Hey all! My name’s Hilary, and here is a day in the life of me, the Handshake Support Team Manager.

7:15 am – My alarm goes off


Mornings are hard.

7:25-8 am – Workout/shower (hah! This workout usually happens on my lunch break, let’s be real)

8 am – Time to check emails, Zendesk, and prioritize tasks for the day. Eat breakfast.

9-10:15 am – Drink all the coffee, feed children and get them dressed. I choose quicker,  smaller work tasks for this time period because I’m getting interrupted quite often. Emails that need quick responses, Slack DMs, responding to any open tickets, etc. (Even as a manager, I think it’s incredibly important to continue to work in Support one day a week, or even a few hours. It gives you a huge boost in empathy and understanding, not only for your direct reports but also for your users. It keeps you current on trends and workflow processes also.)  

10:30 am-12 pm -The house is peaceful after the kids are picked up. Go outside on my deck to continue working.

12-1 pm – Lunch break typically, although I am quite flexible here. Because I work remotely, I can eat during almost any meeting, so I may work through this if a west coast meeting is scheduled. I’ll workout here if I haven’t already, which is usually the case (Morning workouts are so hard!!).

1-5 pm – Meetings! Depending on the day I may have only 1 or 2, or as many as 4. These range anywhere from my weekly meeting with Modsquad, my own weekly huddle with the support team, user research sessions, 1:1’s, company-wide weekly All-Hands, product marketing sync….the list goes on. ModSquad is the company we use for some of our contracted Support Team. We have our internal team of course, but our volume is so very seasonal that we’ve been using a combination of ModSquad and independent contractors to scale seasonally. You can learn more about ModSquad here: https://modsquad.com/what-we-do/.

Today I have:

1:00 pm – Parenting Community kickoff. My colleague Megan and I are in the process of creating a community at Handshake for parents. Our goal is to create a group that is supportive of working parents, where we can share all things child-related, from celebrating milestones to requesting advice to solidarity around the working hours we keep.

1:30 pm – Donut meeting with the CEO of Handshake, Garrett Lord. As a remote employee, I feel responsibility to connect with the new folks that join our company, and to maintain relationships with those I’ve already connected with. For those of you that might not know, Donut is a Slack integration to pair random colleagues together for a chat. We called the channel #donut-be-alone, and not only do I love being in that channel, I often initiate my own ‘donuts’ with new Handshake people I want to meet or ones I haven’t chatted with in a while.

While I am a part of the donut-be-alone channel in Slack, I often make my own donuts with people also, outside of the Slack channel. Today, I chat for 30 minutes with Garrett about personal and work things. It’s a great conversation and I leave feeling energized.

2:00 pm – User research session with an alumni Handshake user. I love these working sessions with students and alumni; it’s the closest thing to observing them in their natural habitat. The insights I learn in these session are shared with our student product team to improve the student experience. I also use this knowledge to create additional help center documentation, Zendesk macros, or quick tutorial videos to better help our students with Handshake.

3:00-3:45 pm – One of the best times in my week: my 1:1 with my direct report Zoe. We chat about her week, how she’s feeling, and anything she’s blocked on. We discuss any new projects for her typically during this time also.

3:45-5 pm – Catch up: respond to Slack messages, emails, hop on ad-hoc calls with colleagues, and follow up on any tickets I may have in my open inbox. Wrap up my day so I feel good about returning in the morning.

5:15 pm – Head out to pick up the kids from their Grandma’s house.

6:30 pm – Home. Make dinner or get carryout, and then play time.

8:30-9 pm – Both kids are bathed and in bed by this point (hopefully). Now I get some me time!

9:30 pm – Think about going to bed. Play Candy Crush while watching Brooklyn 99 with my husband, Matt. If he’s not home, I’m probably watching The Office reruns. (I really want to watch The Handmaid’s Tale but I’m so afraid it’s going to give me anxiety. The book was intense).

10 pm – Think about how nice it’d be if I was asleep now. Switch to playing Stardew Valley.

10:30 pm – Actually get myself into bed

11 pm – Hopefully I’m asleep!


Actual footage of myself and my husband, Matt.

7:15 am – Wake up and do it all over again.