrumental in my career. Surprisingly, my Italian minor also came into play recently when I needed to translate some contracts.
What is it like working from home for Impendi during the COVID-19 outbreak?
I think our whole team has adapted very well and our progress hasn’t slowed. I had already built strong relationships with our clients and have been able to keep that up through video conferencing and frequent check-ins.
One silver lining of the pandemic is that we’ve identified what we can get done without traveling. I think that will make us nimbler in the long run and will benefit our clients.
Plus, having a client-first mentality has helped us all keep productive and make the most of our time.
How do you keep up with coworkers and clients during this period of work-from-home?
Video conferencing has been key to maintaining a personal connection with our clients and co-workers. In addition, we have an internal Impendi team video chat every Friday that helps us stay in touch.
How has Impendi and its teammates helped you grow professionally?
Each member of the Impendi team is assigned an official mentor who helps guide you in your career and professional development. In addition, I receive daily mentorship from my manager and the Impendi Center of Excellence SMEs I work with.
There is a high bar that forces you to learn and improve quickly.