Meet the Team: Sam

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Sam (he/him) is a member of Sparrow’s Internal Operations team. Let’s get to know Sam!


How did you get to where you are?

I got to where I am through hard work and learning from my mistakes. My first professional experience was in the restaurant industry as a cook/chef. Working in the restaurant industry taught me important lessons:

• I learned how to work more efficiently and work smarter rather than faster.

• It also taught me that the abrasive managing styles I encountered were ineffective. Early on, I made the mistake of emulating what I had seen my managers do. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I didn’t want to relate to my team members like that.

After a few years of working in the culinary industry, I managed teams differently from what I experienced early in my career. I realized that effective communication makes all the difference and that I would not repeat my experiences of chefs throwing plates at me.

What is a fun fact about you?

I’ve changed careers twice. I started in the culinary industry and switched to real estate investment, and now from real estate to leave management.

Why did you join Sparrow?

Joining Sparrow was the easiest choice I ever made. The interview process was the best I’ve ever gone through. Every person I met during the process was friendly and respectful. They cared about finding out how I could contribute to Sparrow and treated me as a colleague. It was evident that the company’s culture was unique from that first interview.

What did your team do to support you in your first month?

The team was very patient and supportive. Leave management is a complex field, and the team was able to teach me the entire process. Everyone was helpful and did everything they could to make me feel welcomed.

What is your favorite part of working at Sparrow?

My favorite part is helping our customers with their claim filing. The process of filing disability claims is quite convoluted, and going through it without experience can be daunting. I have firsthand experience with that. When my wife was pregnant with our daughter, I filed our leaves with the EDD (Employment Development Department), and the process was very confusing. What made it worse was that we had no one to consult with, as my last HR representatives did not know what the process entailed. I learned a lot through trial and error.

Have you picked up any hobbies since COVID started?

I picked up bread baking since COVID started. Making bread is therapeutic and helps me unwind and focus on the moment. My favorite recipe is a spelt sourdough bread that combines spelt and whole wheat flours.

What are you most proud of in the last year?

I’m proud of starting my graduate studies. In January, I started working towards an MBA at UC Davis. The program is excellent, and I’m learning many valuable skills.

Want to join our team? Check out our careers page and apply!