The New York Life Newsroom is running a regular series that focuses on how our people are living and working in these challenging times. Here’s our conversation with Jomil Guerrero, Managing Director, New York Life Investments Management, who talks about what it’s like to be sheltering in place with her husband, an essential worker, and her two children, one of whom has Autism. Jomil has been with the company for nine years and is based in our New York City Home Office.
1. Let’s start easy: How are you?
Overall, I am doing pretty well—as good as can be expected. There are good days, and there are bad days. It was very overwhelming when this all started, but thankfully the bad days are getting fewer and I have found a new routine.
2. Can you describe your role?
I run Marketing Operations for New York Life Investments Management. I oversee our Marketing Project Management Office, our Value Add Program, our creative services team, our events team, and two of our Marketing technology platforms, Seismic and Eloqua. Working in investments, managing through market volatility is always a concern, but it became overwhelming at times when the pandemic started. Thankfully the markets have largely turned around.
3. Who are you sheltering in place with?
I’m home with my husband, mother-in-law, my two sons (Matthew is 12 and Johnathan is 14), and our dog. My husband is an essential worker—he’s a nuclear medicine technician, doing cardiology stress testing—he never stopped commuting into New York City. It’s not unusual for his car to be the only one parked at the train station! On weekends he’s a volunteer EMT so most of the responsibilities at home have fallen on me.
4. What does your day look like now?
My day starts the night before when I prepare the schedule for Matthew, my 12-year-old. I cross-reference my work schedule with what schoolwork he has so his routine is set for the next day. Not having the regular structure of school has been challenging for Matthew—he has Autism and having a structured schedule and routine are very important for him. Putting this together and printing the schedule for him has helped a lot.
The workday starts with me getting Matthew up and running, then I have an all-team virtual huddle at 8:30 a.m. The rest of the day is spread out between meetings and schoolwork. I make sure to take breaks for a walk with Matthew every day—even if it’s raining! Every day I have a standing meeting at 5:00 p.m. and try and make sure I am wrapped up by 5:30 p.m.
5. What do you miss most about the office?
As silly as it may sound, I actually miss my commute in a way. It afforded me a certain amount of time to myself, which is rare to have these days. I also miss the energy of the office, having people around and being able to pop into their offices quickly to ask a question, or running into them in the hallways—those random connections don’t happen anymore. Video meetings have been great, but it’s just not the same.
6. How are you practicing self-care right now?
I’ve loved being able to spend time with my boys that I didn’t used to really have before. Johnathan and I are working through all the Marvel movies in order, and I make sure to take walks with Matthew every day. I’ve also been able to work out more these last two months, and I have also started using the Calm app for meditations when I can fit it in before the day starts.
7. What would you say you’ve learned about yourself over the last few months?
I’ve learned that I can still lead a team virtually with success. While it takes a little more effort to stay connected, it’s been a great learning experience for me. I thought being home indefinitely would drive me nuts, but it doesn’t feel like a burden—there are times when it’s stressful, yes, but we have created a really good home environment.
8. What are your go-to comfort foods during the lockdown?
Cheeseball puffs from Costco! They’re so good! I made the mistake of getting a tub recently and everyone in the family loves them. We also bake every Sunday, so whatever we decide to bake is a comfort.
9. How exactly would you describe your corona-era wardrobe?
Yoga pants and T-shirts!
10. What’s on top of your to-do list when all of this is over?
A pedicure! I want one so badly… I also can’t wait to watch my older son play baseball again.
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