What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken? The best vacation I’ve ever taken was probably to Italy to visit two of my best college girlfriends, where they were studying abroad. It’s my favorite for several reasons. First, I was traveling from Brussels, Belgium, where I was studying abroad, too. It stands as one of the best times of my life. Second, I traveled there alone, by plane and train, and didn’t know any Italian, so that was just a fun challenge. We visited Cinque Terre, which is this string of little towns along the western coast of Italy. Sound gorgeous? Yes, it was. Third, we made some stupid mistakes, namely accidently booking a beautiful bluff hotel that was way out of our “poor travel girl” price range. When we look back, as 26 year-olds with jobs, we can appreciate that it was totally worth it to live it up for three days in a beautiful place. After, we visited Florence, where my friends were studying and the perfect contrast to Cinque Terre. We drank wine, had amazing food, explored the city together, and enjoyed meshing our travel stories, as we had all visited several of the same, but new places. I’ll never forget that chance to merge international travel trips with best friends.
What did you learn from your first job? If we’re talking first, first job, I was an assistant dance teacher for the studio where I grew up dancing. My responsibilities included leading warm-up stretches and progressions across the floor, some choreography, and my personal favorite, managing the dance moms. Little did I know, I was practicing client relations. The best way to keep dance moms happy was to communicate simply and often, fully explain any questions or concerns, and make sure I made time to give each of them and their children individual attention. It was about consistently doing the small things correctly that secured another year and often a full career of dance classes with their daughters and sons. After working in client services roles for three years, I find elements of the two surprisingly similar. The photo is of some of my students performing “Rubber Ducky” at the 2006 recital. I’m in the front helping them remember their choreography. They’re nailing it.
Every Curator has at least one orange item. Which of your orange things is your favorite? My favorite orange item is one of the past. When I was 13, I owned my first (and only) pair of Nike Shox and they were borderline highlighter orange. I thought they were awesome! My middle school required uniforms, so I often wore the shoes several days in a row. Those kicks got some major face time. They look kind of like the photo below, but there was more orange and more obnoxious. Like I said, Perfect. Compliment. To. School. Uniform.
What major learnings did you take away from your college experience/previous career that you can apply to your job now? Remember how annoying it was when your teacher would mark “-1” or “-2” when you spelled a word incorrectly or forgot punctuation? Usually, when you got your paper back, those “silly” mistakes were worthy of a “head-in-palm” moment. I remember getting really fired up about getting points taken away when I had the correct answer, but made a small mistake. It turns out that your teachers do that for good reason, and if I could’ve gotten all of the silly mistakes out of my system during my traditional education, I would’ve taken red marks all day long to rid myself of them now. Long story, short: Details Matter.
What tools do you need to get you through your day? Being an Account Executive means there’s a lot of moving parts. I make lists like it’s my job, except it actually is my job. Crossing items off the list keeps me motivated to keep moving down it and reduces my chance of forgetting to follow-up or hit deadlines. It may sound simple, but it works for me. I use a tool everyday called Teux Deux. I even pay a subscription fee for it now. It’s a really simple interface that resembles atraditional paper to-do list, except since it’s digital, you can move things around, jump to future/past dates, and sync to the smart phone app.