Life at Orca Security revolves around the Pod – the people who have joined Orca’s mission to make the cloud a safer place for all. The ‘Pod Spotlight’ is a Q&A series dedicated to showcasing all of the amazing talent at Orca Security.

Today we’re spotlighting Michael Connelly, Business Development Representative working remotely from Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Why did you choose to work at Orca Security, and when did you join?

I was a strength and conditioning coach for 20 years before shifting into the tech world in March of 2022. I had lengthy conversations with several companies, but in the end Orca was a no-brainer. Community, positive vibes, and a good mission are important to me. Not that the other companies I interviewed with were lacking in those categories, Orca just stood out.  After being here for quite some time, I will tell you I am far from disappointed with my decision to work with Orca.

What advice do you have for people getting started in your field?

I came into this field unsure of my capabilities to make a positive impact, fearful that I didn’t have what it takes to be successful, and intimidated by the intelligence that I was surrounded by at Orca. It was a big jump for me. Looking back, I can share that I wasn’t wrong in feeling that way. It’s not easy. There’s a lot to learn… a whole lot. Here’s the “but” of it though, is that it’s doable if you break things down into reasonable portions for learning and give yourself some slack. Being surrounded by all these insanely smart people is an asset, not a liability. That’s because they are all invested in making Orca the best possible solution they can, and part of that is helping people develop. When interviewing, ask about culture. Are your potential co-workers the type that are eager to share their experiences and knowledge? That’s vital to success because I’m not sure anyone can make a transition to tech on their own. I’d also urge you to not underestimate your experiences in other fields. I am pleasantly surprised to see what a huge impact my experiences in the Marine Corps and as a strength coach have made on my growth with Orca.

How has working at Orca Security challenged you to grow? 

The obvious answer to this is the amount of learning I do to have productive conversations around what we offer. It’s nothing short of learning a new language on top of figuring out how it all fits together. The not-so-obvious challenge that Orca lays out for me everyday is to develop into the type of professional that I am surrounded by with this team. That does include learning every day, but also striving to be the best human being I can be. It’s clear to me that our leadership holds integrity, kindness, hard work, and creativity close to our mission.  Every day I feel challenged to conduct myself in a way that aligns with those values and reaches the very high bar set by our founders.

“It’s clear to me that our leadership holds integrity, kindness,  hard work, and creativity close to our mission.  Every day I feel challenged to conduct myself in a way that aligns with those values and reaches the very high bar set by our founders.”

What’s the best thing about working within a team?

I’ve been a part of some less than great teams before in my career and it’s not a great experience. Fortunately, the Orca pod is on the other side of that spectrum. When we are given the green light to skip the red tape in communication and action, pushed to fail fast, learn and be better from it, the team experience is exceptional. This could be a long list for me, but I’ve picked a couple of highlights that I enjoy most.  

  1. Accelerated learning: I’ve avoided countless pitfalls from brainstorming sessions with my team.  
  2. Support: I make and will continue to make mistakes. That’s not only acceptable here at Orca, it’s encouraged. Having a solid team around me helps me navigate those instances and come out on the other side better for it. 
  3. Farther together: My team gets a lot done in a lot less time working together.  Whether we are sharing intel, successful strategies, or divvying up projects, we accomplish more together than we would going it alone. 

Thank you, Michael, for taking the time to sit down and let us know what life is like working at Orca Security! We’re proud to have you swimming with the Pod. 

Interested in working at Orca Security? Explore open positions here