If anyone exemplifies the growth of EP, it’s our wonderful Christine Starr. Starting out in Customer Support, she then carved out a new niche as the sole member of our then-recently-formed Technical Support Team, before moving into her current area of responsibility in the Product space. She also represents EP’s geographical growth, moving to our Sydney office. Take it away, Christine!
Tell us a bit about yourself
Hey there! I’m Christine. I’ve been an EPeep for 3 years and have worked in a variety of different teams and roles during my time at EP. I started at EP fresh out of uni back in 2017 after graduating from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Biomedical Science. I landed a Customer Support Assistant role within the Inbound Team. Since then, I progressed into Technical Support and now Product Management. Earlier this year I moved from the Dunedin HQ over to our Sydney office. Recently I’ve been spending most of my spare time exploring this incredible city.
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
I’d describe myself as nerdy 🤓, compassionate, and approachable.
Goals for the next 3 months?
One of the biggest, most exciting goals I have at EP over the next few months is to work towards launching a new mobile app for teachers! We’re aspiring to help make teachers’ lives easier and offer better support anywhere, anytime, and on any device. It’s something I’m personally quite passionate about and I’m really looking forward to getting it in the hands of our amazing teachers. My personal goals for the next 3 months include starting to plan for my wedding, to practice the flute at least twice a week (I only just picked it back up after not playing since high school!) and to read 10 books.
How do you prefer to start your day?
I am not a morning person by any means, so my mornings usually start with hitting the snooze button a couple of times and a generous cup of coffee before getting up and about. On a good morning, I’d do some yoga or other exercise and catch myself up on the news and social media. If I’m in the middle of reading a good book, I’ll usually try to sneak a few chapters in during my morning commute to the office, or while I’m having my coffee before getting out of bed.
What’s one thing that surprised you when you began working at EP?
Being my first job out of uni, it surprised me at how friendly and supportive everyone is. It really feels like one big tight-knit family here, despite everyone’s diverse backgrounds and being spread out across many locations. When I first moved to Sydney, our Sydney-based EPeeps went out of their way to make me feel welcomed and comfortable here.
Where is somewhere you would like to visit?
My family is originally from Russia. I have never been there myself, but I would really like to go and see where my parents grew up, meet up with some of my relatives, and learn more about my heritage and culture. Going to Europe in general would be amazing – definitely something for the bucket list.
What is your proudest moment?
When I was 17, I went on a 6 month exchange to a city called Kanazawa in Japan. I scrimped and saved for many years and paid for the airfares and exchange costs on my own, all while still attending school and extracurricular commitments. I’m proud of myself for being able to immerse myself in another culture and go about daily life without speaking my native language – especially during particularly challenging times, such as when my debit card (my only source of money!) didn’t work at any ATM, or when I fell quite unwell and had to explain my symptoms to the doctor. I came out of my exchange having taken massive strides in my conversational Japanese language skills, but also with the independence and confidence to navigate unfamiliar situations.
What is the last book you read?
The last book I read was An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield – a memoir of a Canadian Astronaut & Air Force Fighter Pilot. This book goes in depth on the experience of being in space and the skills & career path required to become an astronaut, while also having so many valuable life lessons and gems in it that you can apply to everyday life. Chris talks about setting goals and working hard to reach them, how to navigate challenging situations, and how you should sweat the small stuff. It’s a really interesting read and I’d recommend it to anyone. (Chris also has several interesting YouTube videos, including this TED talk, which are also worth checking out!).
Any last words?
Thanks for taking the time to read this 🙂 Whether you’re a fellow EPeep or an EP customer, or just a passerby, I hope you’ve learned something new about me or EP.
Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] if you’d like to discuss anything and everything EP-related. I’m always keen to hear feedback and look at ways to improve EP going forward.