Susan quite literally grew up with design. Her father was a contractor in Australia and both of her parents were passionate about all things related to the home.
"I remember spending our weekends scouring reuse centers and architectural salvage shops. Growing up, my parents loved design and they were always working on our house. I guess I inherited the bug from them."
After graduating from college, Susan moved to Japan for what was supposed to be a six-month stint teaching English. Her plan to make some money and quickly move on turned into a ten-year career. "I totally fell in love with the city, the food and the people. Every year, I thought 'I will sign a contract for just one more year.'" As a native Minnesotan, Susan eventually returned to the United States with the plan of continuing her own education. "I had just been accepted to a Masters' program because I thought I wanted to teach college—it seemed like the right thing to do but my heart just wasn't in it. I did a lot of soul-searching. What I really wanted was to work in the design world."
Susan recalls getting a Room & Board catalog and commenting to her sister that it would be fun place to work. Shortly after, she saw a Room & Board job posting for a Customer Support role. "I cut the posting out and I still have it—I filled out an online application even though I wasn't entirely sure what the role was going to be or what I would be doing everyday. But I didn't care, I just loved the product and knew that I would be proud and feel great about working here."
The job as a Customer Support Associate turned out to be a great fit for Susan's personality and her talents. Her strong communication skills are an absolute must when working with customers, and her organizational and analytical strengths help her keep a heavy volume of work moving smoothly. Susan remembers thinking that her biggest adjustment would be the transition from working in a fairly solitary role as a teacher to working in a very collaborative environment. "I thought working as a team would be more of an adjustment but I love it. We have our own individual tasks but everyone has the same dedication to getting the group's work done. We are in tune with each other and it feels great to help each other be successful and work as team."