The Community team encompasses about 150 people across the U.S. and Canada. Let that sink in, one hundred and fifty people who help us bring Yelp into their communities. They keep our small towns engaged and make our huge markets feel intimate.
Behind every revving engine, are the oil and maintenance needed to run as efficiently as it does. Who is keeping the Community department finely tuned? The Marketing Operations team- Don Bourassa, Katja Stolle and Joscelynne Ramirez! Each day is a new challenge, whether it’s tackling metrics, debunking application issues, or creating Elite Surveys. It’s safe to say that no day looks the same for this dynamic team. We got a chance to sit down with Katja and Joscelynne, who work at our San Francisco Headquarters, and asked them a few questions to dive deeper into their roles.
What does a typical day look like?
Katja: Well, I first start the day off with a nice cup of coffee and managing my inbox. I usually have my meetings scheduled in the AM, and save my hard mental/brainstorming sessions for the afternoon. No day is like the other. Some days I help CMs with data-related questions, write SQL queries and build dashboards. On other days I build internal email campaigns to keep everyone informed. Then there are those little things you didn’t see coming: a bug is breaking our events page? We’re on it. Emails are stuck? Let us look into it.
Joscelynne: Each day is different depending on what issues arise from Community Managers. I’m always on alert for things that can potentially prevent CMs from doing their jobs. Currently, I spend my days planning for our annual Community Management Week that’s happening in just a few short weeks. CMs from across the country will converge in San Francisco for this annual three-day event filled with group work sessions, presentations and face time with our executives. In addition to this, I am currently working on a training curriculum for new hires hoping to launch this year. Overall, my role encompasses making the lives of CMs easier and keeping the machine running efficiently.
What is the biggest challenge of the job?
K: Working with a remote team is a challenge on its own. Being a Project Manager, I always need to know what’s going on and that everyone is in the loop. Communicating with a remote team can be tough when you can’t just tap someone on the shoulder to ask a question. There are a lot of virtual conferences and a ton of emails to ensure that we’re all on the same page and that expectations are being set.
J: The biggest challenge for me is adapting to each circumstance because anything can be thrown at me. I usually have my plan of execution for the week and when random items are put on high priority, I have to adjust my plans. This involves communicating with the right people, learning the problem, and trying to fix it.
What keeps you “unboring?”
K: I am an expat employee from Germany. I moved to the United States a little over a year ago and since then, I’ve started writing blogs in English. I love to read and write and it has been a great challenge to write blogs in English.
J: This is a hard question for me to answer because I feel like I’m super boring. Totally kidding! I can honestly say that I am probably one of the quirkiest people you’ll ever meet. People-watching is one my favorite weekend activities… that should say enough. On Sundays, you can catch me playing a game in an adult soccer league. Other than that, I enjoy meeting up with friends and spending my time outdoors.
What are some of your favorite hot spots in San Francisco?
J: I recently moved to the city, but for sure one of my favorite spots is Alta Plaza Park, since it is located in my neighborhood and has one of the best views of the city. Another spot that I can’t miss is Sweet Maple (also in my neighborhood). It’s become a ritual for my roommates and I to get brunch there on Saturday mornings. The best part? They take the term ‘bottomless mimosas’ literally! But there are so many good spots in SF, I’m lucky to reside in a city that is so food versed!
What is your advice for someone just beginning their career at Yelp?
K: Keep an open mind to different opportunities. You never know what can come out of keeping an open mind. When I came to Yelp, I explored what I liked to do and which direction I wanted to go in. I said yes to a lot of different projects and dipped my feet in multiple areas. Another thing is to have patience and don’t rush things. Sometimes good things take a little bit of time, but don’t take that as an opportunity to sit back and wait. Chase what you want and work hard. Good things will come your way.
J: I consider myself just beginning my career at Yelp and one of the things I’ve learned so far is to focus on being a boss in my role. Work hard in your given job and good things may come your way. Also, being in the early stages of my career, I make it a priority to meet folks in the org, preferably face to face. Taking on projects with people I don’t normally interact with on a day to day basis has allowed me to expand my network within the company.