The Sales Consultants of PetRelocation are quick on their feet. Not only do they need be prepared to discuss pet travel logistics for dogs, cats, birds and other family pets looking to travel all over the world, they must also stay up to date with constantly changing and often complicated pet travel rules and requirements.
In her time at the company, Catie has helped hundreds of pets travel safely in order to be reunited with their families, and not only does she plan smart, low-stress moves, she's fun to work with and elevates the team on a daily basis.
Read more about Catie!
Why did you decide to apply to PetRelocation initially?
I had been in corporate sales at various companies for several years and I was tired of the constant stress and traveling for something that ultimately I didn't feel passionately about. I started looking for companies whose business or purpose I would feel passionate about, and PetRelocation fit the bill! The work we do is something that I feel good about every day, and that's so rewarding.
I also was tired of being one person out of hundreds or thousands at a large corporate company, and I wanted to work for a smaller company where I could be involved in more of the decisions that affect my day-to-day and the company in general. I love that we all sit in the same room—including our CEO! Everyone is so accessible here, and it is much more of a cohesive team than I've ever experienced.
What was your interview experience like?
It was long! But I got to meet so many team members throughout the process and got to ask so many questions that I felt really confident about accepting the position when it was offered to me. I was able to get a feel for the people, culture, and the job itself throughout the process and knew that the position was a great fit.
What’s the best memory you have from your few months of working here?
There's no one single memory, but the best experience is whenever a client calls, really worried and stressed about moving their pet, and I'm able to offer them a safe solution and ease their fear. That is such a rewarding experience every single time. I've never experienced that feeling of actually being able to make someone else's life better or easier with my work at any other job before.
What has been your favorite story to tell others about day to day life/the working environment at PetRelocation?
I think the sheer volume of people reaching out to us to assistance with their pet moves and the huge variety of animals that we move are some of my favorite things to explain about PetRelo life. People don't realize that pet shipping is even an industry until they have a need, so it's shocking to discover that we field thousands of inquiries and move thousands of animals all over the world each year!
You previously worked in software sales before joining us. What are some of the differences you have experienced transitioning to a consultant role in the pet travel industry?
One of the biggest differences is that people are so emotionally involved with their pets that it is often an emotionally exhausting job. After a day of speaking with people about moving their pets, I'm completely worn out! When someone entrusts us with their pet, they're trusting us with the well-being of a family member and it's a huge responsibility. I feel emotionally connected to the pet and pet parent, and to this job, in a way I never was with software sales.
What has been the biggest change that you have experienced since starting work at PetRelocation?
Working in an office! I've always either worked from home or traveled for work, so this is my first time to have a regular commute, go to an office all day every day, and work closely with co-workers—and I love it! I'm very social, so I got lonely working by myself (and my dogs) all the time. It's nice to have people to collaborate with, get help from, and go to lunch and happy hour with!
You started by primarily handling US shipments and in April 2016 you moved over to the EU team, so by now you've learned quite a bit about various processes! What information can a potential client share what will help expedite things on our end, so you can determine if we can help and what a potential move plan would look like?
Having accurate pet details is huge! You wouldn't believe how often a pet parent tells me their dog weighs 45 pounds when it really weighs 65 pounds, for example. People don't understand that pet airline tickets are calculated on the weight of the pet plus the weight of the crate, and if the pet weight is incorrect, then the price we calculated for the ticket will be incorrect. Also, knowing the exact breed of the pet is a huge help. There are breed and weather restrictions for lots of different breeds of animals, and we can only provide an accurate quote or a quality move plan if we know all the correct information about the pet.
When you think about the clients you have worked with, what is one of your favorite pet move stories?
My favorite moves are the ones where the pet parent has been separated from their fur-child for a long time. Last summer, I moved five pets from two different locations who had been separated from their pet parents for months, and they were SO EXCITED when the pets arrived. Hearing how happy the families are after they're finally reunited with their fur-babies is so rewarding.
What advice do you have for people who want to be successful when they interview with us?
Be prepared to discuss how you solve problems, how you deal with difficult people, how you prioritize a day filled with a lot of pressing priorities, and how well you work with your coworkers! Although we do all love pets, at the end of the day we're dealing with complex logistical problems so you have to be ready to create solutions in a fast-paced, high-stress environment.
When you are away from the office, how do you like to spend your free time?
My life is all about food, reading, and dogs! My partner and I cook almost every day, but we also love eating in the endless number of fantastic new restaurants Austin has to offer. Then we take the dogs hiking to work off all the eating :) My group of friends also just started a monthly book club that we're having a lot of fun with.
One question that pops up from time to time in candidate interviews at PetRelocation is “What is your spirit animal?” Can you tell us about yours?
I'd say an otter, because I'm always busy doing something, whether that's working hard or playing hard!
Say you have friends coming into Austin for the weekend. What one thing do they absolutely need to do or see so they can get the “Keep Austin Weird” experience?
There's not one thing you can do to experience the Austin Weird, because you're just as likely to run into it while grocery shopping as at Eeyore's Birthday Party. I'd say, just being out in the town, like going to a farmer's market, going floating on the river, drinking at a patio bar while listening to live music and eating BBQ (like Friedman's or Stiles Switch) is the best way to spend a day experiencing Austin. You never know what kind of weirdness you're going to run into when you're out on the town!
Hollywood wants to make a movie about your life. Who do they cast to play you?
I don't know if I want Hollywood dabbling in my life! However, my partner calls me her “Carmen” so maybe Sarah Shahi. She's sassy, and that fits me well.