Every workplace is different, but we like to think that PetRelocation is truly one of a kind. Not only is the work we do -- safely moving pets around the world -- unique and challenging, the people here are hard working, come from a variety of backgrounds, and are equally dedicated to pets and their owners.
In our latest employee spotlight, meet Amy. Amy (who is originally from England, by the way) has worn a few different hats here at the company and has made many important contributions to shipping processes and client relations. Read on to find out more about Amy and her time at PetRelocation!
Why did you decide to apply to PetRelocation initially?
I had just moved to Austin and decided it was time to get a 'big girl job.' I saw the posting for PetRelocation and thought it sounded far too good to be true. I had moved countries before with 6 pets and knew how stressful it was (for my parents at that time at least!) and thought how much easier it would have been if we’d had a company like PetRelo to help us. I’ve always loved animals, and this was such a great opportunity to incorporate that into a “proper job.”
What’s the best memory you have from your first few months working here?
One of my best memories was going to the zoo. I’m usually dubious of zoos, but this was more of a sanctuary for mistreated exotic pets. It was great going around and seeing their mission. The traffic was terrible that day, so we decided to go to a bar/pizza joint and sat outside in the sun instead of heading back to the office. It was great to spend that time together as a company, just relaxing and having fun with the blessing and company of the CEO.
What has been your favorite story to tell others about day to day at PetRelocation?
That I work for a company that not only has perks like random mimosas or chili cook-offs, but also sees me as an individual. I find so many young companies offer gimmicks like fully stocked kitchens and liquor bars, but here they balance the fun stuff with a serious focus on helping you develop a career path for yourself.
You were originally a one person support team for the entirety of the Production group, then you moved into a Sales Consultant role last summer. What was it like in that different role during our busiest time of year?
It was definitely a sharp learning curve! It really helped me to understand what our clients want and need. I wanted so much for everything to go perfectly for my clients, so you end up absorbing a lot of their stress. I learned there are so many different styles of consulting, and I gained a great respect for amazing sales people – the ones that are genuine in their desire to help. It also taught me how to avoid people who are selling just to hit their numbers in my life outside of work!
After the summer was over, you became our Senior Departmental Assistant and have been heavily involved in crafting automation and streamlining processes for helping with client moves. How have you applied what you learned as a Sales Consultant towards making things easier for our people to help our clients?
Being a member of both the Client Care and Sales team has really helped me to determine where the needs and pain points are. You have such a heavy workload each day, it was easy to see the basic things I could do to help. I now answer info@ emails to help the sales team “qualify” leads, or determine how viable they are. This is an ongoing learning process, even now, as together we establish what works and what doesn’t.
Now, almost two years in to your tenure, what has been the biggest surprise or change that you have experienced at PetRelocation?
Moving buildings – that was a big surprise! I was on the move committee, so it was great to get to be part of the design of the new place. We went from a two story building to an open plan office with a café and a meditation room (my personal favorite, not because I helped design it or anything…). It’s exciting as we are preparing for growth, and this was the first inkling we had of it.
What do you think will change about pet travel in the next five years?
I think pets will start to become as global as people. We see more people moving with their pets, and more people seeing pets as family members. This is already starting to be recognized, and I imagine lots of different companies (like airlines) will be stepping up their game to be competitive in the market. You never know, governments might even start agreeing on things!
What advice do you have for people who want to join the company?
You need to be willing to work hard, adapt to a constantly changing environment, and be willing to contribute to the growth of the company. I love a constantly changing environment as there is always a new opportunity on the horizon, but this is definitely not for everyone. The CEO truly cares about his staff, and it’s nice to work in a place where the guy running the show appreciates that without the staff, he’d still just be a guy in a bedroom. [Editor's Note: Kevin and Angie O'Brien, the founders of PetRelocation, began their pet shipping adventures over 14 years ago and first operated out of their home office/bedroom.]
What do you wish other people knew about us?
That we aren’t just rolling around with puppies all day, and the people here are so caring. We are logistical experts, and we take a lot of pride in what we do, from the CEO to admin. If a challenge arises with a move (as can sometimes happen due to situations beyond our control), it is felt throughout the office.
When you are away from the office, how you like to spend your free time?
We just adopted our first pup a couple of weeks ago, so at the moment we are loving dog parks! I also love to cook, eat out (the food in Austin is awesome!), enjoy a margarita in the sun, read a good book, and hike. Our pup, Dillon, still hasn’t gone hiking with us, so I’m excited for when he’s trained enough to join us!
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?
This is a tough one! (My interview question was “what kind of ice cream are you?”) I asked my fiancé to help answer this, and he said a penguin, but refused to explain why. I’m going to say a meerkat, especially in this office. I love being around close friends, and I’m constantly popping my head up over the desk divides to see what’s going on around me. My cat, Kitty B, was a close second. :)
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?
I’m only a two-year veteran of Austin, so I’m sure there is plenty of stuff that I still don’t know. But I really enjoy floating the river in the summer. They also opened an awesome dog park that has a bar and serves food (for both pups and their two legged friends). It incorporates any Austinite's three favorite things – booze, food and dogs!
Hollywood wants to make a movie about your life. Who do they cast to play you?
I’d say Ellen Page, with purple hair! She reminded me of myself as a teenager in Juno -- without the pregnancy drama.