My career journey: Aakash in Ops

A fascination with “The Matrix” helped this commerce graduate discover his true calling.
Aakash, Operations Watch Lead

Meet Aakash

After a friend and former colleague told me that he got a job at ExpressVPN, I decided to research the company. I came across an opening for a network engineer on LinkedIn and applied straight away. I got a call back from the recruiter who encouraged me to interview for a role in Ops instead. After going through the company’s smooth interview process, I got the job—and the chance to work alongside my friend again after eight years.

My desk essentials are a terrarium (one of my many gifts from ExpressVPN), coffee mugs, a bottle of hand sanitizer, a laptop stand, a personalized coaster, and a nice view.

My favorite pantry snack is usually coconut water, but I'm spoilt for choice. With so many options, my preference changes daily.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a chartered accountant (a career I discovered wasn't for me as an adult).

Can you share your career journey so far?

My friends and family encouraged me to become a chartered accountant ever since I was small. This drove me to major in commerce and accounts at university. However, I soon discovered I was more passionate about computers and gaming than I was about numbers. After watching The Matrix, my fascination for the digital world intensified. Much to my family's dismay, I ended up taking a few computer courses.

I landed my first job at a technical call center before becoming an application engineer, where I learned the basics of HTML and CSS. I then got a certificate in CCIE to learn more about security engineering. Subsequently, I became a network security engineer, developed skills in data center networking, and earned a second CCIE certificate.

I then moved into data center operations, followed by a stint in IT service management as an IT design engineer, where I led a private cloud team.

Fast-forward to 2021 when I joined the ExpressVPN team as an operations manager within the Product Operations team. After seven months, I was given the opportunity to expand my technical skillset, and lead a team of awesome engineers. This brings me to my current role.

What are some highlights from your time at ExpressVPN?

Everyone I've met at ExpressVPN is super cool, helpful, and looking to solve complex problems. I enjoy working with a team who are driven to improve existing processes—and build new ones—while offering customers the best possible user experience. The company's technology-driven, relaxed culture also keeps me motivated and engaged.

What's your favorite aspect of working here?

The people, the culture, and the work-life balance. Oh, and a fully-stocked pantry, of course.

What are the most important things you've learned in your career so far?

  • People are the lifeblood of an organization

  • Question the process and the things around you

  • Learning never stops

What's the craziest thing you’ve ever done in a job?

Where do I begin? Getting my boss to agree to an official work trip to Las Vegas for four weeks (including free access to a Bruno Mars concert); working on an escalation issue for 40 hours straight, which meant sleeping in the office; and coming to work with an empty backpack, then having to go back home to fetch my laptop.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love to cycle and have a road bike, a folding bike, and a tandem bike. These days, however, I spend most of my free time at home studying and working on assignments for a Master's program I'm enrolled in at Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

Ping zhu illustration for changing locations.

Could your career journey lead to ExpressVPN?

We'd love to hear about your career journey, and find out if there's a place for you at ExpressVPN. Read more about our culture and how we support career growth, and check out our current job openings to find the best fit for you. Then get in touch with us!