Yup, we’re at it again! In fact, if we hire any more people, I’m going to have to change my job title from Content Marketing Specialist to Bluetrain Team Interviewer.

Today on the blog we’re welcoming Shannon Young, Bluetrain’s newest Jr. Marketing Associate and most recent Chopped convert. A lifestyle blogger, social media specialist, and all-around go-getter, we’re looking forward to getting Shannon’s help on our social media strategies, content production, and other miscellaneous SEO tasks. Read on to learn more about our new friend Shannon. (Fun fact about Shannon: She lived in Mexico for 6 years when she was 8. Now we know where her love of spicy food comes from!)

DG: Where are you from?
SY: I’m from Muskoka, Ontario.

DG: What do you miss most about home?
SY: All of the lakes. Going swimming after work… My friends and family.
DG: That is understandable. You live on a lake, right?
SY: Yeah, our house is right on Gull Lake.
DG: Wow, so is that, like, a rural Ontario reality?
SY: Yeah, there are lakes everywhere. You just go to the lake after work or after school. It’s fairly normal.

DG: I’m jealous. (Laughs) What have you been enjoying/disliking? about Edmonton?
SY: I enjoy all the festivals. I went to Heritage Days and Taste of Edmonton which were amazing! Still doing a fair amount of exploring on my time off. It’s not necessarily a “dislike” per se, but I have noticed that there are a lot of trucks here.
DG: (Laughs) I’m afraid you’ve traded lakes for trucks! What are some of your favorite Edmonton “spots”?
SY: I like Whyte Ave. and all of its restaurants. And the river valley; I love taking my dog Sandy on walks there.
DG: What about your family? Do you have any siblings?
SY: I do! I have a younger sister who just turned 20; she’s studying at Niagara College.

DG: What do you like to do in your free time?
SY: I like to play tennis, check out new restaurants, and try different foods. I’ve been exploring Edmonton too—there is a lot to do!

DG: You manage a blog called Better Live Young, tell us about your reasons for starting it and what kind of topics people can expect to see there.
SY: I started it because I liked reading blogs and thought: why not start my own blog? I created it for recent graduates, like myself, to help them bridge the gap between university and work life. I wanted to create a community where recent grads could swap tips, advice, and the odd cautionary tale.

DG: I noticed you recently reviewed Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In and were impressed by what she had to say about women in the workplace. You echoed Sandberg’s point that sometimes when a woman commands a strong presence at work she is quickly labelled a “bitch” by men and women alike. Do you think that women are sometimes their own worst enemies when it comes to “getting ahead” at work?
SY: I do. I think women still judge other women a lot, and there is a lack of support not just from men but from women as well. We have progressed so much, but I think there needs to be more of a conversation around how women treat other women especially at work.
DG: What are some strategies from the book that you think we could implement here at Bluetrain?
SY: Well, we’re already a pretty female-dominant company with most of us here being women, and I’ve actually found the other women here to be very supportive and encouraging.

DG: What do you enjoy most about being a blogger?
SY: I enjoy sharing my own experiences with people and exploring what worked for me and what didn’t. I want people to learn from my mistakes. (Laughs)

DG: Okay, time for one of our classic questions: what did you want to be when you were little?
SY: I wanted to be an interior designer. I loved watching HGTV and Trading Spaces and couldn’t wait to do my own room makeovers!
DG: Wow, that is a fairly realistic career option for a kid… Usually it’s stuff like “astronaut” or “firetruck”. You must have been a very down-to-earth child! What are some of your #careergoals now?
SY: Eventually, I would like to become a marketing executive or run my own business. I’m always coming up with new business ideas.
DG: Like what, for instance?
SY: Like my idea for a make-your-own-smoothie shop! It would be like Booster Juice, only healthier because you could pick and choose from a buffet of fruits, veggies, and smoothie bases.
DG: Huh… That does sound good! I am actually kind of surprised that doesn’t exist already.

DG: In your previous position you created content and managed the social media for Toronto startup Mealspirations. What was your favorite part of that job?
SY: My favorite part was talking with the customers on social media. I had a lot of fun with that aspect of the job.
DG: What is your favorite social media network and why?
SY: Instagram. I just love looking at all the fun pictures. People are so artsy! (Laughs)

DG: What made you decide to apply to Bluetrain?
SY: Well, I knew I wanted to get into digital marketing, and when I saw the junior marketing role, I thought: this is my first dream job!
DG: And how have your first few weeks on the job been?
SY: It’s been really good. I’ve been learning a ton! Everyone is really nice and chill and the atmosphere is great.
DG: Who’s your favorite Bluetrain team member? 🙂
SY: I like everyone equally. (Diana groans.)
DG: One day someone will give me a really juicy answer to that question and it’ll all be worth it!

DG: Do you play volleyball or squash? (Another standard post-hire question—Bryan is always looking for teammates.)
SY: Squash I haven’t played, but I want to try. Volleyball I played in high school for 4 years but then they kicked me off the team in Grade 12 when they realized I was no good. They said they actually wanted to win this year, so I had to go.
DG: (Laughing) In your final year?!
SY: Yeah, I was really bad.

DG: Where do you stand on the Great Mushroom and Olive Debate? Are they delicious? Disgusting? Do you even care?
SY: I love mushrooms and olives. I don’t know why people don’t like them. I am pro mushroom and olives.

DG: We sometimes get treats on our birthdays… What do you like better: cookies or cupcakes? Red wine or white?
SY: Cookies. And white wine. I’m not mature enough to like red wine.

DG: If you could book a plane ticket to anywhere in the world today, where would you go?
SY: Australia—no reason in particular. It just looks really pretty and the weather is nice all year.

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