The Capella Values Series: Community

In October, my colleague Jenn Sadler published the first blog post in a new series we are writing about Capella Space’s company values. Over the next few months, different members of the team will contribute to this project and write about what some of our values mean to them. Today, I’m continuing the series with a blog post about one of my favorite Capella values: Community. 

Perhaps the most enduring characteristic of the culture at Capella is how our team embraces the community. This manifests in two distinct ways. One is interpersonal – the people that work at Capella genuinely care for and support one another, and enjoy spending time together. The other is in our work – though we have different jobs and areas of expertise, we are all working together toward a mutual goal. The combination of the two leads to an environment of true comradery where employees are enthusiastic about pitching in outside their core responsibilities and happy to engage with questions or suggestions from other team members.

Having a strong company-wide sense of community is particularly important to me as a non-technical member of the team. I do not have an engineering or aerospace background, so one of my favorite things about working at Capella has been asking my coworkers what they are working on. Unlike other tech companies I’ve worked in, everyone at Capella is very excited to tell me about their projects and to patiently explain to me what they mean. We also have regular learning sessions over lunch where one group will explain their work to the broader company.

As the only full-time employee in my particular subdepartment, I am consistently impressed at how comfortable everyone at Capella is engaging with people outside of their immediate teams. Back when we were able to eat lunch together, Capellians arranged themselves randomly at our big picnic tables, so I was sitting next to a different person every day. My friends and support system at Capella come from all over the company, and I am thankful that we form our community based on shared interests and perspectives rather than remaining siloed in our work functions.

I also really depend on the value of the community in getting my work done. Everything from creating budgets to processing expense reports requires help from the whole team. Even while they have a million other things to do, my colleagues always take the time to provide me with what I need. They recognize that we’re all on the same team, and while expense reports might not be as exhilarating as designing a new spacecraft, Finance is still an important part of making Capella successful.

As we’ve transitioned to largely remote work during the coronavirus pandemic, I have missed all the small interactions I used to have with coworkers over coffee, at the lunch tables, or walking to the train together. While it’s challenging for every company to replicate a sense of community remotely, I really appreciate the focus we’ve given this transition at Capella. For example, when we launched our Sequoia satellite, everyone was included in that excitement, regardless of where they were or what role they played. We had “Sequoia TV,” a livestream video feed of the team’s efforts with commentary and explanation by a few of our engineers. It really helped those of us at home capture the thrill and buzz that those physically in the office felt. 

Our value of community enables all of our other company values. We are able to aim high and bold because we know our coworkers are there to encourage us and to catch us when we fall. We are creative because we rely on each other to support the good ideas and be honest about the bad ones. We are sticklers for quality in our work because we know that doing our jobs well makes everyone else’s job a little easier. In the coming months, check back in with our blog to read more about all of these other company values. 

About Lucy Newton: 

Lucy has been on the Capella Space team since 2017. She is the Financial Controller at Capella and is in charge of accounting, budgeting, and processing payroll. Prior to joining the Capella team, Lucy worked as an office manager and bookkeeper at Luminate Wireless.