For this installment of Agents of Engagement, we’ve featured Theresa Nguyen, Sales Operations Manager at Fond.
What is your Fond office nickname?
I have two nicknames depending on the day. One is Wanda and one is Auntie Pizza. The name Wanda surfaced on our first sales team outing in wine country when I told my team the story about how my dad let pick my American name when I was young. Autumn would have been the easy selection because it is the direct translation of my Vietnamese name in English but I already knew a girl in school named Autumn so that didn’t appeal to me. Theresa is my baptismal name so that was my safety but I really wanted something original. One day I came home and told my dad I wanted to be named Wanda – to which he told me “no” – so that’s how I got Theresa. Now the team occasionally calls me Wanda, but Auntie Pizza is my everyday nickname. This is what my nephew calls me and once they found that out they picked it up and it stuck.
What is your most memorable recognition event?
Last year I won a Quirkie Award for living our core value of ‘Building Trust Like a Family.’ I had recently taken on more responsibilities leading the sales org with our CEO, Taro, and he did a great job of recognizing me both verbally and through our Rewards tool. At our quarterly all-hands meeting, our VP of Marketing, Michael, presented my Quirkie and had so many nice things to say which made me feel extremely grateful and valued.
What is your favorite Fond tradition?
One thing that really stands out for me is the “get to know you” game we play when someone new starts at Fond. I think it’s the funniest thing because whoever wins gets a t-shirt with the new hire’s face on it so someone will always have memorabilia of your face! The game is super quirky and I hope that tradition never dies because it is so truly unique of Fond.
What advice do you have for people in the interview process with Fond or that may be interested in interviewing?
Be yourself. That’s something I look for when I’m interviewing candidates. And also, be prepared – which should be the most obvious. Candidates that stick out to me are the ones who are undeniably good people. I ask myself after every interview if I would want to invite this person to a barbecue at my house. You’re ultimately spending 8+ hours a day with this person so you’d better like them! Even better if the candidate is enthusiastic, has done their research, and seems genuinely excited about the prospect of working here.
What do you love about working at Fond?
When I conduct interviews candidates always ask why I chose Fond and for me, the answer is simple: the people, culture, and sense of family. I also like to provide them with an example to back that up since culture is so loosely defined. My example? In the time that I’ve been working at Fond, I have gone camping with coworkers, to concerts, even to art and fashion shows! My husband goes on weekend motorcycle rides with my coworkers. This speaks volumes in terms of my own experience and the relationship I have with my peers, as well as the organization as a whole.
Are there any memories you have that showcase the type of culture Fond fosters?
My most memorable Fond-related moment so far – outside of the office – is when my husband and I had a last minute trip cancellation and had to rebook our holiday to Japan. Having never been to Japan, I sent our Japanese co-founder, Sunny, a text and asked if he had any recommendations. It didn’t take him more than 10-minutes to respond and the next thing you know my husband and I were spending New Year’s day with Sunny, his mom and dad in Japan. This truly shows how people go out of their way to be kind and helpful here. Even my husband commented on how awesome it was that Sunny was so willing to open his family home to us in Japan over a holiday weekend. These are the types of people you want to be working with and it’s honestly what gets me up in the morning and excited to come into the office. I don’t think twice if I have to go the extra mile to get things done during the workweek because I know that my colleagues would be willing to go the extra mile for me if I ever needed anything, too.
There are so many reasons and so many layers that touch my life even outside of work that make Fond so unique from any other company I have ever worked at.
Fond’s Agents of Engagement series puts a spotlight on the quirky and meaningful ways Fondians are helping to foster a positive company culture and play an ongoing role in upholding our core values!