YPDaily: Tera Dargavel

As a community manager for Kik, Tera Dargavel works hard everyday to communicate the product and company vision to their consumers. Answering all their questions while mutually supporting her co-workers, it seems that Kik is on the rise and there’s no end in sight for Tera in this YPD

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
As the community manager I am the bridge between the company, brand and our customers. On the one hand I’m the voice of the company and the customers communicate with me on a daily basis. I also represent the customer interests within the company, so I facilitate two-way communication between a company and its customers.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
At first, my inspiration came from wanting to do two things I loved, which are psychology and social media. After working as a social media manager during a co-op term at a billion dollar Software Corporation, I was convinced that I belonged at a start-up company. I needed to work somewhere where I can see the fruits of my labour put into action and where the CEO and I are on a first-name basis. I gained an interview for Kik through a friend and as soon as I learned about the philosophy and vision behind Kik, I knew I had found my match.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of what I do is representing a fantastic company to its millions of customers. I get to talk to the people who are actually using the app all day and I learn what they love, what they hate and what they don’t understand. One of the most challenging parts of the job is trying to finish school while working at a start-up. In the beginning, my job required almost all my time and attention so school had to be put on hold for a bit, but I’ve picked it back up now.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
During the next 5 years my plan is to continue working as community manager for Kik until my time there has come to an end. After that, I will be writing and I will be starting a family. I’m a career woman but I’m also going to be a mother; I don’t feel like it has to be either/or. I don’t want to continue school anymore right now but I think that raising a family will be a nice break before going back to school for my post-graduate degree in psychology.

What does success look like to you?
True success involves not having to compromise any of your goals. I know I am successful at work because I do something that helps others, that also pays the bills, and that I’m happy doing. There is no success without personal happiness and I would not be able to fully appreciate any career advancement without successful personal development. I can be successful in my career and in my personal life and one doesn’t have to suffer for the other.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I’m pretty early in my career as community manager but the month of November is my 1 year anniversary since receiving my full-time offer of employment. I am very proud to be a part of a fantastic team and an amazing company that is going to do amazing things. With the company I have been a part of some great milestones and I will never forget hitting 1 million users and receiving our first round of funding.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
There are so many paths to success and so many different careers that one can choose that I would encourage anyone to listen to their intuition. Ambition and drive come from within, and it is not taught in schools. Read and talk to as many people that you admire that you can, and then go do things. Do things for the right reason and always maintain your personal ethics.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I don’t support one specific charity but I try to incorporate charity into my life every day. In my personal life I am an advocate for mental health. Depression and anxiety are practically pandemic in the Western world and yet there’s a stigma associated with getting for help for these same things. I am looking to get involved with any campaigns associated with mental health awareness, especially targeted to children.

What to you is notable?
Compassion for other people is the most notable thing in others. We all expect it from other people and yet there are few that actually show it to others, whether they are friends or strangers. I admire people who are focused on not only their career but also their own development – mentally, physically and spiritually.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone – it has the best apps, a great camera and I love the iOS software.