After working for public relation agencies and the worlds largest Hyatt Regency, Sarah Nagel’s parents weren’t enthused when she said goodbye to her role at a large, well-known hotel chain for start-up life at Sprout Social, a software company based in Chicago. Sprout Social helps people manage and keep up with their social media presence in one place, and has continued to grow in popularity among top brands like Dove, Spotify and Microsoft. I know Sarah from the Twitter-verse, so I thought I’d reach out to her to chat about working at Sprout Social. Here’s what she had to say:
Introduce yourself – what should we know about you?
I’m Sarah Nagel! I’m from Palos Park, a southwest suburb of Chicago. I currently live in Wheaton and commute into Sprout’s office in the Loop (downtown Chicago) everyday. I have a wonderful husband who is a firefighter, two rescue dogs (one German Shepard and one lab-beagle mix) and a fixer-upper house. We spend our time finding new restaurants with great cocktail and craft beer menus and getting our hands dirty remodeling various aspects of our home.
Tell me a bit about your role at Sprout Social?
I am the Community Outreach Manager at Sprout Social. I transitioned last March from doing social media marketing and customer support to a focus on community building and outreach. It’s been a really good shift for me as I’ve always loved building relationships and connecting others. I use social as a vehicle for my greater goals of creating and fostering our community.
What is your educational background or past experience that helped you land a job at Sprout Social?
I attended Indiana University
in Bloomington, Indiana. While in school, I studied abroad in Madrid. It was undoubtedly the most amazing six months of my life! I double majored in Spanish and journalism, though my writing skills in the English language have played a much bigger role in my career. I still love to converse en Español as much as I can!
Prior to Sprout I worked at a few public relations agencies, then for Hyatt Regency Chicago, the largest Hyatt in the world. I used Sprout to manage the hotel’s social profiles and always admired the software and the company. I used my connection with our product specialist to get my resume in front of the hiring manager and was offered a position here in April 2013. Making a career change from the global hotel chain to a Midwest start-up with 65 employees made my parents cringe a bit, but it was clearly a smart move.
How long have you been working there?
I have been at Sprout almost three years. On your third anniversary, every employee receives a highly coveted zip-up hoodie. I’m pretty excited about it!
What does a day-in-your-life look like in your role?
It really depends on the day of the week! Wednesday’s are mostly dedicated to #Sproutchat
, our weekly Twitter chat. Other days, I spend time proactively reaching out through Reddit, Quora, Twitter and groups within social networks to social media and community managers that could potentially benefit from using our software. More recently, my days have been filled with planning for Sprout Social All Stars, a new advocate program we just launched December 28. (More to come on that very soon- stay tuned to our blog!)
What have been necessary skills or experience to be successful in your role?
Adaptability, communication, organization and long-term planning.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to work for Sprout Social?
Sprout looks more for people who are great culture fits, as opposed to having the perfect background or experience. We hire dedicated people who work smart and are proactive in bettering themselves. We support and cheer each other on at every opportunity. It’s a really positive environment, so “Debbie Downers” need not apply. 😉
What is your favourite part about your job?
We have a monthly all-team meeting with highlights around progress from every department. It’s great to gain insight on parts of the organization that I’m not directly involved with everyday. The meeting is followed by dinner and happy hour. It’s a great way to meet new faces and get to know others better.
Anything else we should know?
Though Sprout is almost 200 employees strong, we’re still a pretty scrappy environment. I’ve been very fortunate to have the support to start a few new initiatives and better processes already in place. If you have a great idea and a solid plan, I truly don’t think there’s anything you can’t do here.