What’s your background?
I’m from India. I spent almost 27 years there — I grew up there, I got married there. My husband got a job at eBay, so I moved with him. I took a small break while I waited for my work visa, and then I joined Blueprint Technologies. I’ve been here for almost 5 years, and I absolutely love it. I joined as a developer and I’ve worn many different hats over the years. Essentially, I’m a technical person.
How did you find out about Blueprint?
Tina Fu reached out to me regarding a data engineer role for Microsoft. I had a brief set of interviews and really liked the interaction with the folks from Blueprint. Blueprint was different from other companies and this was evident even in the recruitment process. It has been almost 5 years now, and I am grateful that I made the decision to join Blueprint.
What makes Blueprint such a great place to work?
There are so many things that I like about Blueprint that I constantly talk to my husband and friends about. The first that stands out to me is that people are so accessible. For instance, if I want to talk to Danielle Funston (Executive Vice President at Blueprint) she takes the time to sit down and make it happen. Everyone is so open and the culture is so unique, I’ve never seen it at any other company. The second thing is the flexibility Blueprint offers. I think it has to do with the trust and value they put in their employees. The third thing is the experimentation we do at Blueprint. I was a part of the initial innovation team with Gary Nakanelua (Managing Director of Innovation) when Blueprint X, our Innovation Laboratory, was founded 2 years ago. The experimentation piece for a company like Blueprint is unexpected and so unique.
What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on?
Definitely the time I spent on the innovation team. We worked on the very first version of Conduit. In the 8 months I spent on that project, I learned so much and it was hands down the coolest thing I’ve ever done. It completely changed the way I look at work!
How did it change your perspective?
Previously, I had a traditional developer mindset when approaching a project or a problem. Being part of the innovation team, I learned execution might not be the only important aspect of success, and that creativity and innovative thinking make a big difference in a product’s lifecycle. The whole experience helped me to train my mind to think differently and be confident when navigating through the unknown. More importantly, most of my teammates during that time have become lifelong friends and mentors.
Preeti loves baking and decorating cakes. Her amazing attention to detail enables her to create iconic baked goods.
What is one thing most people don’t know about the Blueprint culture?
Success at Blueprint doesn’t come offered on a platter. The company offers many opportunities, but you need to go after them. People need to have an open mind and get comfortable being uncomfortable.
If you could go back in time and give yourself career advice, what would you say?
There’s a lot that I’d like to say to my past self, but I’d probably ask myself to be more confident. I come across as a very shy person, and sometimes I can be overlooked. I would advise myself to take more bold steps and be more confident. Like I said, I really loved the experimentation work we did. So, I would say to experiment more. I was an orator back in school, I used to talk a lot and give speeches, and that gave me a little bit of kick. I would advise myself to use that skill more and hone in on that.
What do you like to do in your free time?
This may sound cliché but the one thing I love doing is baking and cooking. Baking and decorating cakes is so fun to me. It’s a de-stressor. Now that I have my son, everything is centered around him, so I try to incorporate him in what I cook too. I’m a big movie buff, so I love watching a movie from beginning to end and cooking at the same time. By the end, I am not stressed anymore. I also used to play a lot of badminton before I got pregnant, and I hope to get back into it. I am a very indoor person — I don’t like going on walks or going outdoors a lot.
What is your absolute favorite thing to cook or bake?
Although I love to try new recipes, my comfort zone is cooking traditional Indian Biriyani. Also, baking a simple chocolate cake and decorating it for birthdays of special ones brings a smile to my face.
What achievement did you recently accomplish outside of work?
If you were stuck in an elevator for 5 hours, which 3 people would you choose to be with you?
Michelle Obama. No one else needed! Having her along would be awesome!