Enigmatologist. Shawarma connoisseur. Office jokester.
You’ll usually find Bilal—not to confuse him with his brother, Talal, who also works at CMiC—laughing and cracking jokes while he works through the daily riddle on his whiteboard. As a natural problem solver, he is all about creative solutions at both work and play. However, there’s one matter Bilal will never joke about—and that’s the quality of his shawarma.
1. When did you join CMiC and why?
I joined CMiC in November 2017. You could consider my CMiC journey unconventional because I studied International Development in school, which focuses on the politics and economics of developing countries. Most of the roles in this field are in the non-profit sector—and don’t get me wrong, I support the work many great non-profits do—but I didn’t like the reality that a project is dependent on funding.
Technology, on the other hand, allows me to continue ‘doing good’ in an innovative way. The ‘tech boom’ right now definitely helps too. I’ve always been tech savvy, so this job checked off most of my boxes!
2. What is your role at CMiC?
I’m an Enterprise Account Manager. I currently manage 10 clients, for whom I make sure the software runs smoothly, deliver on any changes they want to make in a timely manner, and function as their primary point of contact at CMiC. If anything goes wrong, it’s up to me to pinpoint the solution.
A typical day starts for me with a client call. Actually, scratch that, several client calls. It’s during these calls when the clients identify their critical items. I then spend the bulk of the rest of my day identifying the resources needed to solve the problem, which includes meeting with the appropriate department to allocate tasks.
If I had to summarize what I do in one sentence: I spend the whole day talking to people.
3. How do you unwind after a day of talking to people?
I do most of my unwinding on my 40-minute drive home. I turn my music on to full blast from the moment I start my car until I’m home. I’m guilty of startling myself in the mornings when I start my car if I forgot to turn my music down the evening before!
4. Share with me your best CMiC memory.
The afterparty at Savannah Smiles Dueling Piano Bar during our 20th annual CONNECT user conference in Savannah, Georgia. It was fun to sing at the top of my lungs with both our clients and the people I work with every day.
5. Where is the best lunch spot?
* Gets excited with a big gasp. Claps hands. ‘Oh man.’ Proceeds to breathe heavily.*
Earls on a Wednesday because they have the best specials that day. Earls right now is pretty much my go-to, especially for their chicken tacos.
(I transition to asking Bilal for the best shawarma joint—a question he is known to be passionate about around the office.)
*Gasps and ponders the question for a while with his hands clasped around his mouth* Shawarma Empire. You can google this. Google agrees with me.
Otherwise, I eat in my office. I pull up a PDF that says ‘LUNCH TIME’ in all caps on my computer and tilt my monitor so that people can see it. I set a timer for 30 minutes and the people around me know that they can’t disturb me until it’s up.
6. What do you listen to on your morning commute?
I have over 100 podcasts that I’m subscribed to. Some of my favorites include: FiveThirtyEight, Dark Net Diaries and ‘Behind the Bastards,’ which discusses irrelevant stuff about the worst people in history.
*Proceeds to show me a picture of Steven Seagal* Like this guy, who claims to be an Aikido master and blues musician—but he’s not. The more you know.
7. Go-to CMiC office snack?
Bananas. They come in nature’s wrapper… what more do you want? The most convenient fruit of all time.
8. What is your favourite part of the day?
I really enjoy my drive to the office because it’s my time to wake up and listen to podcasts. I also use this time to plan my day mentally so that I have a sense of direction once I get to my desk.
9. Any tips for someone looking to join the CMiC team?
The ideal CMiC employee is willing to ask questions. There’s a wealth of knowledge here, and the people are great resources who can help you. It’s also important to understand what resources these people can provide you; you’ll be in a hard spot if you don’t know where to go to get the answers you need. For new CMiC employees, understand the different departments and their functions!
10. What do you do to destress?
Being an Account Manager can be a very stressful role, so it’s important to be able to leave the stress in the office. I like to solve riddles—so be sure to visit me in my office if you do too!