#CultureFirst: Karina Rook


The #CultureFirst series is a chance to showcase the team here at Culture Amp. We asked everyone a few questions which will give you an opportunity to get to know each of us a bit better.

Karina Rook - Product, San Francisco

With a background as a business analyst, trainer and technical writer Karina is our user advocate for improving our product. She loves doing jigsaw puzzles but it must be more than 3,000 pieces to qualify as 'good’.

Culture Amp: What can you do as a CAmper that you haven’t been able to do elsewhere?

Karina Rook: Work from home - it's been a big change for me having worked in office environments for the past 20 years. I absolutely love working in a quiet place, where I can control the heating, music and have fast access to coffee and lunch. It's also so important for me to be home when my kids get home from school and do the other 'Mom Taxi' driving for basketball practice, Animation Club, 'I missed the school bus home', etc. I'm so fortunate that my work can be done remotely and that Culture Amp has supported this choice.

CA:Best day you’ve ever had at work?

KR: When I worked for another company, being driven to the CEO's country mansion to deliver a presentation to the Board of Directors. The opportunity to speak to an esteemed group, in a beautiful location, and enjoy a fine dinner afterwards was a real highlight. They also gave us the budget to run a big data warehouse project - yay!

CA: What do you geek out about outside from work?

KR: I love real estate. I'm always browsing listings and thinking about the best properties for sale. Even on vacation, I have to see what the local market is like. I'm into mid-century furniture as well and like browsing antique stores. I love to think about design and function too. I'm often experimenting with spaces at home to see if I can optimize their utility and beauty. However, I'd say my No 1. hobby is jigsaw puzzles - so futile, yet so pleasurable at the same time.

CA: What did you want to be when you grew up?

KR: An accountant (don't laugh). As a child I'd make pretend invoices and file them away in numerical order. My Dad ran his own business and I would often work with him over the school holidays. I learned the importance of measuring and accounting for things. Double-entry bookkeeping was my favorite high school subject and I majored in Accounting at university.

CA: What is something about you not many people know? KR: I have arthritis and without medication would find it hard to walk and move normally. I hope this makes me more aware of challenges other people face in life. I'm certainly more appreciative of my mobility now that I've experienced living without it.

CA: What’s on your playlist this week?

KR: I don't have a playlist - I just search for whatever artist or music style suits my mood at the time, or I'm influenced by other media. After watching the TV series 'Mozart in the Jungle' I've been inspired to listen to more classical music; Bach, Tchaikovsky, etc. Watching a documentary about Daft Punk had me listening to them for two weeks. The movie 'Chappie' inspired my liking of Die Antwoord. I guess my 'I'm too lazy to search right now' music is often Silversun Pickups, Miami Horror or TripleJ (Australian radio station).

CA: Where would you go on an all expense paid trip tomorrow?

KR: Venice - I went when I had little money in 1997, so I'd want to return and visit Venice in style. Yes, even those tacky gondolas, sit back with a nice champagne and float by those amazing buildings and bridges.

CA: What does workplace culture mean to you?

KR: Workplace culture is how I assess whether I want to work in a place. After a job interview I always ask for a tour of the floor to see people's expressions, how they communicate, are they eating at their desks looking stressed, are people laughing, what are they wearing, what's on the walls and bookshelves, where do the Managers sit, etc. It leaves an impression of 'this is how people work together here. Of course, not all culture is visual - it's about whether people are encouraged to be their true selves and given the space to make a difference to an organization. Workplace culture is a group attitude towards getting things done together.

CA: Do you have any startup / culture idols?

KR: My husband (apologies for being cheesy). People who have the guts to try something new, work really hard at it and fail many times, then finally hang on long enough to make it. Anyone with that vision, tenacity and optimism is my idol. And I'm lucky enough to be married to one. I also admire Ricardo Semler and how he questioned the culture he inherited in his family business, then experimented to see what he could change.

CA: If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?

KR: The ability to heal others instantly and pass on that superpower so I wasn't just healing people all day : )

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