#CultureFirst: Monique Hughes

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.

Monique Hughes - Customer Success Coach - Melbourne

Monique is obsessed with the future of work and the intersections between people and culture, technology and design. A huge advocate for the Australian independent music scene, you’ll find her curating her Spotify lists with experimental pop and dance music.

Culture Amp: What can you do as a CAmper that you haven’t been able to do elsewhere? 
Monique Hughes:
Wear jeans? No, really, in all seriousness, I love that I have been able to contribute ideas from day one and feel that my perspective is valued. I always enjoyed being a bit of an 'agitator' in my previous jobs, and I think everyone here has a bit of that in them; that is, we want to challenge each other's viewpoints and continuously learn and grow as people and as an organization.

CA: Best day you’ve ever had at work (here or anywhere else)?
Too hard to choose; but it's always the right combination of feeling like I'm helping solve meaningful, real problems, connecting with people, learning something new, and probably a little dance wiggle at my desk while listening to tunes.

CA: What do you geek out about outside from work?
At this risk of sounding predictable, music. I had a weird detour last year, moonlighting as a music writer outside of work, and I think it's made me even more obsessed with some of the artists and genres I listen to.

CA: What did you want to be when you grew up?
A fighter pilot.

CA: What is something about you not many people know?
I flew a plane solo before I had a driver's license. I was in the Australian Air Force Cadets, I was 16 and in love with flying. Also, I can tolerate any arm twist that anyone can throw at me.

CA: What’s on your playlist this week?
: J.Views and Wild Cub, new Bat for Lashes, Client Liaison, Foals and The Cure.

CA: Where would you go on an all expense paid trip tomorrow?
Spain via Tokyo.

CA: What does culture first mean to you?
: To me, it means valuing the sense of belonging, connection and community people have with each other at an organization, enough for it to factor into every decision the company makes.

CA: Do you have any startup / culture idols?
One of my culture idols is David Redhill, CMO of Deloitte Australia. David was the first person to really teach me about the importance of culture (beyond what I had inherently viewed/sensed), and played a wonderful role as the thoughtful custodian of Deloitte's 'playful with serious intent' culture. He is a delightful storyteller too; he has a great story about a chorizo that he had carried around with him all day, which I frankly can't remember all of, but it was good, I'm telling you.

CA: What was the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Slow down your thinking; your immediate reaction isn't necessarily the right one. Try to view problems through multiple lenses. Ask people to challenge you, to play devil's advocate.

CA: If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Fly! Zoom zoom zoom.

CA: You pick a magazine up to read – what is it?
It'll flip between Vogue and New Scientist.

CA: What’s up next in your Netflix queue?
: Season 4 of Orange is the New Black and Chef's Table, and a new season of Broadchurch wouldn't go astray.

CA: If you could be a lead character in a movie, who would it be?
Christine from Phantom of the Opera. The theatre production, across from Anthony Warlow; not the film remake.

CA: How have you turned a setback into an opportunity?
 I spent my school life determined to be a pilot, but my spatial awareness wasn't quite strong enough, so it became clear it wouldn't be the career path for me. It was the first time I wasn't able to do something that I'd set my mind to, and it left me feeling pretty confused about what to do with my life. I decided to do an Arts degree - as broad as you can get - and to throw away the idea of knowing exactly what I wanted to be. I did subjects that sounded interesting (literature, grammar, psychology, history, French, you name it!) and didn't necessarily fit together in any logical sense or lead to a 'career path.' I look back now and see all the little seeds of growth that led me to where I am today, and I am grateful for the experience of having no idea what I wanted to do. (I am still figuring it out, but Culture Amp is a great place to do that!)

CA: What was the first and last concert you attended?
Jimmy Barnes with my Dad, and the last one was Client Liaison at The Forum.

CA: If you won the lottery what would you do first?
Aforementioned trip to Spain via Tokyo, then curate my own music festival. I'd also buy a house in Sydney (because you need to have won the lottery to do that!).

CA: Would you take a one way trip to Mars and why/not?
I'm going to say yes, because I have a bit of a FOMO personality.

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