As part of our ongoing employee spotlight series, we’ll be profiling colleagues who inspire us. Today, meet Susan Park.
Company Role: Head of Finance
Most likely to: Be cleaning and organizing
Secret talent: Supermom
Ask our Head of Finance, Susan, to share a fun fact about herself and she’ll probably tell you about her wakeboarding days. Yep, she used to be an avid wakeboarder and spent years extreme-water-sporting in the Potomac River (with the Washington Monument in the background). “Shockingly, I never got ill from that water, and I’m still very healthy,” shares Susan. Now, if you didn’t realize the river in D.C. was that filthy, a quick Google search will let you know that “the Potomac was once so polluted that bright green mats of algae would blanket the water each summer.” So, yeah… “Shockingly, I never got ill” is an accurate statement.
Growing up in NJ, Susan moved to MD during and after college and now lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She started her career in accounts receivables and worked her way up by taking bold chances in challenging roles in the customer goods, fashion, and digital media industries. Also, since most of her previous roles had been newly created in larger companies, stepping into a true start-up was a piece of cake. In fact, she’s only been working here for six months but has accomplished more in that time than she has at most companies in a year!
A member of our senior leadership team and another one of our bad-ass working moms, Susan is responsible for everything finance-related at String and Key. That includes balancing the numbers, working out our budgets, and potentially helping us figure out if we can afford the crazy-big blowout bash we’re all craving post-pandemic :).
So, read on to learn more about her story.
What do you do, and what does your typical workday look like?
Meetings, meetings, and more meetings — because there’s a lot of collaboration needed when you’re building something new. I’m also constantly reprioritizing my to-do’s. So, most of the work that requires focus and concentration takes place at night. I get the most inspiration at night, as well.
What’s your favorite part about working at String and Key?
The people. Everyone works collaboratively. No one limits themselves to only their core roles and responsibilities. They all want to help and support each other to succeed. And the people are an inspiration! They are so smart, creative, and analytical. Also, I report directly to the CEO/founder; I’ve never worked with a CEO who really wants his employees to succeed and provides support and resources for you to get there. Development is a big component of this company.
What excites you about your job?
Building out the finance function from scratch. It’s not just one area of finance but five different functions that I’m building and managing (FP&A, Accounting, Treasury, Investments, Tax). It keeps me on my toes.
What do you find most challenging about your role?
Using a Mac. All my career, I have used a PC, which is highly typical in finance.
What are the values that drive you?
Having a positive attitude, honesty, and perseverance.
How do you stay on top of your game?
A lot of coffee and constant communication.
What drew you to tech, and what excites you about the industry?
I’ve been in industries where results fluctuate with the economy, and it’s been a very negative story. It’s always about cutting budgets for immediate results and rarely about investing in the future for sustainability and growth. I wanted to be in an industry that thrives even if the economy is performing poorly. I wanted to work in a company that can achieve growth, and it’s been a positive story.
If you could swap places with anyone at String and Key, who would it be and why?
I wish I could swap places with one of our producers, Tevan. During the pandemic, he worked remotely and traveled the US. And on top of that, he’s just a super sweet guy. I wish I could’ve taken advantage of this unique work-from-home opportunity to travel around.
What unexpected subject could you give a one-hour presentation on with no advance prep?
I could give a one-hour presentation on helpful tips for being a first-time mom. The tips are as follows:
- Join a group and meet other parents-to-be with similar delivery dates. You will be thankful to have other parents to chat with, esp during the 3 a.m. feedings.
- Make sure you have someone designated to cook or to order you food for all meals (partner, parents, siblings, or delivery apps).
- Bounce on an exercise ball for a fussy baby or to put a baby to sleep.
- Let your partner take over.
- Never judge other parents. Every parent is trying their darn best and we should be there to support each other
- It’s ok to have one alcoholic drink while nursing.
- Travel and go out to restaurants and bars as much as you can in the first year. After they start walking, going out can become unenjoyable and sometimes stressful.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
My young kids! My husband is a NICU night nurse, so he works his 12 hours overnight shifts and sleeps during the day. Needless to say, that comes with its challenges.
Can you list five hashtags that describe your personality?
#Outgoing #Approachable #Enthusiastic #Energetic #Perfectionist
Cake or chocolate?
Boat or plane?
Paint or draw?
Fantasy or drama?
Day trip or overnight?
Interested in working at String and Key? Join us!