Welcome to the latest installment of the How I Work series for the month of September! This month we are excited to present Krista Sherer from American AgCredit whom I had the pleasure of getting to know in person at the Bay Area User Group in August. Want to learn more about someone who dove into the deep end of community management as their company rolled out Jive for the first time? Look no further! Krista found a company she was passionate about and jumped right in along with her sidekick plant, Beauregard. Read on to learn about where Krista started, what gets her through the day and how she works!
Where do you work?
I work at American AgCredit’s corporate office located in Santa Rosa, California. We are a leasing association (Farm Credit Association) that lends to all segments of agriculture.
How would you describe your current job?
I am the company’s Communication Specialist and the Community Manager to our internal Jive community we call the Grapevine. I am also support to our marketing team.
How did you get into Community Management?
I am a recovering journalist…this is where my journey pretty much begins. I wanted to work for a company I could stand behind and really connect with their mission. I researched and found AAC; they were looking for someone to launch their new cloud based intranet. I knew nothing about community management, or Jive for that matter, and learned all about it in less than 3 months before we launched.
How do you use Jive at work? What use cases does it serve for your company?
It is our company’s intranet. Its focus is internal communication, culture and engagement and sharing of business strategies.
What about your community are you most proud of?
The engagement, mostly. We launched in March of 2017 starting out at a little over 60 percent and we are slowly growing in our advocates and contributions. I’d say 80 percent of the association loves the platform, reads the stories, are engaged with the culture it is creating and are advocating for the platform. It’s exciting to see people supporting each other, communicating differently, collaborating and really, once again, engaging.
What's your computer situation... Do you use a Mac or PC (or something else)?
I use a PC at work but at home, I use a Mac.
Tell us what you use for your mobile device?
Pick one word that best describes how you work.
Collaborative I love working on a team and the process of supporting and learning from others. I am always reaching out to connect with colleagues and finding ways to be of help, I love group projects and the outcome when people really work together to get something done. My work has always made me a connector of sorts, or a link, and so collaboration is really on the forefront of everything I do.
Besides Jive, what apps/software/tools can't you live without?
Microsoft Word, Firefox, Chrome, Photoshop, pencil and pad of paper, Spotify and coffee.
Do you have a favorite non-computer gadget?
A pad of paper and a pencil I am a writer and a poet — when I take the time to do it. I guess I would say my camera too. I’m in the process of getting a new camera, so I currently use my phone. I live in Sonoma County and I love to take pictures of the places I go.
What you surround yourself with is important, what's your work space like?
My six year-old son is quite the artist and I love the colorful drawings and paintings he does, so I surround myself with those. As well as thank you cards and fun knick knacks from work parties, like my sombrero. I also have a polkadot plant that I have named Beauregard. We like to talk about him and to him in a deep southern drawl.
What do you listen to while you work?
I listen to a lot of mellow and sometimes upbeat electronic music on Spotify.
What's your best time-saving trick?
Lists the day before of what needs to be done and then checking them off. Making lunch the night before really helps as well as knowing what I'm going to wear.
How do you balance work and life?
I don’t check my work phone when I am not at work and I do my best to unplug from technology when I’m at home too. I unplug from computers and phones whenever I can, at lunch and at home. I make sure to be present with my child, friends and family when the weekends hit and I get into nature as much as possible. Luckily, part of our culture here at my company really supports a healthy work/life balance and you can see it from the top down that people take the time to recharge themselves with their family and time off but are also efficient and committed when here.
What's your sleep routine like?
I try to get atleast 7-8 hours every night, to bed by 10 and up at 6.
Are you more of an introvert, ambivert or extrovert?
I am very much an ambivert. I am good with people and enjoy the connection with them but I also really enjoy my solitude and internal time.
What's the best advice you've ever received (and from whom)?
"Do something that makes you feel strong, connected or grateful every day."
~ friend, Gabriel Rene
~ My mother
"If we want to embrace life, we also have to embrace chaos."
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Thank you for the wonderful interview, Krista! It was great being able to meet you in person and I look forward to seeing you again as our wonderful host for the next Bay Area User Group! I definitely want to chat with you more about "being present" without being distracted by work. That is definitely something I struggle with!