2019 is shaping up to be a big chapter in the exaqueo story. As our client work grows and extends even more globally, our business and team is (once again) growing. This month, we’re thrilled to welcome another new team member to #teamexaqueo!
Join us in welcoming Jackie Wollett, #teamexaqueo’s newest Employer Brand Strategist and Engagement Manager. In this role, Jackie will join our team of Employer Brand Strategists in helping our clients build their employer brands and the talent strategies that drive them. Jackie comes to us from Princeton University, where she spent 7 years managing communications and branding for their employee engagement and recognition programs.
I have the pleasure of serving as Jackie’s “exaqueo buddy” as she moves through her on-boarding process. I’m excited to be partnering with her and showing her the unique ways in which we work here at exaqueo!
Jackie is based in Lawrenceville, New Jersey and I’m just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, so we sat down via video chat last week to discuss her background and learn more about her as a person outside of work. Since our team is 100% virtual, we’re used to connecting via video chat or through our virtual office space (think Simms, but cooler) - it’s a great way to feel connected, even from across the country.
What about exaqueo attracted you the most and made you want to come work as part of the team? It’s been a goal of mine to work in brand strategy consulting since I went to grad school for Design + Branding strategy, so having a chance to hone in on that was exciting. Also, I had the opportunity to work with exaqueo in my previous role at Princeton, which gave me insight into the work they do and gave me a chance to get to know some of the people on the team. I also liked that exaqueo is a smaller company which will allow me to dive in and be a contributor sooner vs. one of many at a larger organization. I’m excited to learn and contribute.
In your previous role with Princeton, you worked in the office every day. How has the transition been working 100% remote with a completely virtual team? So far I love it. I’m a very social person but I do like to be heads down in my work - it’s nice to not have the interruptions that come with working in an office, and to have the time to focus and get work done. Our virtual office space also helps with staying connected to the team. I’ve also found that when I’m working at home I can occasionally take care of things I’d normally feel obligated to do on the weekends (like laundry), which frees up time for me to enjoy the things I love outside of work on the weekends, outside of my home. And, I don’t mind missing out on the regular daily commute or parking battle that came with working in an office.
What impact do you hope to make at exaqueo / what do you hope to learn? I hope that some of my unique skills in creative, design, non-profit and higher education will help to grow the company and positively influence projects and engagements I’ll eventually manage. I’m excited about learning more about our research process and understanding how it all comes together. Having been on the other side as the client, I got to see what it looked like when it was all done - now I’m excited to see how it’s broken down into small pieces before it’s pulled together for clients.
What excites you / are you most curious about when it comes to moving from an in-house role to a consulting role, where you’re managing multiple client engagements in varying industries? Variety. When you work in-house it’s always the same (look, feel, voice), which is great because it becomes second nature, but after a while it can get stale. The freshness of new clients and industries feels exciting.
What energizes you in your professional life and in your personal life? Professionally, feeling like I add value - being able to jump in, pickup work, and complete projects to the best of my ability. At the end of the day, I want my coworkers to be excited that I’m here and know I’m making a difference. Personally, it’s similar in that I want to add value for friends and family. I feel like if I’m there for them, they’ll be there for me.
How do you think those you’re closest to in your life would describe you? Creative, hard working, fun. Some might describe me as adventurous or a risk-taker, but I’d refer to myself as a calculated risk-taker (I’ve done some adventurous things like moving abroad for grad school, which was new to me but it was very planned out). Taking this job and making a career pivot is my newest adventure.
What keeps you busy outside of work? Spending time with people and my dog, visiting my favorite places and traveling to new places, just enjoying life. My husband and I go to the same place for dinner (Wildflowers) every Tuesday night, with the same people - it’s very much a “Cheers” experience.
April Sherman is an Employer Brand Strategist and Engagement Manager for exaqueo, an employer brand experience firm building employer brands and the talent strategies that drive them through research, consulting, and creative and digital execution. Contact exaqueo to learn more about our employer brand innovation, workforce research, and recruitment strategy offerings.