My last name is “Vogelsanger” and it has eleven letters. It’s hard to say and even harder to spell. Vogelsanger means bird singer in German and lucky for me I have the voice of an angel. Actually, that is a total lie…my voice is absolutely awful. I had the honor of presenting at gap intelligence’s most valuable day of the year, gapCon, and this year’s theme was Connectedness. I took my time on the mic to connect the eleven letters of my last name back to gap intelligence. This blog is my encore performance.
"V" Stands for Vacancy
My Fiancé, Mike, and I met at UC Santa Barbara. We moved in together after 8 months of dating to my parent’s dismay. We lived in Mike’s bachelor pad in Santa Barbara June through December 2006. January and February 2007 we backpacked through Thailand and Laos. It was quite the adventure. Once we finally landed back in the United States, apartment hunting was the only thing on our mind. Mike had lived in San Diego before and knew that he could get his old job back. After many hours of searching Craig’s List and a road trip to tour a few apartments we found our San Diego home sweet home; a darling one bedroom bungalow near Balboa Park.
"O" Stands for Office Depot
Sometime during my first few months of joining the gapper tribe, my Obi Wan Kenobi, Laurel Popplewell, took a day off to my horror. I thought of Laurel as my Obi Wan Kenobi because she was the gapper responsible for training me both officially and unofficially. She was the one I would turn to when I had a question and with her on vacation I felt a bit lost. In my early days as a gapper I was a part of the Sys Ops department (which evolved into Data Ops and is now part of The Research Group). I was tasked with removing all of the zeros from the digital camera Pricing & Promotions Report. Instead I removed all of the “O’s” so “Office Depot” became “ffice dept”. I always tell newbie gappers to have faith that it will get better. We are not robots and mistakes happen. We all have a “ffice dept” moment in working on something new. The most important thing is to learn from it.
"G" Stands for Grateful
When I rolled in for my interview at gap intelligence I was terrified. My friend Aidan Bouchelle referred me; we worked together as servers at a restaurant in Little Italy. Aidan recommended me because I was super detail oriented with my side work. He knew my passion for stocking sugar caddies for the tables would translate well to cleaning data and turning it into gap intelligence GFD (great freakin’ data). I interviewed with Jake Fishman and Sarina Reuschle first; my final interview was with Gary Peterson. As I sat with Gary, all I could think was why isn’t he asking about how my resume has zero office experience? Gary asked about my trip to Thailand for most of my interview. He was mining for passion and I didn’t even know it. I will be forever grateful that gap intelligence took a chance on me.
"E" Stands for Excel
I began my career as a gapper having never used Excel in my life, which was intimidating since everyone at gap intelligence is an Excel wizard. On my first Monday, I was sat at Obi Wan Laurel’s desk to shadow her. As she seamlessly jumped from shortcut to shortcut I remember thinking that I would never be as good as her; then all of the sudden one day it just clicked. It took about six months but I now consider myself one of the wizards. Often when I am working at lightning fast speed in Excel, I impress myself.
"L" Stands for Learn
I have worked on many different categories as a gapper. I have worked on US printers, cameras, the UK Bundle project, European printers and toner, the brand recognition project, media players, blu-rays, sound bars, the channel inventory projects, Quixel, and MI Mobile. There is an ebb and flow to learning anything new in life. Take it in stride. You have to walk before you can run. Never forget the magic truly does happen outside of your comfort zone.
"S" Stands for San Diego
My Fiancé and I both grew up in the Bay Area. While we love the Bay we both feel so fortunate to have made San Diego our home. They don’t call it “America’s Finest City” for nothing. Finding a job I love so much in a city I love has been such a blessing. San Diego is a magical place and I feel lucky every day that gap intelligence’s headquarters is in such a gaptastic place.
"A" Stands for Advice
I have been blessed with many people taking me under their wing. Without the sage advice of Aidan Buschelle, Laurel Popplewell, Katie Hess, Christine Edwards, and Danielle Skarin I wouldn’t have had a successful career at gap intelligence. Without continued mentorship from Jake Fishman, Gary Peterson, Elizabeth Ireland and David Oates in my role as gap intelligence’s Corporate Communications Manager I would be completely lost (I’ll touch on my new role below). I have had to learn parts of my job as I go since I took over the driver seat as the car was still moving.
"N" Stands for Niece
I will never forget October 12, 2016 for two reasons. My ideal role as a gapper was always to do PR. Since my only office experience was working in Data Operations and Licensing and Services I never thought I would be given the opportunity. On October 12, 2016 my Niece was born at 9:12am. An hour later I was offered my dream job as gap intelligence’s Corporate Communications manager. For those reasons, October 12th will always be an auspicious date for me.
"G" Stands for Geezy Pete
Our CEO and founder, Gary Peterson, is our curator of culture, he’s an award winning CEO, and he’s my boss. I am lucky enough to also call him my friend. At the end of the day it all leads back to the Big Guy. Not everyone has what we have. Gary is one of San Diego Business Journals’ Most Admired CEOs for a reason. So much of why I am proud to be a gapper lies with his vision.
"E" Stands for Evangelize
One of the favorite parts of my job is evangelizing how special it is #tobeagapper. I wholeheartedly believe we deserve being recognized as one of San Diego’s Best Places to Work and we deserve the reputation of the world’s most respected business intelligence and platform company. Our GFD sets the bar! We start with the best company culture and we grow everything else from there.
"R" Stands for Romance
At the end of the day, my connection to gap intelligence is rooted in love. I fell in love and followed a boy here. It’s the best decision I have ever made in my life. I rolled the dice and it was totally worth it.
You survived all eleven letters. You made it! Congrats. Next month I will be saying goodbye to “Vogelsanger” and becoming Mrs. Hartman. This blog is my way of saying farewell to the name I’ve had all my life. I’m looking forward to leaving the hard to say last name club. Hopefully you now have a deeper understanding on my connection to gap intelligence. Luckily if I get asked to write a repeat blog next year you will only have seven letters to read through.