13 Questions With: Erin Tripp
January 7, 2014
Principal at CloudScout Information Services / Project Manager at discoverygarden inc.
A hero who has inspired you in your career?
Shortly after launching CloudScout I was hired by Mark Leggott at discoverygarden inc. The company was one of my first five clients; I eventually took a permanent position with discoverygarden in addition to running my company. Working with Mark was a terrific opportunity to work closely with another librarian who fosters an entrepreneurial spirit. Mark demonstrated dogged determination when it came to growing his company and it encouraged me to look at risk in a new way.
The first job you ever held and at what age?
I grew up at a small aquatic club that taught swimming, kayak and canoe skills. When I turned 16 the club hired me as a junior canoe/ kayak coach. I kayaked to and from work everyday making it the most relaxing commute ever.
Your first position in the library and/or information services field?
I worked as a library assistant at Environment Canada. My first day there I received a reference query about the detonation of underwater munitions. I practically ran to my manager’s desk to request help.
Coolest thing in your cubicle or office?
I have a hydraulic standing desk. It’s the mission control of my work life. Standing while I work makes it easier to move around and dance to whatever music I have playing.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I enjoy talking about work and career planning more than the average joe. My friends and family indulge me – to a point.
Career advice – what’s your top tip?
Find tasks in your work you find rewarding, even if the tasks are outside your job description. I have found that volunteering for work I think I will enjoy has helped me and colleagues understand where I’m most valuable.
What useless skill(s) do you possess?
I believe all skills are useful! Weird skills come in handy at networking events, job interviews, and any other professional events where we interact with people; it’s what makes us memorable.
Proudest moment in your professional life?
I worked on a project during summer 2013 that challenged all of the skills developed throughout my career as a journalist, project manager, librarian and entrepreneur. It involved interviewing stakeholders, conducting secondary research, managing the collaboration of colleagues, summarizing my findings and making recommendations. The project had a real impact and fuelled decision making. I truly felt I was doing the work I was meant to.
If you had 24 hours all to yourself, how would you best like to spend it?
I’d plan a get together at my house for close friends. We do it all the time, but it would be great to take the time to make it really special – I’m talking a home cooked, five course Italian meal complete with wine pairings and board games.
If you didn’t work in the information industry, what would you be doing?
If I had to do something else it would probably be related to videography. When I was a journalist I had the opportunity to work as a camera person and editor; it brought out my creativity.
Finish this sentence: “In high school, I would have been voted the person most likely to … “
…to travel the world. I spent my grade 11 year living in Milan, Italy as an exchange student. The trip gave me a taste for travel as well as an appreciation for home.
How do you stay current in your field?
I’m a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP). They have a terrific list serve where timely topics are discussed. I also like to attend SLA webinars. Twitter is great when I’m unable to attend an event. Some people in my network live tweet presentations so I can feel like I’m there.
What would you like your headstone to read?
Probably nothing to do with my career. I’ve never thought about this; however, I think I’d be happy with something quite normal like ‘beloved wife and mother and friend.’