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Since joining the Enplug team, Customer Success Manager Katie Redderson-Lear has helped bolster customer service and support by getting customers set up with Enplug and keeping them happy. Katie graduated from UCLA in 2012 and worked at multiple startups (and even a Buddhist monastery!) before joining Enplug in late 2014. Read on to learn about Katie’s hobbies and interests, as well as her experience since coming on board with the team.

Enplug Spotlights is a series of posts that take a look at our amazing team. Learn more about the team that’s building the world’s first Public Computing Platform.

What are you most excited about these days?
Since I only started a couple months ago, feeling like I’ve finally got a solid feel for the Enplug system. It’s awesome working with such a great team.

Favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving. I love making and eating all that food.

Favorite Game of Thrones character?

Favorite hobby you’ve picked up?
Brazilian jiu jitsu! It’s addicting and an amazing workout. I think everyone should try it.

When did you start working with Enplug?
November 2014. I’m the newbie.

What is your fondest Enplug memory?
Playing Mafia in the Jacuzzi at Mammoth.

What app do you find yourself using most?
Instagram – I love taking pictures.

What’s your favorite website?
BBC, among other news sites. I enjoy knowing what’s going on in the world and have trouble starting the day without my morning news fix.

What’s the best part of living in L.A.?
The incredible diversity of people…and food!

What’s your best recipe?
Either pumpkin apple spice muffins or pumpkin swirl brownies. I love making desserts.

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Slack, email, or text?

If you could step into the shoes of one person for a day, who would you choose?
A leader of a country I’ve never been to. It would be fascinating to see the power dynamics and daily life of powerful people in a different culture.

If you could have coffee with someone from the past, who would it be?
Wu Zetian, the only female Chinese emperor. I’d ask about her life experiences and ruling choices.

What’s the biggest thing you learned about working in tech?
Be welcoming to change. Everything is always improving and shifting, and you have to be ready to adapt to a new system without letting it slow down your normal workflow. I’ve found this especially true of the “Enplug time warp.”

What’s the best thing that happened this year?
That’s a hard question – the past year has been packed with awesome experiences. My top 2 would be leaving to travel, and coming home and almost immediately getting hired at Enplug.

What’s the best thing that happened this month?
I earned my first stripe in Brazilian jiu jitsu!

What’s the last book you read?
The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer.

What’s the last song you listened to?
Catgroove by Parov Stelar.

What’s the best way to decompress?
Going for a long run.

Worst subject in school?
Chemistry. It wasn’t as interesting as math, and it wasn’t as obviously practical as physics or biology.

What is your super power?
Reading people’s minds, of course. Isn’t that a requirement for customer service?

What is your spirit animal?
A cat.

Coffee or tea?
All tea all the time.

Favorite game?
Mafia! I love all the strategy and trying to figure everyone out. (I know this was Alex’s answer too, but there’s a reason we played it so many times during the team ski trip.)

Favorite movie of all time?
I really enjoy The Truman Show. It’s funny and dark, and brings up some good points about not just accepting what’s around you without question.

Favorite author of all time?
I’ve never been able to answer this question. At the moment, Neil Gaiman. I’ve also been reading a lot of Oliver Sacks recently.

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Any hidden talents?
I can read, write, and speak Chinese, I can understand Spanish and speak a little, and I’m currently taking Korean classes. I love learning languages. Also, I can touch the tip of my chin with my tongue.

Any advice to your younger self?
“Just do it!” I was a really hesitant kid.

What is one skill still unmastered?
Rock climbing! I want to get good enough to do the harder routes.

Which of these was your favorite question?
“What was the best thing that happened this year?” because it made me think back on what’s happened in the past year. It’s been a wild ride, and I love where it’s taken me.

How does working with Enplug compare to other startups that you’ve worked with? (Be honest!)
Just to preface, I’m a little obsessed with Enplug!

But honestly, after working at a few other startups, I think Enplug is getting a lot of things right. One thing that continues to impress me is the system for feedback. We have a channel on Slack where anyone can ask for feedback on almost anything they’re working on, and anyone can respond. This spotlights any issues with content, design, or product, since it brings in the fresh perspective of the rest of the team.

Another major element is the team Enplug has built. It’s so important to hire smart, passionate people who keep bringing good ideas to the table but get the everyday work done as well. Startups are notorious for working fast and saving money, but it’s really dangerous to apply these strategies when hiring the people who will be shaping how your company runs. With a small team, every position matters, even if it seems lower on the totem pole. From what I’ve seen, Enplug makes a major effort to choose the best people without taking shortcuts – and it shows.

What did you learn while working with the monastery, and how does that translate into your everyday role with Enplug?
Funnily enough, working at a Buddhist monastery actually translated really well to working at Enplug. Everyone there was incredibly dedicated to what they were doing, and we would frequently work very long hours. In terms of lessons learned, since most of my coworkers were Buddhist nuns, they specifically set aside time for self-improvement. Since I was working on translating a Buddhist art encyclopedia, my days were a funny mix of arguments about obscure art terms and discussions about life and religion. The people there were equally as passionate about their work as they were about getting things right in their daily lives, and I’ve definitely tried to keep this attitude myself as I’ve started working at Enplug. It’s not hard — we’ve got a really thoughtful, interesting group of people here.

Read more: Enplug Spotlights: Alex Ross, Co-Founder & COO

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