At Riffyn, we are proud that our customers see us as scientific partners. That’s because our mission is to help solve their deepest process and data challenges, and to deliver transformative long-term value. That commitment starts with people who care.
In our “Riffyn Spotlights” blog series, we’re giving you the chance to get to know the people of Riffyn that make our mission real. Today, we talk with Account Manager Leah Sanfilippo about her experience as a sales rep, why honesty is so important, and the world’s need for more compassion. Please note that answers have been edited for clarity.
Q: What is your background — what did you do before joining the Riffyn team?
I studied Biology at UC Santa Barbara, and while I enjoyed the sciences, I didn't necessarily want to be in the lab after doing research. After graduating I immediately joined a sales team with a chromatography company, but I had lived in California most of my life and was interested in relocating. So I got a job at Mettler-Toledo Rainin as an outside sales rep, but a little while later a colleague told me about an open position at Millipore-Sigma on their pharma team. I got the position, and eventually transitioned to a new team, which required me to move back to California.
Q: Why did you decide to join Riffyn?
[Former Riffyn employee] Matt Gowen reached out to me over LinkedIn. I had been working with pharma companies really closely during my time at Millipore-Sigma, and I got to know some of their issues. I did a lot of research on Riffyn and saw that one of the biggest issues those companies had was exactly what Riffyn was attempting to solve. And I thought, ‘wow, this is a really cool technology, and it seems different than the traditional software and LIMS out there.’ I wasn't actively searching for a new job, but Riffyn seemed like a really great opportunity and another way to still work in this industry while also working on something new because it’s software.
Q: Describe Riffyn in three words.
Delivers on promise.
Q: What personal values do you get to fulfill through your work?
Because Riffyn is a smaller and newer company, it’s pretty easy to see the real life results and the impact that you’re having not only within the company but with the customers you’re working with. I’ve only been here for a few months but from the customer interactions I’ve had, I see how unique they see Riffyn and that Riffyn Nexus is something different that they really need.
And if we can’t do something, we’re not going to just lie and pretend like we can.
It’s really refreshing working with people who aren’t afraid of losing business by being honest. People are ok with you saying, ‘I don’t know but I’ll find out.’
Q: What part(s) of Riffyn’s culture do you enjoy the most?
On a lot of company websites you can see them say things like, ‘oh we’re so open and honest and everyone’s friends,’ but at Riffyn that really is true. Working remotely, I can’t have an intimate relationship with every single person, but every single person I’ve talked to or asked for their time has been willing to give it to me and to help.
Everyone’s really working towards the same goal of growing Riffyn and helping everyone get to the knowledge point that they need to be successful in their job. And going back to the topic of honesty, everyone is truly honest in how they present themselves and in conversations with customers.
Q: Walk me through what a work day looks like for you -- “a day in the life of Leah.”
My daily tasks can range from responding to incoming requests from people interested in learning more to personalizing and customizing presentations for customers to just doing more market research. I also work closely with the Science team planning for different implementations and getting customers up to speed and making sure that we're fulfilling their requirements.
Q: What is your best tip for effectively working from home?
Pick some time to stand up and walk around or your legs will fall off!
Q: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your work?
I knew there was always some manual and Excel-heavy work at science companies. But the magnitude of data that different companies, whether pharma or industrial or any sector, still handle manually in 2021 is kind of crazy.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I have a golden lab who is 100 pounds of love and energy. Pre-COVID I had a lot more things to do with my free time, but even pre-COVID, I spent a lot of time figuring out where to take him on a hike somewhere new on the weekends.
Q: If you could solve one major problem, what would it be and why?
Lack of compassion. We sometimes lack compassion for other people. It’s easy to be nice to people you know, but just as easy to be judgmental of others — especially people we haven’t even met! And social media plays a big role in making it easier to judge others instead of being compassionate.
If you're interested in joining a dynamic group of people passionate about helping scientists discover more, please visit our Careers page at riffyn.com/careers or send a letter of inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
Embriette is an academic-turned science writer with a passion for spreading responsible science. She holds a PhD in microbiome research from Baylor College of Medicine. After a 4-year post-doc, during which she managed the world's largest citizen science research project (the American Gut Project), Embriette became a full-time science writer and research consultant. You can find her work at riffyn.com, synbiobeta.com, and her personal webpage: drhydenotjekyll.com