Humans of Lob is a project dedicated to getting to know our Lobsters on an individual level. For our seventh entry, we sat down with Sales Operations Manager Amanda Garza.
What was your childhood like?
Hot. I lived in south Texas, so every day the temperature was over 100 degrees F in the spring and summer months (maybe even fall), but my main outdoor activity was swimming if I spent time outside. I have an older brother, so I played a lot of video games. I focused on school and attended art camp in the summers.
Is that like bandcamp but artsy?
No, it was just a way for my parents to get rid of me in the summers. (Laughter) I didn’t realize it then but I’m pretty sure that’s what it was.
My mom was a high school teacher and one of the art teachers she worked with would have kids come over to her house and we would do these art projects she had planned out every week. Some days we’d learn watercolor, acrylics, and so on. We would make and paint all kinds of things.
Did you get into art as a kid because it was fun and available or was it like “I want to be an artist”?
I don’t remember. I feel like it was just because it was available and my mom kept sending me there since I enjoyed it. I don’t really remember what my motivations were. I would practice at home though; I’d mostly sketch. I still sometimes watercolor from time to time. I think I enjoy the process of observation and translating that perception into something physical. It’s such a focused practice.
Why did you choose to work at Lob?
Honestly, my interview experience here was the best interview I’ve ever had. I really enjoyed meeting everybody that I met. I know this is so cheesy but I even sent everybody here a gift because I loved the experience so much. Even if they said no to me, I just wanted to say thanks. I liked that Leore and Harry, our founders, were very thoughtful and I feel like they were thinking in the long-term then, and that carries on today. They have a thoughtful approach to growth and I knew that if I was going to be at a startup, I needed to find someplace that is still scary and still has that, like, “what are we going to do” vibe, but I’m not going to be laid-off the next day.
What project are you most proud of working on at Lob?
I would say probably at this moment, lead routing (which is our methodology for correctly assigning leads to sales reps at Lob for follow up) has been really great. It’s been challenging. We use a tool to solve for it but it’s still something that I had to think through and I went through a lot of different iterations to get it right. I continue to iterate on it. I generally manage it myself, but the fact that it’s something that doesn’t get brought up too much anymore makes me proud because I think that means that it’s going right. Of course, we’ll have to continue to iterate as we change and grow, but I like that it’s not a problem. In operations, that’s usually when you know you’ve done something right.
What do you do to keep sanity during super fast growth and amidst the firefighting?
I’m very much a routine driven person. Outside of work I have a routine. I wake up at 5:00, I have a coffee and a snack. I go to the gym around 5:45. I have my various lifting days. I’m a person that likes to keep my calendar super clean. I need to know what’s going to happen throughout the day as much as possible. I think that’s what keeps me sane. I need to know what to expect as much as I possibly can. I make sure I’m there for it all and that I’m present.
Is there something about yourself that you think someone new would be surprised to learn?
I think it’s always really surprising for people when I say I’m an introvert. I think I’m very friendly and amicable, but I don’t like meeting new people. I think because I am very loud in the office and will stop people for conversation, they might not believe that. I stop people for conversation because I’ve built relationships with these people over time and I’m comfortable joking with Raph or you and walking up to Stew and having a conversation with him at his desk. I’ve had enough experiences with these people that I’m comfortable and can open up but I’m not out of the bat like, “Here I am!”
What was a moment in your life that changed your perspective?
I think recently I’ve been very reflective. I’ve been thinking about the last few months of my life and sometimes I think we craft these narratives for ourselves and then we stick to them because we’ve said that’s what they are or who we are. All you have to do is change that narrative and you don’t have to stick to being what you say you are. You are whoever you try to be. I’ve been thinking about it because I never thought I’d be the person who loves working out and waking up at 5:00 am to workout and do those sorts of things. I never thought I would be the person to build my life around those sorts of activities but here I am, that’s what I’m doing now. I have a routine and a plan and it includes all these things and I love doing that. I love that I’ve changed my narrative.
What’s an important moment that happened here at Lob that you want people to remember?
The time we beat Leore’s team in Dodgeball. That’s an event that really stands out to me because I was really into dodgeball at the time and we just wrecked the other team. Like really wrecked them.
Photos by fellow Lobster, Anthony Chen.