Interview with Melissa van Maenen; Welcoming our New Faces at Navads
Melissa joins Navads after a decade of hospitality work in a strategic transition over to work for a tech company. She can apply her unique skills to assist our team as our new office manager and due to her ability to multi-task from her past role, her adaptability and ingenuity will help our high-powered sales, customer service, operations / tech, financial and marketing teams move to the next level. Get to know Melissa through our interview with her below:
Q1 – What did you like about working in hospitality?
I was always interested in what I didn’t know about technology because it’s all encompassing so we need to stay informed in this area. Coming from the hospitality industry, I loved working in a busy environment, giving customers a little bit of extra care so they would feel more relaxed, nurtured and happy with their coffee time.
Q2 – Why did you want a change? What interested you most about working in the tech industry?
I hit a point in my life where I wanted to do more. I am eager to learn more about the world that we live in right now. And we can’t “hide” that we live in a world where the Internet, social media, smartphones, apps and other tech are seemingly our lifelines and sometimes the only connection to the outside world with how much we depend on them. I don’t mean to say that we need these Internet devices, but it is important in the way that we all use it to make life easier. And why not make life easier if we can?
Q3 – Tell me about your background?
I studied applied psychology and then worked for 5 years as social worker with people who were diagnosed with different mental illnesses abroad. After that, I worked in the sales sector and did network marketing for a couple years. And to finish it off, I always had a second job working in hospitality for over the last decade in almost every role there was. I worked as a barista, head chef, bartender and coffee room manager.
Q4 – Why so many different jobs?
I am always curious about what’s going on in someone’s mind and why they react the way they do. I realized at a young age that I don’t have to keep working in the health care environment to ‘pursue my curiosity’. In almost every work area you have to deal with people and understand how they think. So it was time for me to explore different work environments, where I can develop some new work skills, challenge myself and work with people at various capacities.
Q5 – So why did you choose to be an Office / HR manager at a tech company?
Well, I never would have thought that I would end up in a tech company in the first place. Candidly, I thought it wouldn’t be super-exciting to sit in the office behind my desk all day…getting confused by buzzwords that I don’t even know how to pronounce. I’ve come to find out that my initial perception of office work was not accurate. My first few weeks in the here were a bit overwhelming; my technical terminology was the worst! JIRA , POI, API, Cleansing, Scanning, SaaS, Enterprise, white label partners…what is all of that?! But I realized that every time you start to work for a new company or pick up a new role, you need to learn new terminologies. I’ve learned that taking a few steps back and not being so hard on myself has helped me grow my knowledge base more quickly.
In my first few weeks at the company I received specific trainings to practice various functions. For instance, I learned how to work in Atlas (our proprietary dashboard), Geodesy, and to learn the inner workings of our verification / cleansing process. I ended up realizing that it wasn’t as difficult or intimidating as I first thought. It made me ask myself if it has something to do with the generation I grew up in? I grew at a time were all the tech stuff was just starting out. From a very young age we all played video games on the Nintendo (Atari), Computer, PlayStation, Gameboy and so on. Not very long after, the mobile phone was born! Once you understand the application of these tech things from a usability perspective you can apply that baseline understanding to other areas in life. I felt that was what happened when I was in the process of learning the technical side of Navads.
Q6 – What intrigued you specifically about Navads?
Working at Navads is super exciting to me for many reasons! It’s a young, (super) fast-growing company that offers the best location data management services in the world. The work culture fits with my personality as it feels like a small family with mixed cultural roots from all over the world! Everyone communicates very openly and respectfully with each other and this makes the work process very easy. I feel that we all have our hearts vested in the company and have passion about sharing our service with the rest of the world. I am very curious as to where this company will be the next coming years and I look forward to growing with it.
Melissa van Maenen started her career as an applied psychologist and found her way to the interwebs by landing a role at Navads as Office Manager. She supports the management team, works as recruiter to support the fast growth of the company and develops new skills to incorporate in new marketing / social media strategies. In her spare time, van Maenen is contributing in writing and marketing courses to grow her personal value in the company. Her personal slogan is “Stay humble, work hard and be kind!”