Voice of an EA – Monica… in conversation with Apta
During my first month at Chegg, Feb 2013; I worked for just 12 days and could earn almost equal to the monthly salary that I used to receive from my previous employer… I am a full time EA @ Chegg … After coming to Chegg I feel myself a lot upgraded as this job makes me keep myself updated with the subject content… I feel proud to be an author…Chegg gifted my personal life back to me at the same time keeping me very satisfied with my earnings and job… Chegg is the only organization that can offer such a lifestyle… I never felt an additional burden when we plan vacations or holiday trips… I started receiving “thank you’s” from students in the comments, thumbs-up ratings, good scores and encouraging words from Chegg team – all very motivating… All the things at my home are the ones I bought with the money I earned by working as an EA@Chegg… Being an independent girl, I never expect anything from my parents… I worked and earned all on my own. All this has happened due to Chegg… Chegg makes every moment of my life memorable. I eat Chegg! I drink Chegg! Chegg has become a part of my life… Chegg pulled me out of my financial crisis… Chegg taught me how to use computer and made me habituated to digital productivity on the internet, which is a valuable skill these days… In my life of three and a half years with Chegg, I did not just grow, I actually evolved…
How did you come to Chegg?
I did my BTech in 2009 and MTech from Andhra University (2009 to 2011). During my MTech, I took an offer to join as an Assistant Professor at an engineering college. I joined as a part-time tutor. My sister was working as a full-time subject expert at Chegg during that time. So, after completion of MTech, I too tried to join Chegg as a full-time expert, but the pay was less than what I was offered by the college. I was not only promoted as an Asst. Professor, but was also made the head of the department. Due to high demand of civil engineers, it was tough to find civil engineering faculty.
I started teaching and slowly got habituated to teaching students. I was the HOD (head of the department) in that college for two years. My pay package was too good – more than any other HOD in that college. Later, I got married, got a good husband [chuckles], my salary was good, and so, my life was going just wonderful.
The college where I used to work was far from home. It took me 4 hours to travel to-and-fro to the college. That was the only sad part. As a home maker too, my responsibilities and household duties increased after I got married, and I had to take a break. The year was 2013.
Knowing about Chegg through my sister, I joined Chegg as I was told that I could earn more if I could answer more questions. That’s it! During my first month at Chegg, Feb 2013; I worked for just 12 days and could earn almost equal to the monthly salary that I used to receive from my previous employer. Ever since, it never stopped.
I work on civil engineering subjects, but I also work out Q&A – physics and computer science as well. As a civil engineer, I have knowledge of geology, earth sciences, and physics. Also, I did a few computer courses. This led me to be a multi-subject expert at Chegg, wherein I enjoy working for all the three subjects.
Where else do you work?
No, only Chegg. I am a full time EA @ Chegg [Smiles].
How is being an EA different from working as an employee elsewhere?
I used to teach students live when I used to work as a faculty in a college. Working at Chegg is no different for me. Teaching is all the same, explaining students, giving step-wise instructions. Now, after coming to Chegg I feel myself a lot upgraded as this job makes me keep myself updated with the subject content.
As a teacher at college, I can reproduce content from the text books while explaining to the students, but here at Chegg, I can’t copy content from some text books that made me a real author, who writes original content for the students. I feel proud to be an author.
Being head of a department is tough. I needed to stay at the college the whole day, got to look after administration of the department along with taking classroom sessions and handling student issues. I couldn’t even enjoy my breaks and leisure. I was answerable to someone. My personal life was badly affected by my previous full time job.
Chegg does it the other way around. I am not answerable to someone else. Even though, I make a mistake in any of my solutions, I can correct it in the comments while having a conversation with the student. Chegg gifted my personal life back to me at the same time keeping me very satisfied with my earnings and job.
How much time do you spend a day on authoring?
I spend full time. I wake up at 3AM, sit on Q&A till 7 AM. Then I go to the kitchen to prepare breakfast and have breakfast with family and then sit back on TBS from around 9AM till 12PM. I take a lunch break, both preparing and for having it. At 3PM again, I sit on TBS till 7 PM. I work another hour post my dinner at 8PM, then I go to bed at around 10PM.
This is my daily routine that comfortably fetches me good earnings every month.
How do you balance your personal and professional life as an EA?
I never miss an outing with family. We go to movies, parties, and family day-outs. I can happily work on weekends without losing all this. Chegg is the only organization that can offer such a lifestyle.
We even go on vacations and holiday trips where I usually carry my laptop. If I can manage to answer at least two questions per day during my vacation that takes nothing out of my vacation time, I can easily earn the travel expenses for the trip. I never felt an additional burden when we plan vacations or holiday trips.
Despite all this, I usually take two or three days off every month to get refreshed and unwound.
Did you get any poor quality rating or send backs for your solutions anytime in you past? What do you do and what is your experience?
Yes I had, in the beginning. I received poor quality rating on both TBS and Q&A answers. That was like a starter for me. That was like an alert not to be too lenient on the subject. Those quality reports always kept me out of deviation from delivering quality content.
Once I corrected myself, the results were rewarding. I started receiving “thank you’s” from students in the comments, thumbs-up ratings, good scores and encouraging words from Chegg team – all very motivating. I never lost hope ever since.
Could you tell us a memorable and a challenging moment in your tenure?
Answering Q&A board itself is challenging, which I always enjoy the most. Unlike TBS, you don’t have much time to refer to text books or any other source. I need to be quick and accurate. That really is an enjoyable task for those who, like me, love the subject. The challenge I enjoy by working on Q&A board is also one of the reasons behind my healthy mind. I feel active and energetic through-out, every day.
The earnings I get every month keeps me motivated and in fact, I keep challenging myself by increasing the target number of questions every month to earn more. Every peak season, all the 4 months, I make most of the flow, be it TBS or Q&A, every time I see the crazy figures in my bank account, I feel like that’s the flavor of life.
Coming to my personal life, all the things at my home are the ones I bought with the money I earned by working as an EA@Chegg. I bought an air conditioner, a scooter, a phone, and even jewelry [beams]. Being an independent girl, I never expect anything from my parents. I worked and earned all on my own. All this has happened due to Chegg.
Chegg makes every moment of my life memorable. I eat Chegg! I drink Chegg! Chegg has become a part of my life.
Are you happy being an EA? How has the role made your life easy?
Yes, I am absolutely happy. My husband used to run an event management business. He would often be away from home for multiple days for the events. Those are the days when I would utilize most of the free time working out more questions.
Unfortunately, after few happy months like these, my husband fell seriously ill, was bed ridden and the situation demanded my full time attention to him. We ran into severe financial crisis too. I became the bread winner of the family and also my husband’s medical bills were high. For a couple months, I couldn’t even work on Chegg assignments.
Once my husband was discharged from the hospital and started further medication, I was back to work and Chegg supported me a lot. At that point of time, the whole team at Chegg supported me very well and made sure I received work without any gap. I worked hard and all my expenses to run the family including the medication bills of my husband were met. Chegg pulled me out of my financial crisis.
How does Chegg help in your progress?
I got selected for a job in the government sector (Asst. Executive Engineer) in 2014. Though it was more secure, it demanded separation from my family. I had a husband and a home to take care of. So, being an EA @ Chegg, which allows me to work at my own comfort from home, sounded comfortable for me-more than the government job. I left the offer and continued with Chegg.
Ever since I ignored the opportunity as an AEE in the government sector, there were no positions open again until recently, a couple months ago. Now, my mother and friends are forcing me to join the government job, but I am not willing to leave Chegg.
Chegg has helped me a lot in developing my knowledge. Being an EA @ Chegg pays off when it comes to getting through a competitive exam like the one for the post of AEE in the govt. sector. I don’t need to prepare separately for the exam, I can attend the test right now and I am pretty sure I will succeed.
The way the exams are being conducted now, everything is online. Chegg taught me how to use computer and made me habituated to digital productivity on the internet, which is a valuable skill these days.
Also, Chegg introduced me to the American educational culture and standards, and gave me a wonderful picture of how American students pursue their studies. Now, I can teach American students. This is not an easy thing. Chegg gave me all that.
I enjoy the opportunity to interact with the students through comments. Every negative comment I receive, makes me dig back into the answer and find what’s wrong, which gives me more insight. Then getting back to the student not only with corrections but also with the other approaches of the solution, establishes a connection between students and myself.
In my life of three and a half years with Chegg, I did not just grow, I actually evolved.
Do you recommend others to join as EA? If yes, why?
Yes I do. I have already referred many. My mom and mother-in-law always suggest others to meet me saying, “Monica is earning well sitting at home. Come, you too join.” I explain how the work feels before they join to help them take a constructive decision.
What about procrastinating you work?
I never felt like working under pressure, so obviously I never think of procrastinating. The question is irrelevant [smiles].
My family supports me a lot. They don’t disturb me, if they see me sitting before my laptop, in fact, they switch the air conditioner on, and lock the door, trying to comfort me.
It can never be better than Chegg.
Would you opt for an opportunity to take up a job of a full time expert in Chegg?
I would like to join but I think no other full time job pays like this.