Experience: 15 years
Colour: Forest Green
Book: Red Rising Series
No pets, but I do housesit and dog board!
How did you start into community management? What was your career path across the years?
Aside from being a wrangler of people from a young age, I spent many post college years backpacking around the world. In doing that, I would work exchange and host groups and events at hostels and such. These experiences, specifically engaging with people cross culturally, remains my favorite part of working with and overseeing communities. Over time, I spent time as camp counselor in Western MA and migrated on to my first ‘big girl job’ as program coordinator. The program coordination role was the title, but it was really about bringing distant volunteers around the country into a cohesive, volunteer event director unit. They hadn’t really had a place or way to engage with each other prior to my arrival, and once I was there alongside my own manager, we were able to curate a program where the event directors felt more like a family.
Later, I took on an intense role as program leader with Remote Year, where I co lead a group of digital nomads around the globe for a year, spanning 10 countries and 12 cities. That was as in person and 24/7 as you can get! I call this role my MBA in community management.
After RY, I came back to the states after a long time away and found that society seemed to be much more significantly divided than I’d ever known. I chose to produce & host a table talk based web series. I raised $30K, enrolled a few Remote Year homies to create alongside me, and we beautifully cobbled together a three season, long form discussion show where we got people of disparate opinion to come together over food and libation to talk about real sh*t. It was magic.
I did some voice over work as well and inevitably squeezed my way into a medical education company as their first official community manager, as well as my first solely online community management experience.
I’ve been able to keep great relationships with my previous employers and although I have been an entrepreneur for a few years now, I have been able to remain as a community consultant…
What have been the main challenges of your career?
Primarily imposter syndrome. As life was happening and I chose to keep traveling as opposed to getting a job and sticking to creating a professional ladder for myself, I often found myself uncertain of my decisions and path. I’d frequently get immense gut instincts about quitting this, doing that, going there, stopping here with no comprehension around ‘how will this work.’ Since I didn’t feel I had anyone to ask, I tended to toss a ton at the proverbial velcro wall to gauge what would stick. In my thirties now and in retrospect, it’s easy to pinpoint the pattern that had been forming and I sometimes wish I could pop back a few years to tell my younger self → girl…CHILL OUT. Wise words lol.
What has helped you develop yourself as a community professional?
Connecting with people that can teach and mentor me. Gaining as much hands on experience as possible [less reading, more doing]. Messing up and stitching it up. Experiencing as much as possible and relating honestly are the two things I credit most.
What's your favourite community platform?
What is “community” for you?
A group of humans where I feel supported, held, understood, and trusted. Community to me equals belonging.
What's one single strategy that you may suggest to increase value for the people in your community?
What would you recommend to those just starting into community management?
Our notes: You can also join The Hub for Community Leaders right here!