FL

frances_lorenz

Events Associate @ CEA
1087 karmaJoined

Bio

Hi! I work on the EA Global team and I post a lot of my thoughts on Twitter :) 

Comments
20

Hey there! I work on the EA Global team, thanks for the question :) At EAG London, each floor of the venue will have an all gender bathroom. For future reference, our team can always be reached by emailing hello@eaglobal.org (forum questions usually get flagged to us, but we don't actively monitor the forum).

Hello :) I currently work as an Events Associate on the EA Global (EAG) team, a subset of the Events team. I joined in January 2023 (with no prior events experience). I'm incredibly excited for the team to expand, so I thought I might share a bit about my experience so far, for anyone who's unsure whether to apply. 

What I love about working on the team:

  • I think there's an implicit motto of, “take the serious stuff seriously and otherwise have fun.” We use charitable funding to run events with the goal of helping others do good in the world, in alignment with effective altruism and its principles, and that’s something the team takes very seriously. But events are also fun!! My colleagues are low-ego, encouraging, supportive, relaxed, I genuinely adore spending time with them; the production room at an event is non-stop jokes. Amy (head of the team) usually brings her baby (Charley) and I get to hold him while monitoring Slack. During EAG, I might need to be on-site 14 hours a day, but the atmosphere is so nice that it doesn’t really feel like work. 
  • I'm deeply motivated by how tangible the product is. You can see the result of your work so saliently before you, people are all around, often happy or excited and chatting, it’s energetic and lovely
  • It can be difficult to find experienced mentors in EA — the team's managers are experts in events, incredibly supportive, and very present / hands-on. At the same time, we're still a smaller team, so everyone takes on significant responsibility and ownership. I've really thrived in this environment, developing skills rapidly.  

What I find difficult: 

  • There's a "sprinty" nature to the work, the lead up to events are hectic. I expect this to improve with new hires. However, to some degree, this is probably unavoidable. Some tasks can't be done beforehand, we have a lot of attendees to support, and the event's timing is rigid, everything has to be ready. As a result, EA Global takes over most of my brain space in the few weeks before. It's incredibly difficult not to constantly check Slack/email. At night I'm usually ticking through tasks in my head, there are tons of little things to track. 
  • I live in the UK, I find it hard traveling to the US twice a year for EA Global (though it is also a huge privilege). Some roles on the team have more travel, there's typically at least one additional US trip required per year for a company retreat. I struggle with insomnia; I've found that the jet lag throws me off for weeks or can trigger a full insomnia episode. I also find flying a bit scary. Flying with my team helps. I'm pretty sure my manager prefers to be alone on flights, but she lets me choose a seat next to her and yap for like 7 hours straight, which I really appreciate. 

Hey Patrick! My name is Frances and I work on the EA Global team :) About two weeks before the event, we'll send an email inviting everyone to our conference app (Swapcard). Swapcard will have the event agenda and allow you to book meetings with other attendees. If you have any further questions, please email hello@eaglobal.org and we'll be very happy to help. 

Hey Vasco, thanks for the question! This is an idea we've looked into quite a bit. There are some unresolved considerations (e.g. whether it makes sense for CEA to run an event like this), but the idea is still on our radar.

80,000 Hours has a great 2018 article on Operations management roles, which includes a 'How to assess your fit' section (I'll link to it at the bottom of this take). Having worked on the EA Global team for a year now, here are two important traits I would add for assessing fit:

1) Good at task-switching. I think it's pretty crucial that task-switching isn't super costly for you and you can do it relatively quickly. Otherwise, I imagine many Ops roles will be quite tiring / frustrating. It might be particularly emphasised in my role, but as an anecdote: in the lead up to an event, my days are working through maybe 10+ small-medium planned tasks with a ton of small, unplanned tasks in between (i.e. monitoring Slacks/emails and responding to them if they take priority). I once mentioned this to two friends and they instinctively said, "I'm really sorry," so I suspect reactions to this are a useful fit heuristic.

2) Responsive. This one is from a conversation with my team, and I concur—it's really standout if you can respond to people quickly. This goes hand-in-hand with task switching (i.e. when someone messages you, how costly is it for you to stop what you're doing and respond). It also necessitates being calibrated on how long tasks take (I'll explain) and not hating messaging people. The level of responsiveness necessary and how often you get pinged will vary by role. I'm guessing for most Ops roles, a day or two response time is great. For some, you'll need to generally respond within the same working day(i.e. within minutes or hours). Whether necessary or not, I think achieving this is a huge asset to any team (assuming your other work doesn't suffer and you're prioritising well). It means you're: 1) quickly unblocking others; and, 2) relieving the mental load on the message-sender of tracking their own request. As a note on mental load, over-communication is almost always best in Ops roles. You might open a message and think, "I can't get to this until tomorrow"—it's useful to train in the habit of saying that rather than just making a note to yourself. Your coworkers will then be relieved of tracking this (though crucially, it's important to meet the timeline you set or communicate changes). In an ideal world, your co-workers are never tracking the tasks/requests they send because you're handling that (i.e. responding quickly or providing timelines and updates automatically).

80,000 Hours article: https://80000hours.org/articles/operations-management/#how-to-assess-fit

I'll commit to not commenting more now unless I've gotten something really wrong or it's really necessary or something :') 

Yeah, I don't necessarily mind an informal tone. But the reality is, I read [edit: a bit of] the appendix doc and I'm thinking, "I would really not want to be managed by this team and would be very stressed if my friends were being managed by them. For an organisation, this is really dysfunctional." And not in an, "understandably risky experiment gone wrong" kind of way, which some people are thinking about this as, but in a, "systematically questionable judgement as a manager" way. Although there may be good spin-off convos around, "how risky orgs should be" and stuff. And maybe the point of this post isn't to say, "nonlinear did a reasonably sufficient job managing employees and can expect to do so in the future" but rather, "I feel slandered and lied about and I want to share my perspective." 

But you see how they provide approximately no additional evidence, right? Because photos provide no account for how long someone was away or not away, etc. Basically, in both Alice/Chloe's world and your world, these photos can exist. One of them is just Alice sitting on a beach chair? And to the second point, I don't believe the claim was that the environment was materially poor (please tell me if I'm wrong).

I think this comment will be frustrating for you and is not high quality. Feel free to disagree, I'm including it because I think it's possible many people (or at least some?) will feel wary of this post early on and it might not be clear why. In my opinion, including a photo section was surprising and came across as near completely misunderstanding the nature of Ben's post. It is going to make it a bit hard to read any further with even consideration (edit: for me personally, but I'll just take a break and come back or something). Basically, without any claim on what happened, I don't think anyone suspects "isolated or poor environment" to mean, "absence of group photos in which [claimed] isolated person is at a really pretty pool or beach doing pool yoga." And if someone is psychologically distressed, whether you believe this to be a misunderstanding or maliciously exaggerated, it feels like a really icky move to start posting pictures that add no substance, even with faces blurred, with the caption "s'mores", etc.

Load more