August 29, 2018

Roll Call: Riley, Marketing and Business Development Coordinator

Riley820182

What is your role on the team?
I’m Marketing and Business Development Coordinator, which includes writing blog content, maintaining Curate’s social media and website, as well as reaching out to potential customers.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
My sisters and I were raised in Virginia Beach, but the three of us went or currently go to college in Wisconsin because our parents are from here and Minnesota. They claim I've acquired the strongest accent, but I hear their Midwest come out on certain words too! (And someone please tell my dad "Skol" is never a word you should say in Cheesehead Nation.)

How do you describe the culture at Curate?
The culture at Curate is definitely crafty! One of my favorite quotes from Taralinda is, “Do they know we have a free couch, mismatching furniture, and an office dog?” Here’s a summary of Curate in a string of short sentences: We start our mornings with stand-up and a bomb (...defusal computer game). We keep a record of funny things we overhear each other say and call it Curate No Context. We have a “kudos” channel in Slack for shout-outs when a team member does something totally rad. We named our office rooms after wacky local committee names (example: our conference room is the deer management committee). We eat together on the Capitol lawn on sunny afternoons. We keep our beer fridge better stocked than our plastic cutlery. We switch off working from the office hammock. We play Mario Kart from our free couch on Fridays. We go sailing on Dale and TL’s sailboat named Duckie. We enjoy yelling at Alexa to play hype music while we check data before sending it off to customers. We’re super fans of Agenda Center. We have a team Snapchat group. We send each other pics of our customers’ cranes, billboards, and construction sites when we’re on the road. We ring a mini gong every time we set a meeting with a potential customer. We have a Crazy Ideas Meeting once a quarter and vote on the craziest one to implement. We love what we do so much that we look forward to Mondays.

As a startup we do things “outside of the box” all the time. What’s an example of you doing something outside of the box that was successful?
Probably how I got hired! My last semester of college, one of my favorite professors encouraged the class to reach out to hopeful future employers via Twitter. The day after I applied to Curate through Indeed.com, I tweeted @TaralindaWillis, and the next day, she DM’d me back and set up an interview!

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What unique skills do you bring to the team?
In college at UW-Madison I studied Life Sciences Communication, and was a copy editor, photo editor, and science writer for The Badger Herald student newspaper. At Curate, I get to combine these experiences by overseeing all content pushed public to ensure it is communicated effectively and accurately, as well as document the milestones of Curate as a young startup (if my co-workers aren’t too camera shy!) and share those moments on social. I’m also lucky to continue to have the opportunity to write about cutting-edge technology, but now in context of something I can see grow everyday thanks to our tireless development team and see the effects of every week thanks to the feedback of our customers.
 
What is your favorite part about what you do?
Besides getting to work for the best software startup in Madison with a group of amazing people who are like family, I would say my favorite part of what I do is getting on the phone with the person who does exactly the pain point we’re trying to eliminate — reading hundreds of pages of minutes and agendas to find that “needle in a haystack” — and hearing their reaction that something like Curate actually exists. It’s pretty neat being the town crier for useful tech!
 
What is your most challenging experience?
My most challenging experience is probably getting people to this “aha moment” on their own. If using a new avenue for finding out about projects seems like more work and hassle to learn, it’s easier for some people to just continue down the current avenue. But, eventually, finding out about things on Wikipedia.com just became easier (and faster!) than having to go to the right library with the right books...right? That's what I hope people will understand about why we do what we do.