#Teamtime, karaoke rap battles and the perks of a photographic memory: sitting down with content marketing manager, Stef Roberts
One of our adopted Americans, Stef Roberts has been in Auckland just over a year, and we already have her saying ‘keen’ and ‘hot as’ – habits she wishes she’d break.
We sat down with our Content Marketing Manager to discuss the secret to her team’s tight bond, her eclectic music taste and why she strives to be more like a kangaroo each and every day.
What do you like most about working for Castleford?
I love the mix of cultures here! The Castleford staff comes from literally all corners of the globe, which gives us a unique blend of work styles, perspectives and experiences and our customers a one-of-a-kind experience.
The Auckland strategy team seems to have a tight bond – what do you think is the secret to this?
Aside from spending an absurd amount of time together per week (which they have affectionately deemed #teamtime), I think we’re so close because we’re all going through the same stuff each day. We often joke that unless you’re a Content Strategist, you don’t understand what it’s like to be one. Every struggle, challenge or issue they run into, they know there are four others going through it too and can provide help or just lend a supportive ear. No Content Strategist goes through anything alone.
You’ve been in New Zealand since last August – what’s surprised you most moving overseas? Any embarrassing ‘American-isms’ you’ve dropped or ‘Kiwi-isms’ you’ve picked up?
Something that still surprises me is how safe New Zealand is. So much of the world that I’ve lived in or travelled to is considered somewhat dangerous, or at least has areas that you don’t go to at night. I guess a benefit of being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is that the rest of the world leaves you alone!
I find myself saying things like “if you’re keen?”, “ it’s hot as today,” and “I need to get that sorted.” I am embarrassed of all of those.
Where’s the best place you’ve visited in New Zealand so far?
That would have to be Queenstown, hands down. I went just about a year ago this week with a friend visiting me from home, and it took my breath away. I found myself saying multiple times “is this a real place?” The untouched beauty and stunning views were like nothing I have ever seen before. And Fergburger – need I say more?
Besides the Martha’s Backyard sweets that are regularly on your desk, what do you miss most about home? In contrast, what would you miss most if you moved back tomorrow?
Putting aside obvious answers like friends and family, I would be lying if I said anything other than American Sports. I think “fanatic” is a bit too small of a word to describe my undying love for sports. With American football being my absolute favourite, I also love watching basketball, ice hockey, tennis, pretty much anything that’s on. As hard as it is not being able to go to games, not being able to even watch most of them was and still is a huge and painful adjustment.
If I were to move back tomorrow, I would miss being able to drive 30 minutes in any direction and be at the most beautiful, untouched beach I’ve ever seen. Also, Lisa’s Dip, Bliss Balls and Simply Squeezed Juices. YUM.
What’s currently playing in those Bose headphones of yours? And what about when you’re alone in your car (what we’re getting at is … what do you jam out to)?
My music taste is really impossible to define. There are very few genres I don’t listen to at least a little bit. Those that know me well know how much I love to rap (a select few have seen this showcased at karaoke). Then again, when I’m not spitting Eminem beats, I love cheesy 80s love ballads, a Disney classic or two, and entire discographies of most 90s/2000s boy bands. Having said all that, I’m rocking out to one of my favourite Spotify Playlists entitled “Rock Classics”, which features The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, CCR and Fleetwood Mac to name a few. Swoon.
Here’s an interview question about interviewing – You’re hiring right now. If you could give a candidate one piece of advice before interviewing with you, what would it be?
You never get a second chance to make a first impression – so make it count!
And if you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice for your first day at Castleford, what would it be?
Ask LOTS of questions! Coming from Brafton (our sister company in the United States), I was hesitant to admit not knowing something because I thought there was an expectation that I should know everything. I soon learned that even though the industry is the same, there are a lot of things to learn about working on the other side of the world.
Also, questions/input/suggestions are welcomed and encouraged by everyone at Castleford so if you don’t know, ask!
Rumour is you have a photographic memory – can you give us an example of when this comes in handy? What about any useless information that’s been taking up brain real estate for far too long?
When it comes in handy:
- Trivia nights
- Winning bets
- College exams
One of many examples of useless information that takes up WAY too much brain real estate: I know every word to EVERY episode of Seinfeld. That’s 173 episodes over nine seasons. Every time I get proud of it, I think about how that real estate could be used to, oh I don’t know, learn a new language? Learn how to change a flat tyre?
And of course, your spirit animal?
I would have to say a kangaroo. Australia is one of my favourite places in the entire world. Kangaroos are playful, completely motivated by food, and because of their long tails, they are unable to walk backwards. They only know how to move forward, which is something I like to continuously strive toward. Fun fact: that’s why kangaroos and emus are the Australian national animals (more useless knowledge).