Our Commercial Director Kate managed to squeeze some time into her busy schedule (which you’ll read about below) to answer a few questions for us this week.
We chatted about her life before Castleford, her slightly traumatic karaoke experience and what she normally does during a typical day at the office.
1. What do you like most about working at Castleford?
The people. Castleford has such a diverse mix of personalities and it is so interesting to get to know as many people as possible and how they tick. I consider myself lucky because I spend a large part of my week training different teams, so I get to interact with most people across the company.
2. What were you doing before you joined us?
I was working for a financial advisory firm in London, running a division as well as managing their marketing. It was a great company and it also had people with lots of different personalities, which always kept it interesting.
Before that I worked in the UK version of Castleford (Axonn Media) where I met Rob Cleeve, Business Development Director and Adam Barber, the Director of Castleford. That was around 9 years ago (eeek)… so you could say I have come full circle working with them again in Castleford.
3. Do you have a ‘go-to’ karaoke song?
Karaoke and I are not great friends. The first time I ever went was a couple of years ago with the Sydney team – and I broke my leg. It was pretty traumatic but I tried again. I am a big Beyonce fan (who isn’t?) so I did try ‘Single Ladies’ once but it was not good for me or anyone else involved.
What you might not know about myself and my fellow colleague Trent Paul (Head of Strategy), is that we are both incredibly competitive, so when we feel someone is winning in the karaoke stakes we will sing (wait for it) Ricky Martin, Livin La Vida Loca. We get a top score every time.
4. What image do you have as your background screen?
I have the picture of flamingos that comes as standard on a mac… I am not very technically savvy so the fact that I managed to change it to another default image was a win for me.
5. When they make a movie telling the Castleford story, who should play you?
Wow, that’s a toughie… how do you even start thinking about that? I asked around in the Sydney office and the results include Amy Schumer and Phoebe from friends… I am quite loud and opinionated (Amy Schumer) and then can completely forget what I am talking about when I am distracted (Phoebe).
6. We hear that you like precious stones…do they work?
Yes, I love a good precious stone and definitely believe in their power. To give you some context, I do make quite a transformation from my day job as Commercial Director to being a precious stone wearing, free range meat only, organic coffee drinking cliche on the weekend. When a work colleague (Jonny Bond) sees me out of work, being convinced at a market to spend a fortune on a previous stone, it is quite a confusing moment. Right now I am wearing Amber earrings (power: cleansing) and a sodalite ring (power: understanding) and I am feeling excellent!
7. What can we usually find on your desk?
I thrive in organised chaos and randomness… I have two plants, a windup kiwi bird toy, my latest development book (The Four Mindsets: How to Influence, Motivate and Lead High Performance Teams) and a whole load of Kikki K stationery on my desk.
The biggest thing you will always find on my desk though, is a large stuffed My Little Pony which has lived in the Sydney office for a very long time… he even has a Castleford staff photo. It’s a very long story but suffice it to say I managed to convince a content strategist to bring Pony back to the office after my 30th birthday party where we were dressed as 80s characters… Pony was my sister’s prop for the party.
8. Describe an average working day for you.
My average day usually involves a fair few training sessions and meetings. I start every day with a session called “Ask Kate a question, any question’. This is an opportunity for anyone in the company to ask me a question and I will be available to answer. After question time, I will usually have my first training session with one of the strategists (they get a 1:1 training session every other week). From there I will usually spend some time fielding my emails and managing any risky situations or opportunities that one of the Strategists or Account Directors are handling.
If I have any free time before lunch, I will usually try to tackle emails, comment on one of the products we are currently developing as a business, or schedule some calls with clients. I usually have lunch with Trent if we are both free because he has a great sense of humour and will have me laughing a lot about a variety of things.
Throughout the day I will try to sit in on the strategists’ client calls so that I can give feedback and develop training sessions. I’ll then check in with Libby and Alistair, the Account Directors in my team, just to make sure they have everything they need to carry out their meetings with customers. A point to finish on is that the best thing about my ‘average’ day is that it can be quite varied and I get to spend a lot of it training the people that I love working with so much.