Meet Satish Alluri, the Deputy Program Manager for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Grants Management Modernization initiative. He recently graduated from the selective ACT-IAC Voyagers Professional Development fellowship. A longtime Karsun team member, he has held several positions including Senior Business Analyst and Scrum Master serving both our DHS FEMA and GSA programs.
We sat down with Satish Alluri to hear his advice on advancing your product, delivery, and program career. Learn about his tenure at Karsun plus his secrets for growing as an enterprise modernization expert.
Life as Program Manager at Karsun Solutions
How would you describe your role at Karsun?
I am currently serving as the Deputy Program Manager for our FEMA GMM modernization contract and assist in the overall program management. My key responsibilities include employee engagement, motivating the team towards successful and continuous Product Delivery and also provide operational oversight for the Process and Product Management disciplines within our program.
How did you end up at Karsun?
Over the past several years, I had worked in various consultant opportunities and one of those stints gave me a chance to work with some of the now seasoned Karsun employees. This past relationship paved the path for me to join Karsun in 2015. I joined as a Senior Business Analyst and gradually progressed in my career. During my current tenure, I supported the GSA program in different roles as a Senior Business Analyst, Scrum Master, and now supporting the FEMA program.
What is your main goal or focus?
Given my background, I have always been aligned with Product Strategy and Delivery. My career goals have been getting into Program Management, Product Management, seeking an opportunity to lead, collaborate, and oversee a big team and eventually run a successful program.
What gets you excited to come to work here?
Coming to the office gives me the opportunity to talk and collaborate with my peers. That’s pretty much what excites me. The kind of work that we do, the things that we deliver, it’s an evolutionary process. The key aspects are meeting people, talking to people, and helping things get delivered for the federal government.
What do you love most about the culture at Karsun Solutions?
I think there’s a certain openness within the company. I can openly collaborate with my peers on different ideas at Karsun. Whether it is my supervisor, colleagues, or the CEO, I can walk around and find somebody to share that idea. Even if it doesn’t get implemented, the conversation that happens is engaging enough for me to go back and think through it and come back with more food for thought. The openness of these conversations and the support structure around us employees is personally the favorite part of the culture here.
Do you have any unique traditions that you feel embody Karsun’s culture?
When I was supporting our GSA program, we used to follow the national day program and that pretty much set the mood for that day. Another of my favorite traditions are the Plank challenges in our FEMA program and also the potlucks at the office. Our last Thanksgiving Potluck was very successful and gave us an opportunity to be relaxed and work in a casual environment. Although the recent situation has disrupted some of these traditions, I am looking forward to getting back into the office and engaging more in-person fun activities with my colleagues.
Envisioning a Future at Karsun
What are you most excited about for the future of the company?
When I joined Karsun, it was a small business and while I was supporting the GSA program, we were awarded the FAA contract and now the FEMA contract. As we are turning towards becoming a large organization, the prospects that I see for myself within this growth is what excites me the most.
What is your experience with professional development at Karsun?
For myself, when I approached my supervisor regarding certain certifications, it was welcomed. Actually, after joining Karsun, I went through a couple of certifications: Certified Scrum Product Owner, Certified Agile Leadership, Certified Scrum Professional, and the Voyagers Program. This states what the company gives its employees. If an employee can speak up, there are always opportunities here.
What is your relationship like with your manager?
It is a great relationship. Some of the things I have done at Karsun would not be possible without his cooperation. His openness and upfront attitude towards giving timely feedback helped me improve certain things. When there were aspects I did not do what had to be done, he was quick and upfront about it. He gave constructive feedback and gave me guidance on how I could fix it.
What can you tell us about Mentorship with Karsun?
It’s the relationship that you have with your supervisor. It’s your career. Tell them what you want to further enhance your career. There was a dialogue with all my supervisors across the different programs. They tell me what I could do, and I ask them questions. I think it comes back to employee openness and finding a way to connect with your supervisor and senior colleagues.
Advice to Future Team Members: Be Open, Be Honest
What is one quality people need to be successful at Karsun?
At a company like Karsun, you have to be open, communicative, and responsive. If you are somebody who just sits at your cubicle, you might find it tough to be successful at this company. You need to open up and say this is what I can do and how I can contribute towards company success. The reason I say that is because it is a growing company and as we are growing from a small to a large organization every employee will have a way they can contribute to that growth.
What advice would you have for a candidate coming to interview?
The one piece of advice I would give is to be honest. As I said, Karsun is a growing company. It is important that the people we are hiring are as they present themselves in the interview. There’s a decent opportunity for growth based on the skillset you present in the interview. Being honest in the interview, saying what you have done in the past and what you can do is very critical. Just keep it straight.