Interested in digital products? Want to get a feel for what a day in the life looks like on the Di team? You’ve come to the right place. Every quarter, we will be interviewing a member of our cohort for your reading pleasure. This time around, we are chatting with Salem Baer. You can follow Salem on Twitter at @salembaer.
J: Hi there! Why don’t we start off by delving into what your role is at Differential.
S: Great question Jess. I was hired on as a Growth Specialist. I’m on the growth team, which mean I run the blog and social media accounts. I’ve also gotten into the rhythm of coming up with different marketing experiments — I chase after them, review them by looking at Google Analytics, and then work at improving upon those processes.
J: How and when did you become interested in the kind of work you do?
S: Right out of college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do until I got connected with Differential. I loved the leadership team and wanted to be a part of Di. Colin and Tim had a lot of faith in my ability to learn fast and I loved how the team had so much passion surrounding each project and really took ownership in their work.
J: How did your career path lead you to Differential?
S: My sister and brother-in-law live in Cincinnati and I knew I wanted to end up here. Blake, my brother-in-law, started a company in Cincinnati called Cladwell. He made introductions and connections to a bunch of people for me. He connected me with Colin and Tim, and when I interviewed, it was love at first sight. I loved the idea of working on a smaller team and seeing how much autonomy was there. Plus, I thought the people were great. There was so much excitement around the company and what they do. I came back for a second interview with Jess and it sealed the deal meeting more people from the team. I didn’t know if I was uniquely suited or skilled for Differential since my role is not technical, but the culture was spot on.
J: Differential hires entrepreneurial minds to help solve the problems of intrapreneurs – what is your first memory of being entrepreneurial?
S: Hmm, I think I’ve been around entrepreneurial people since I was young, like Blake at Cladwell, and I thought it was so cool that people just created something out of nothing. I also think there’s something about being homeschooled growing up…others’ way of education was so differently structured from the way I learned at home. I wonder if that gave me more peace with going about things differently than other people.
J: What do you like (or love) about working here?
S: Omigosh… so many things. Has everyone said the people? Is that overdone? Uhm… the unlimited supply of La Croix? Ok, the people, for sure — I feel that we’re all very different and unique. We have all types of people, but it’s cool that we genuinely enjoy each other and like that we’re different. It’s never come off as a cliquey vibe. I really admire that about our team. And the leadership team is so good at practicing what they preach. If they can’t actually commit to the same standards they’re expecting of others, they get rid of it. They’re genuine and really care about the individual people. Also, the freedom and flexibility — it’s incredible to be able to take a long weekend or visit family without stressing about the time off. Or if a tree falls in your yard, you can take care of it. Thankful for that. [Background info: a tree fell in Jess’s yard over the weekend and she was able to work from home Monday in order to facilitate its cleanup. This reference was not completely random though that wouldn’t be out of the ordinary.]
J: Part of the Differential team is remote - in your experience, are there advantages and/or difficulties to remote teamwork?
S: One of the advantages is that you get to work with a larger variety of people and get to know people from all over. I haven’t experienced any disadvantages personally — it all just feels normal.
J: What’s streaming through your earbuds while you are working?
S: If not the Moana soundtrack… (laughs). I really mix it up and keep it fresh. Make me sound really cool. I normally start off with my Discover Weekly or slow acoustic morning stuff. But from 2pm to 5pm, I’ll turn to some top Latino or pop hits to pump up my afternoon.
J: And last, but certainly not least - favorite coffee or lunch spot near the office?
S: Honestly… probably Currito, but now that it’s warmer, my dream lunch outing is picking up anything and eating at Fountain Square.