Voice of an EA – Bhaskar
How did you come to Chegg?
I joined Chegg in the year 2010, when it was known as Cramster. I used to work as a faculty in a college and conducted tuitions at home. One day, I saw a newspaper advertisement and applied for the job. Those days, the role was something else, but not an Expert Answerer (EA).
Where else do you work?Currently, I am an Associate Professor in mathematics at an engineering college.
How is being an EA different from working as an employee elsewhere?
Prior to joining Chegg, I used to take up tutoring services besides my day job. So, I never felt that working for Chegg, was a hindrance to my regular activities. Moreover, I joined into the full-time job and Chegg, as a part-timer, more or less in the same time, the only difference being I discontinued home tuitions. The effort was the same, but working for Chegg gave me more satisfaction.
When I used to tutor, I used to teach using a piece of chalk and black board in a class to a bunch of students. Here, I am typing on a laptop, a much more comfortable way to conduct my work. I am with my family and work from the convenience of my home. Even household chores do not disturb me much as we are allowed 120 minutes to answer every question. Some questions need lesser time to solve; it is then that I attend to household tasks, at the same time, completing the questions too – a win-win situation!
How much time do you spend a day on authoring? How do you balance your personal and professional life as an EA?
Working on Chegg board never disrupts my regular life as the timings are either early in the mornings or late in the evenings. I wake up at 4:00 in the morning and start working on Chegg questions till 7:30. Then I get ready and go to college and return home by 6:00 in the evening. I start answering questions at around 7:30 in the evening until bed time.We have a facility to access the questions on our phones too. So, on the way to college, I prefer bus and sometimes work in the bus too. We don’t have question flow related issues. We get the questions anytime during the day and any month during the year.
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?
I never had poor quality rating during my entire tenure with Chegg, though I often receive comments from students. When a student comes back with a doubt, I always reply with further explanation.
Could you tell us a memorable and a challenging moment in your tenure?
I enjoy the actual flavor of working as an EA at Chegg when I receive comments from students saying ‘awesome,’ ‘you explained better than my professor at college’, etc. Those moments are the most memorable and rewarding.Challenging moments are those when we face questions that ask us to answer using a different approach. Those questions make me realize the other method or approach in solving the problem. Such questions, though challenging, are the ones that I love to solve. When I interview students or new faculty at college, as a panel member, I use these questions to test their caliber. (smiles)
Are you happy being an EA? How has the role made your life easy?
We used to live in a small apartment that had no elevator. My parents used to suffer taking the stairs. My financial status never allowed me to even think of buying a bigger apartment with all facilities, I never dared to even dream, as my full-time job couldn’t give me that confidence. After joining Chegg, I got the confidence that I can pay my EMIs on time, so I bought a 3 BHK apartment with the new-found confidence, thanks to Chegg. Now, things are a lot better at home, in fact, I have made one of the room my office. (smiles)
Also, I could also buy many home appliances after joining Chegg as the steady income gave me the assurance of making timely EMI payments.I always give importance to family at home. Even in the middle of creating a solution, I pause and attend the family. Also, as we can submit answers on phones, I take the advantage of working while enjoying with my family during a day out. At times, I feel I need to resist my urge for answering, as it looks embarrassing if I am glued to my phone all the time. The questions appearing on Chegg’s Q&A board draw me towards them, as if, saying, “Hey, C’mon, pick us up and solve us.” (laughs)
How does Chegg help in your progress?
I used to take tuitions for undergraduates that proved helpful for my success in Chegg. For mathematics, fundamentals are necessary. There is a difference between American and Indian standards of books, but with my sound knowledge in basics, I could crack all the approaches to solve the problems requested by the students.I once motivated a friend to join Chegg – Mr. Ayyappa Sastry, who too had lent his voice to be published in one of our previous editions of “Voice of an EA”. I motivated him saying that once you answer questions on Chegg site, you will not leave it. It is addictive. One of the reasons is good earnings, but the main reason is Chegg provides a platform to learn something new every day. We usually do not learn as long as we teach the same syllabus every year to the students at college, but, at Chegg, trying to answer questions asked by students from various domains is a very big opportunity to learn and keep ourselves updated with knowledge. Having a great passion for Math, my friend and I never felt odd working as EAs with Chegg.
Do you recommend others to join as EA? If yes, why?
Yes. I encouraged many students of mine as EAs at Chegg over the past few years. I say only one thing –“You get and assured income, at the same time get the enjoyment of answering questions from your favorite subject.” Among all the persons I referred, Ayyappa Sastry is a very successful EA. Others work when they need more money and don’t pay that much attention when their pockets are full. But steady workflow as an EA at Chegg makes you rich.
What about procrastinating your work?
I am a bit laid back during Saturdays as I wish to spend the day with my family. Other than this, I usually do not usually post-pone taking up questions on Chegg board.