The String and Key Crew: Kate Goff

Jasmin H
Jasmin H
Oct 27, 2020 · 5 min read
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As part of our ongoing employee spotlight series, we’ll be profiling colleagues who inspire us. Today, meet Kate Goff.

Company Role: Data Manager

Most likely to: Be discussing cats

Secret talent: Knows everything there is to know about nail polish

Coming from a non-profit background, our Data Manager, Kate spent the best part of ten years fighting for epic women’s rights causes across the US, South East Asia, and Africa before coming over to the tech world. One particularly interesting program she worked on was the Goats for Girls program in east Africa, where young women were given a goat straight out of school. A highly-prized animal in that part of the world, many girls were able to break the cycle of poverty and start their own businesses or continue with their education with just a goat (or two) in tow. We’d say that’s a pretty awesome way to make a difference.

But we digress.

So, after spending a decade in the non-profit sector and completing a whirlwind BA and MA in Political Science from New York’s New School (as part of a five-year accelerated program), Kate signed up for a data science boot camp and pivoted to the tech world where we managed to snap her up as our Data Manager here at String and Key.

A huge fan of cats (the furry felines, not the cringy movie), nail polish, and women’s rights, Kate has been a fantastic addition to our crew. Read more of her story below in our latest employee spotlight.

What do you do, and what does your typical workday look like?
I’m kind of a mixture between an analyst and a product manager. I look at strategic data — from how we get our data to how we use it and best present it. This can be customer data, marketing data, that sort of thing. My day-to-day work life varies. On a regular day, outside of meetings, you’ll find me working on my latest project — which could be anything from spreadsheets about customer touchpoints to write-ups about tech stacks. Also, a lot of my work is very research-heavy, so you’ll usually find me wearing my researcher hat. Finally, since I value my coworkers’ input, I often check in with stakeholders throughout the day to get their ideas and comments.

What’s your favorite part about working at String and Key?
The people are amazing! Everybody is really friendly, open, and collaborative, which I really appreciate. I love how diverse we are as a company. I also love how everyone is so open about what they’re working on — it helps me learn a ton. I get to work with so many different kinds of teams on all sorts of issues. It’s exciting that I can easily get a glimpse into so many other areas of our business.

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What excites you about your job?
The chance to do all kinds of different things. Also that no day is the same. I do a lot of work with our strategy team, but I also work a lot with the engineers and the creative UX/UI teams (since data touches every part of the company). Again, working with these different teams means I’m continually learning. It’s not something you get to do in every job, so I really appreciate that I can do that here at String and Key. It’s awesome how much trust we all have in each other.

What do you find most challenging about your role
It’s been challenging pivoting from working at a huge agency where I did the same things every day, to coming somewhere where I’m — on the daily — learning new things about different parts of the company. The amount of learning can be intimidating — from picking up new technologies to working from a more strategic standpoint. But you can’t grow without being challenged. And with that said, It really helps to know that everyone is here to support me in my career growth.

What are the values that drive you?
Equity and inclusion are my top priorities. When I started, I was very impressed that String and Key had so many women in tech roles. I was also very impressed (and still am) with the level of diversity here. To me, those things are indicative of a healthy work environment. I’m here for it all.

How do you stay on top of your game?
I live and die by my calendar and email blasts about our field’s latest and greatest issues. I also follow numerous data science, big data, and marketing subreddits, along with LinkedIn groups about tech, finance, and startups. I’m particularly interested when I see people building new tools for coding or workflow management. I actually just found a cool workflow idea the other day that allows you to automate workflows by linking spreadsheets using Python. I just signed up to get a sneak peek of that.

What’s one thing — either industry-related or not — that you’ve learned in the last month?
I’ve learned a lot about UX/UI and customer experience. I’m currently working on learning the Figma software, which is new to me. I’m not an artistic person, but it’s always interesting to see how people can make something accessible and also beautiful. So, If I could swap places with anyone at String and Key, it would have to be one of the UX/UI designers. That way, I could really learn how to make something useful but also visually appealing.

If I could swap places with someone else, I’d even say one of our engineers. Why? Well, once upon a time, I considered going into software development. But data science and analytics turned out to be a better fit. It’d be cool to see how that role works in person.

What unexpected subject could you give a one-hour presentation on with no advance prep?
Reproductive health, women’s rights in the USA and globally, the dissolution of Yugoslavia, or the best way to get a manicure to last

What keeps you busy outside of work?
I spend most of my free time volunteering in reproductive justice causes, giving information to people seeking reproductive healthcare. I’ve been trained as a doula, and while some doulas work in-person support, I work online to provide emotional support, information, and referrals for people experiencing a full spectrum of reproductive needs.

Can you list five hashtags that describe your personality?
#Kind, #Sarcastic, #AlwaysLearning, #CatObsessed, #Feminist.

Lighting Round:

Drive or fly?

Palm tree or pine tree?
Palm tree.

Book or movie?

Journey or destination?

Pumpkin pie or apple pie?
Pumpkin pie (as I’m allergic to apples).

Interested in working at String and Key? Join us!

Learn more about the other members of our team here.

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