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Day in the life: Kavita Shah, Peer Health Exchange Manager, Program Design & Development

Published on November 13th, 2019

Our program’s reach and positive impact on the lives of young people would not be possible without the hard work, passion and dedication of our talented team. It’s our people-power that makes Peer Health Exchange a unique and amazing place to work. In this ‘Day in the Life’ series,  we shine the spotlight on one employee at a time—providing just a snapshot of what they do—over the course of a typical day.

Your Name: Kavita Shah
Your Job Title: Manager, Program Design & Development

In your own words, describe what you do in one sentence: I design and develop curriculum and facilitator training materials for our core program model as well as our scalable models and innovations.

Your direct manager’s title: Director, Program Design & Development

8:00 am: The bulk of my time at work is spent designing, creating, and iterating, so I try to come into the office in a clear, creative headspace. For me, this means spending time outdoors in the morning. I take the BART train into San Francisco from Oakland every morning and zigzag my way to work through two big parks, walking way further north than the office and then circling back down to start the workday. Simple things like watching the “regulars” play fetch with their dogs in Sydney G. Walton Square or seeing flowers bloom in Ferry Park bring me peace and put a smile on my face.

8:30 am: Getting settled into the office for me means checking on my desk plants and catching up on Slack. I sit with Lisa and Lexis, who are on my team, and Marnie and Sami, who are on the Shared Services team. We call ourselves “The Pod” and have our own Slack channel, where I can typically find some sweet or silly updates about commute woes.

12:00 pm: When my team is in the thick of development season, I commit to working on 1-2 workshops a day. It’s important for me to develop workshops in tandem so I can ensure that the curriculum reads as a cohesive whole, especially in our relationship-centered model. This is a snapshot of me playing with the language for how to introduce young people to the concepts of access and agency in our first workshop, “Navigating Your Health.”

12:45 pm: Here’s a hilariously unflattering snapshot of my beloved team, Programs and Strategic Learning. We hold our team meetings over video call because we are spread across five cities. Despite the distance, though, PSL feels like a family. I am grateful that I get to collaborate with so many other strong, intelligent, and authentic women—many of whom are women of color, which has made me feel a type of safe that I had never experienced in a workplace before. PSL meetings are a space where I can be vulnerable, I can grow, and my ideas are seen as valuable.

3:30 pm: I am a very visual, non-linear thinker, so late afternoon (especially after a marathon of meetings) is when I devolve into “thinking through” curriculum or training content using any medium I can get my hands on. I make use of post-its, whiteboards, colored markers, scrap paper—you name it! Learning is such a dynamic process and can happen so many ways, so it excites me to think through the shape of an activity in a tactile way before typing it into a Word Document and creating what we call a “Facilitator Guide.”

7:30 pm: I linger in the office for a long time, mostly because I spend the last couple hours of my day working and chatting with Lisa and Lexis, two podmates/teammates who, like me, are most productive in the quiet of the evening. My goal is usually to make it home by sunset, so earlier in the winter and later in the summer. I love seeing the golden hour illuminate the flora in my neighborhood.

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