This week on the blog, I sat down with Bluetrain’s newest account manager Samantha Davy for our traditional game of 21 Questions. (Psst! Did you know Sam was actually born in South Africa? Her husband is South African too, but you’ll never guess where they actually met!) Read on to learn more about our new friend Sam.
DG: First off, where are you from?
SD: I was born in South Africa but grew up in the Okanagan.
DG: Wow, that must have been great for you as a kid. What did you love most about growing up in the Okanagan?
SD: I loved all the outdoor activities, the beautiful scenery; even the drive to work is epic.
DG: What are some of your favorite outdoor activities?
SD: Skiing, hiking, lying on the beach. (Laughs)
DG: Sounds fabulous! What about your family? Do you have any siblings?
SD: Yes, I have 2 sisters; I’m the eldest.
DG: Three girls! That must have been fun.
SD: Yeah, there was always a lot of “girl” time (laughs); we used to have this Barbie Street Playset in our basement, which we would turn into a this kind of Barbie village when friends came over.
DG: What was your favorite TV show as a kid?
SD: Well, as a teenager I liked the O.C. And as I little girl Rainbow Brite was my jam, although I didn’t watch that much T.V. when I was young.
DG: What about Disney movies?
SD: Oh, The Little Mermaid all the way.
DG: Yeah, man, I was a big Little Mermaid fan when I was like 4. Did you have any childhood career aspirations?
SD: Yes, I wanted to be either an actress or an astrologer. They were vastly different career goals, although I guess they both had something to do with stars.
DG: True. Although you actually studied Business Administration and Marketing at Okanagan College, did you take any courses that you particularly enjoyed?
SD: Yes, I liked Consumer Behavior and Sustainable Enterprises, I had a great prof for both who really made the material come alive for me.
DG: I’ve told you this already, but I love your tagline on LinkedIn: Samantha Davy, Fearless Pursuer of Victory—so epic! What is one of the most epic things you’ve ever done or experienced?
SD: When I was in high school my friend and I competed against dozens of teams from across Canada in the Hewlett-Packard Global Business Challenge and advanced to the fourth and final round, which was held in California. Once there, we faced 7 other international finalists and had a blast touring Hewlett Packard Headquarters where we actually got to see Mr. Hewlett’s old office—a meticulously maintained homage to one of the company’s founding fathers. I think it was one of the first experiences that inspired me to want to go into marketing. It was life-changing.
DG: Your work experience is really diverse. What job has been your favorite to date?
SD: I found joy in every job that I’ve done, because each has helped me develop my career up to this point. If I had to pick one though, I would say my current job at Bluetrain is my favorite because everything I’ve done up until now has led me here.
DG: What made you decide to apply to Bluetrain?
SD: I realized that I really like working with people and “wearing different hats” and learning about new industries, which is why I thought the account manager role would be perfect for me as they are required to do all those things.
DG: How have your first few weeks on the job been?
SD: They’ve been really good. I like that Bluetrain has given me a lot of opportunity to learn about the industry and some of the more technical aspects of the job. A lot of places don’t offer that time to train, so I am really glad that Bluetrain takes the time to invest in their employees this way.
DG: Hot-seat question: What are your first impressions of your fellow Bluetrain teammates? You can mention names if you want. ☺
SD: Everyone is really friendly. It’s a hard-working team, but the atmosphere is still very light and fun.
DG: Do you play volleyball or squash? (Standard post-hire question—Bryan is always looking for teammates.)
SD: No… I played when I was 12, but I didn’t stick with it. I’m a horrible volleyball player.
DG: Good to know. I will pass info onto Bryan so that he’s aware. What do you like to do in your spare time?
SD: I watch a lot of Ted Talks and the news, I’m a bit of knowledge-junkie. But I do balance that side out by watching a lot of garbage/reality TV too. I also hang out with friends a lot—I have a friend who is in a band called Death by Robot so we go see them play often.
DG: What kind of music do they play?
SD: Like folk/indie music? It’s a really neat sound.
DG: Alright, now onto your preferences… What are your views on mushrooms and olives? Our office is very divided on these 2 foods.
SD: I like mushrooms a lot. Don’t really like olives.
DG: Hmm, noted. If you had to choose between cupcakes and cookies, what would you choose?
SD: I guess would choose cupcakes, but I am not really into the sweets. I would much rather a cheese plate. And if I have to have cake, I would prefer a cheesecake. Or salted caramel macarons. Salted caramel is the most delicious flavour that has ever been invented.
DG: So, birthday salted caramel cheesecake. Got it. When is your birthday? Am I even allowed to ask that question?
SD: It’s August 12.
DG: Ooh, soon! Are there any office-related pet peeves we should know about? For instance, Shree hates it when you leave k-cups in the Keurig and Aly hates it when people don’t refill the Brita filter.
SD: Not really… I can’t think of anything off the top of my head. (Laughs)
DG: Oh, you’re so easy going, Sam! You have family in South Africa. Have you had many chances to travel and visit them?
SD: I’ve been back about 3 different times. The last time I was there was when I was 21. And also my husband is from South Africa.
DG: Did you meet there?
SD: No, it’s kind of funny where we met… We actually met in the U.K.; we were both working at this beautiful boutique hotel—he was a chef and I was a receptionist—we became friends and only later did we figure out that his mother and my grandmother were from the same town in South Africa.
DG: Wow, that’s a great story! And what a coincidence, too.
SD: Yeah, it was kind of funny to think about, and even more so when we considered where we were in the U.K. because it was almost the mid-way point between Canada and South Africa, the two places where we grew up.
DG: Incredible… Families from the same town originally and yet you met in England! What are the chances?
DG: What is one thing everyone needs to try in South Africa?
SD: Going on safari. I wish everyone I know could go on safari. Seeing a wild animal in its natural habitat gives you such an appreciation for animals and ecosystems.
DG: Other than South Africa, what are some other countries you have visited?
SD: I’ve been to China twice, I’ve been to Italy and the U.K., and a few places in the States. Actually, by the time I was 21, I’d swam in every ocean except the Arctic ocean.
DG: Ha ha ha! That would be cool—literally! If you could book a plane ticket to anywhere in the world today, where would you go?
SD: Brazil. Or anywhere in South America. South America is on my bucket list. It’s the only continent that I haven’t been on.
DG: I loved Brazil. Colombia is a great time, but I’m biased there. Let me know if you have plans to go and I could suggest some things to do.
SD: Yes, please!