We asked Kristen squire, a Senior Research Manager in our Rochester office, to give us an inside look at what her job is really like – from how she gets to work in the morning, to the social platforms she uses most often, and the most unique thing about her team.
Tell us about your job.
The short answer is that I am the subject matter expert on the Command Center offering powered by Talkwalker and a taxonomist (this means ‘a person who organizes things’, not ‘a person who stuffs dead animals’). The long answer is that I help people with their secondary research projects to determine how they can best monitor / find what the client needs. Whether that means connecting them to the person who knows how to formulate a project, recommending different tools, suggesting a new approach, or simply listening to the person figure it out for her or himself, I’m here to help.
How do you commute to work in the morning?
I drive in to work from Upper Monroe (if ever you find yourself in Rochester, Cobb’s Hill has the best view of the city as well as the best sunrises and sunsets!) though if the snow’s bad enough, I’ll work from my couch with my dog, Betty.
What is your beverage of choice when you get to the office? Coffee or tea?
Coffee with Califa almond milk creamer. I’m currently super into their Mocha Mint flavor!
What might you find yourself doing around 10 a.m. on a regular work day?
Usually I am catching up on emails from Europe and APAC from overnight, conducting trainings or meetings with those offices, and getting started on stateside requests and project builds.
What are your top two sources of news and how often do you check them?
I go for aggregations: Twitter and Google News are my top. I like to read as many different takes on the same thing as I can, as everyone focuses in on different details or re-frames the story to fit their readership. I keep both open on my desktop throughout the day, in case something relevant breaks about a client and may affect our monitoring.
Which social platforms do you use most often? What do you like about them? Are they relevant to your work or is their purpose solely leisure?
Twitter and Instagram are my favorites by far. I was an early adopter of Twitter (July 2008) and it’s been incredible to watch the medium grow from people trying to defend protesters from the Iranian government during the 2009 election by changing their location, its use during the Black Lives Matter protests, to tracking the 2016 presidential campaign. It’s where the fastest takes come in and while that can result in a lot of half-truths and unknowns, it is the canary in the coalmine for so much of the 24/7 news cycle we find ourselves in. And I love Instagram for the dog pics, honestly.
What is the most unique thing about your office team?
Rochester is unique in its place within the EI network: we touch on and work with everyone. There isn’t a single office we don’t interact with. Because of that, we know the trends and focuses of each office and have become versed in a lot of different approaches. And for being a larger EI team (I think we’re in the 45-50 people range now), there is a tight-knit feeling among everyone.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned since graduating college — about the workplace or the communications world in general?
I’ve learned that there is very rarely a direct path to what you think you want, and often what you want isn’t really what you think it is. My background is in libraries and information science, I’m a librarian and a literature major by education. I wanted to be a public librarian. After four years with EI – working with tools I never knew existed prior to this job, all these incredibly brilliant people, and how we constantly change our perspectives and approaches – I wouldn’t trade this position for a library any day.
If you told yourself ten years ago what you would be doing today, what would have your response been then?
“Wait, looking at Twitter and Facebook is a job now?”
Which “Be” do you most closely associate with? Why?
Be Creative: it seems like a week doesn’t go by without someone asking, “This sounds weird but can we…?” that bends my brain a bit but makes me think about what’s possible and how to push those boundaries to expand our capabilities and provide new ways to get at information.
What are you doing when you’re not at work?
I love to cook and read, also hike with my dog, Betty (she has a backpack and it is adorable). I sometimes crochet or paint when the weather’s bad or I want to binge watch something.
What is your favorite restaurant in your city?
Blue Taro or Nosh… Blue Taro is a Vietnamese place down the street with a glass noodle soup that will cure any cold, and Nosh is a place for dates and special occasions, with great cocktails and a menu to die for.
What motto do you live by?
Do the work. Whatever it is, whether it’s learning something new, getting through the tedious parts of the job, conducting a training; do the work. The fun comes after.