Life Inside the Kipsu Rotation Program: Keelie

Every spring, Kipsu welcomes a new class of Analysts to our Entrepreneurial Leadership Rotation Program (ELRP). Analysts spend 12 months rotating between Kipsu's 3 core teams learning all aspects of our business. At the end of the program, Analysts are placed on a team permanently. The 2019 ELRP class just completed their first rotation, and we spoke with Keelie Swafford about her experience on the Engineering Team.

Keelie Blog pic


What drew you to Kipsu in the first place? 

I was drawn to Kipsu because of the product. I believe in the purpose of what Kipsu does and this company falls in the realm of where I would love to take my career. I was also drawn to the Rotation Program specifically, as I am not sure what type of role I see myself within a company or my career yet. I know I would love to specialize in the hospitality industry, though, which drew me to Kipsu. The Rotation Program gives me the opportunity to try all the different roles within Kipsu to find my strengths and interests. 

Which team were you on in this rotation? What type of projects did you undertake? 

I began my year in the Rotation Program as a Product Analyst with the Engineering team. As a Product Analyst, I undertake all of the release testing processes before we release any updates to the Kipsu platform. I expressed my interest to my manager about design and contributing to the UI of developing new features or fixes and have been able to start working on understanding what goes into creating new features and having small projects where I get to take the lead and get feedback on what does and doesn't work for our users.

What project or accomplishment are you most proud of from your first rotation? 

I am most proud of being able to pull a branch and update a devetest. That's something I never thought I'd be able to say or do! With a lot of help from my fellow colleagues, I was able to learn so much and make it happen! Also, being able to read console errors and try to establish what part of the code might be causing errors is something I'm starting to recognize, so I can test new code accurately and efficiently! 

What did you find most challenging about this rotation?

I found the most challenging aspect of this rotation was learning all of the engineering terminology and understanding what my role entailed. It wasn't necessarily a rocky start, but there was a huge learning curve to understand the product while also understanding how to correctly test tickets and making sure the product performed how it was supposed to. It was a bit overwhelming at first, and I made a few mistakes, but after time I realized my role and have been able to dive into several projects!

What was your biggest takeaway from this rotation?

My biggest takeaway from this rotation is that doing something you've never done or had previous knowledge of really helps you to grow as a person and an employee. I can't stress enough that I have never been a technical computer person—my degree is in marketing! I picked up on hotel property management systems (PMS) easily during college, but anything beyond that was a struggle for me. In just three months at Kipsu, I've learned more than I ever imagined about software and computer usage, especially since as a marketing student, I didn't expect to ever end up in an engineering role. The ELRP forced me to dive head-first into a brand new subject area, and I'm so grateful for all I've learned! 

Which team will you be with next and what are you most excited about?

Next, I will be working with the Customer Partnerships Team focusing on sales and marketing. I am most excited to do my own sales demo and be in contact with hotel management and other prospective customers. I loved my time as a Product Analyst, but I do miss building connections with customers and prospects. After my first rotation, I've piqued my interest in UI and UX, so I'm excited to see how marketing and engineering collaborate to bring the product to life. 

What advice do you have to those considering applying for the ELRP?

For anyone considering applying to the ELRP, I recommend not to be intimidated by the prospect of spending months in a role you haven't prepared for! Before this, I didn't have any experience working with computers in a technical capacity, but by asking lots of questions and not being afraid to move fast and make mistakes, I learned more than I thought I ever would. The ELRP is a fantastic program to get a "crash course" in the most important areas that power tech companies while building relationships across the Kipsu team. 
















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