In this blog series, we talk to WP Engine employees to learn more about their roles, what they love about the city they work in, and hear from them what they like most about working at WP Engine. In this interview, we talk to Rachel Graham, a Marketing Events Planner at WP Engine’s Austin headquarters.
“There are so many opportunities for people who have different backgrounds to jump into a tech company. I’m kind of passionate about that.” – Rachel Graham
Q: What did you do before WP Engine?
A: I first moved to Austin and was doing art full time. I sold art and I did art lessons, but I knew I wanted to get into tech because it seemed exciting, vibrant and like there was a lot of opportunity for growth. When browsing jobs, it was the tech companies that always had open jobs and teams that were always expanding. Austin has a thriving tech scene, so I left my hometown in Georgia and drove my jeep west to Austin.
Q: How have your past jobs translated over to event marketing for WP Engine?
A lot of things that I was doing, like managing my own studio with other artists, I was marketing my work and selling my work. That’s what inspired me to change careers to marketing and events.
But, at first, I lacked the confidence, honestly, because I went to art school and didn’t really have the qualifications on paper. I felt like no one would pay me the attention. That was completely untrue. There are so many opportunities for people who have different backgrounds to jump into a tech company. I’m kind of passionate about that.
Q: Do you think the different types of backgrounds that make up WP Engine is what makes the company unique?
A: Yeah! I can name five people off the top of my head who have served our country, the Marines, the Army and then not only that but people with creative degrees or backgrounds…people who haven’t really worked in tech at all before.
Q: When did you know you wanted to work for WP Engine?
A: This is kind of funny, but when I came to visit WP Engine, I had a friend who writes for the Austin Business Journal and he was like, “ you should just go in and see what it’s like.” They were having the Town Hall meeting and it looked like a newsroom of people and I thought the press was here and media outlets were getting a story while the CEO was speaking. But it was really just a weekly meeting. Now it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but back then I was wondering “what major event is this?” So I figured I would want to work at a place that is frequently like that. The company culture here is awesome.
Q: What’s your typical day like?
A: My typical day varies and I really like that about events. I work with so many different departments just throughout the week and on a daily basis. An example is the Social Team. We meet every week to discuss what we can do differently at events with social media with social campaigns. However, this is only when I’m not traveling.
Q: What’s it like traveling with people from different teams?
A: I think one of the favorite things about my role is interacting with a lot of people at WP Engine and also people, normally, I wouldn’t spend a lot of time with. When we go on a trip, we spend three or four days together at a conference — we have a lot of fun getting to know one another. It gives you a different side of what WP Engine does and when people talk to customers from our support department, it really helps me learn a lot. Lastly, you just become really good friends with people from around the world when you travel.
Q: What surprised you the most about Austin?
A: Everything I enjoy about life is in Austin. So music, being outdoors, and fast-growing companies. There’s a lot of opportunities here. It’s also bike-friendly, which I appreciate.
Q: Being an artist, is there anything you’d change about the office? Say you were locked in overnight with art supplies, what would you paint?
A: I would doodle the heck out of our walls and I would paint some of the white walls black chalkboard paint. I would also start some things but let people come together the next day and add to it.
You can check out my personal site at yodoodle.com for more art inspiration.
WP Engine is currently hiring for positions in Marketing at our Austin headquarters. See here for the full range of careers WP Engine is hiring: wpengine-careers.com