In continuation of our series “Meet Fearless”, this week we meet Clare Branham, our Operations Ninja who keeps the company (and Delali’s calendar) running smoothly. Chances are, if you’ve ever made contact with Fearless, you’ve met Clare.
Nicole: So I understand that you are a Baltimore area native, born and raised. Where did you attend school? What area are you from?
Clare: Yes, I am! I went to Lamb of God for elementary and middle school but also spent a few years being home schooled. I also went to Chapelgate Christian Academy in Marriotsville for high school. I’ve lived in the Catonsville area most of my life. However, when I was 7 I moved to New York with my family for a few years, and then after high school I also lived in Miami, Florida for 3 years. But I’ve always made my way back to Maryland. I now live in Relay, Maryland with my husband.
Nicole: I absolutely love your job title with Fearless, “Operations Ninja”. How did you become a part of Fearless’ back office team? How long have you been with Fearless and what exactly does the “Operation Ninja” do?
Clare: I was job hunting towards the end of 2013 and saw the job listing online and just fell in love with this Fearless company that gives its employees the coolest job titles. I applied for the job but didn’t hear anything for several weeks. So I sent a follow up email (which I never do) stating that clearly my ninja skills were so good that I had flown under the radar and that must be why I hadn’t heard anything. A few days later I received an email from HR and began the interview process, first speaking with HR on the phone and then later being brought in to actually pitch my own ideas of what this position could be. In the end it seems they liked my skill set and what I was offering to bring to the company! I think wearing purple to my interviews may have helped me out a little bit as well! :)
Nicole: That is awesome! The title of “Operations Ninja” was well earned. How has your experience being a part of the Fearless family been different than working with other companies? What is it about Fearless that makes it “Purple” in your eyes?
Clare: Fearless has been a place of firsts for me. The first time I’ve had a job where I wasn’t micromanaged. The first time I’ve been asked my opinion about things going on at the company and my opinion was taken to heart and the first time that I’ve really been given a chance to try working on new skill sets! I think these “firsts” are just a part of what makes Fearless “Purple”! Fearless is a company that cares for its employees, their families and where their opinions are valued.
Nicole: Outside of Fearless, what are your interest?
Clare: My family, friends and relationship with God are my main interests. I feel like with this question you are probably looking for more of an activity-based answer, but the truth is, if I’m spending time with any of these people then it doesn’t really matter what we’re doing! I love life and trying new things and these are the people that I love to do life with! And my relationship with God is key to all of this! Spending time with Him should always be first and foremost in my life and as I draw closer to Him, He helps to shape each of my other relationships, especially my relationship with my husband!
Nicole: That is great. Speaking of family, congratulations are in order! You and your husband are expecting your first baby, congrats!
Clare: Yes! Thank you so much, we are extremely excited to meet this little guy in just a few short weeks!
Nicole: As an expecting mother I am sure you have become more aware of different challenges that face working moms and expecting mothers through conversations with others and your own experience. What are different ways that you think companies, tech and otherwise can implement better practices to help new mothers and fathers, specifically during the adjustment phase? Also, in what ways do you see Fearless as being a step ahead of the majority of companies in the area of helping ensure it’s employees can maintain a healthy life/work balance?
Clare: Yeah, it’s so interesting the things you learn and find out while pregnant. There are definitely several challenges facing new mothers today. Do I go back to work, or stay at home? Do I put my child in day care or ask relatives to watch him/her? If I stay at home will I ever be able to get back into the workforce when I’m ready? Each expectant mother (and father) is different and have different goals and ideals when it comes to working and raising a family. I think the best thing for companies to do is allow flexibility as these new mothers/fathers are adjusting to their new life. Fearless has always been a huge proponent of the family unit and allows its employees to put their family first without any negative repercussions.
Nicole: Who do you see as your greatest influence?
Clare: I don’t think I can choose just one because it’s really a combination of both of my parents. Their love for each other, for God and for their children (all 7 of us) has made the most amazing impact on my life. They have always been my biggest supporters and cheerleaders but also brought me back to reality when I needed to be grounded. They are two of the most incredible people I have ever known! I pray that someday my marriage and family can be a reflection of their love for each other and God!
Nicole: Wow, that is awesome! Well, those are all the questions I have for you. Thank you so much for giving our readers some insight into the person behind the title “Operations Ninja”.
Clare: Thank you so much Nicole!