Herding Cats – It’s a Career!

Dara Monasch / Thursday, January 31, 2013

Can you remember a time at the beginning of summer, when the weather was just starting to heat up and you were considering going swimming for the first time that year? You had your swimsuit on, but you just weren’t sure about diving in. You dipped your toe into the freezing water and you thought, “Maybe not right now.” You wanted to be ready but it just wasn’t prime time. You started to turn to walk away when WHAM – your brother shoved you full force into the water. At first, you panicked – sputtering and trying to get your bearings, preparing to scream at him as soon as you surfaced from this unexpected submersion… but your childhood swimming instincts kicked in and you were suddenly treading water with ease. Once you had everything under control you realized… “Hey, this is actually insanely awesome; I could get used to this.”

Welcome to my life at Infragistics.

Dara PicMy name is Dara Monasch and I joined the Infragistics team in February 2012 as a Technical Project Manager. How? Why? Well that’s all part of the story I’m about to tell…

I graduated (Summa *** Laude, if you please) from Ramapo College of NJ in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Minor in East Asian Studies, and a Concentration in Marketing. I moved back home as so many recent grads are doing these days, and I started the quest of finding my first “real job”. I was actually incredibly lucky in that I registered with a local temp agency and within days of my interview and skills assessments, I was contacted and placed in a long-term temp position with a wonderful company which ended up hiring me. The only downside was that I wasn’t in love with the industry. In truth, I wasn’t sure what I would be in love with, which is why I stayed.

After a while, I began really thinking about what I wanted to do with my life and career. Around that same time, a longtime friend and I reconnected and we were chatting about our lives. He was working at Infragistics. To make a long story of hiring very short, my friend suggested that I look at the openings at his company and I came in to meet the HR recruiter. Through the course of my conversations with the representative about my interests, skills and goals, it came to light that the position of Technical Project Manager had just been posted that morning. Can we pause to consider the serendipity of this whole situation for a moment? ….. Thanks. After submitting the appropriate paperwork, I was thrilled to receive a call back to come in for a full interview.

I was honestly terrified during my interview process.

While I’ve grown up immersed in technology, taken a few basic coding classes and created my fair share of websites – I am by no means a programmer. Maybe someday, but certainly not today. What were they going to ask me? Was I qualified for this role? What if I said something dumb and embarrassed my friend who recommended me? I was so full of uncertainty that I’m surprised I didn’t skip out on the whole thing altogether!

However, I survived the interview process and was thrilled and honored to be offered my position at Infragistics. I’ve been here for 11 months now, and even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, I’ve really learned a lot. Since I’m full of foresight, I took a ton of notes and thought a lot about everything so I could reference myself and somehow become a useful team member here. Luckily, what that means for you is that I can go back, relive everything, and share my past experiences with you. Plus, I’ll also keep you updated on what I’m doing now. My role as Technical Project Manager is incredibly diverse and I dabble in a variety of departments and projects. I’m always running straight into walls (sometimes literally) and circumventing my way around them. So I’ll bring you with me through all the craziness, hopefully always while providing you with new knowledge and as often as possible, some laughter.


Feel free to comment here on my blog, or find me on Twitter @DokiDara.

By Dara Monasch