Meet the hero who keeps everything (and everyone) humming along with a smile. You know who it is, everybody: It’s Nina.
You’re Lane’s Workplace Experience Manager. What’s that involve?
Workplace experience is all about creating a human-centered work environment.
So whether it’s a guide on how to set up your home office, information about your health benefits, or promoting ways to connect with others at Lane, I help create and provide access to a variety of resources for our employees. I also host our weekly company-wide meetings, facilitate feedback and requests, and organize and run our social programming.
I’m constantly looking for ways to keep our employees included, engaged, and part of a thriving community.
Oh, and I may send you the occasional treat.
What’s your superpower?
I have yet to find someone I can’t strike up a conversation with.
I’m always happy to speak first, even on those early morning calls. It comes down to a genuine interest in forming connections with the people I surround myself with. I’m not afraid to look silly or mess up, which gives others the permission to do the same.
If you could switch roles for a day with anyone in the company, who would it be?
Do I get all their knowledge and skills? If so, it would be really cool to switch with one of our software developers. It is just so far removed from my current skill set that it would be so interesting! Now, that’s not to say I haven’t dabbled in code in my day… I’ll have you know I created a personalized website for each of my Neopets, not to mention I had the sparkle cursor and background music on my MySpace page.
What is your proudest Lane achievement to date?
Keeping us all connected and calm (myself included) during the first lockdown. That was a difficult switch that upended everyone’s routines.
I believe this was a time that allowed my truest strengths to shine. I’m deeply empathetic, so I made a point to personally reach out to everyone and check in. We quickly pivoted to online socials and remote perks (like snack boxes and a work-from-home stipend) to help everyone stay connected and feel supported.
I also emphasized the importance of setting boundaries while working from home, and continue to advocate for a healthy work-life balance (even when work and life happen to cohabitate in the same tiny one-bedroom apartment).
Do you have a motto you live by?
It may sound silly, but here’s a piece of Vogel family wisdom: Eat the fries first.
Backstory: when I was little, I would eat the fries last, since they were my favourite (save the best for last, right?), but as an often-distracted, slow-eating child, the truth is they would usually end up cold.
So what started off as a suggestion from my father to his two young daughters while eating Maccas (that’s Aussie slang for McDonald’s) eventually turned into a broader attitude about prioritizing what matters most.
In other words, “eat the fries first” is about giving priority to the thing you value most before you miss your chance. So don’t wait, get ’em while they’re hot… Anyone else craving Maccas?
Sidenote: I spent the first third of my life in Unanderra, Wollongong, hence the Aussie slang. Shout out to the Figtree location that burned down, RIP in Peace 🙏🕊
If you could dine with three people in the world…
I’d dine with three queens:
So first up is the OG Miss Queen Lizzie Her Royal Madge. I have lived in two separate commonwealth countries so I think that automatically makes me a royalist? Now of course, this is on the assumption that she’d be willing to dish out all the royal goss and scandals throughout history to keep things interesting. Also, my Australian grandma always had the good dinnerware set aside for the chance that the Queen would make an appearance. Clearly I need to carry on the family tradition…
Next is an iconic queen of comedy: Catherine O’Hara. Because wowie, she’s amazing. A huge female role model of mine. I’ve been watching her since I was a kid (more Waiting for Guffman than Home Alone). I’m so pleased that more and more people today see her absolute comedic artistry and magic (perhaps sorcery is more fitting) as Moira Rose in Schitt’s Creek. Plus, wouldn’t she be an absolute perfect dinner guest?
Thirdly, Alaska. She is a consummate performer and my all-time favourite drag queen to ever grace the stage of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Hilarious, stunning, smart. And she’d keep the rest on their toes. Perhaps she could serenade the real Queen with her original song “This Is My Hair (I Don’t Wear Wigs)”? Lizzie would love it.
What’s a surprising aspect about yourself that we should know about?
I went to University for Illustration and Design, and I come from a very creative-minded family. So far, I have taught myself how to sew, sculpt, paint, embroider, screen print, knit… basically if it is creative I’ll give it a go!
I also love to sing karaoke and write niche parody songs. I’m your gal if you’re interested in a Drag Race/Game of Thrones crossover, or a Gaga “Shallow” parody about slipping into the DMs.
Finally, what advice would you give to someone interested in joining Lane?
I’d say, be yourself! (Case in point: did you read my last response?) I think a big mistake people make is telling a potential employer what they think they want to hear. But at Lane, one of our core values is “We come as we are.” So don’t be afraid to be yourself!
The second thing I’d say once you join our team is, get involved! The people here are a joy to be around. They are funny and kind and the biggest support you could ask for. So come to the socials, join our Employee Resource Groups, jump on coffee break video calls, start a niche slack channel—we grow stronger together.