TFI - Laura Haines

TFI - Laura Haines

 25 May 2018

What is your name?
Laura Haines
What do you do for a living in 10 words?
Product Management at tech startups, driving product vision and development.
Where do you currently reside?

1. Tell us about the worst interview you’ve had so far?

I was invited to an assessment centre for an interview which involved 3 interviews, a group assessment, presentations with only 15 minutes prep and more - it felt like something from the Apprentice.

2. What did you want to do when you were a kid?

A vet, customs dog handler or a dancer - mostly because of my love of animals and dance but the love of computing took over in high school and drove me to learn more about the subject, ultimately leading to my degree in Software Engineering.
3. What was the best piece of advice you received in your career?
Over-communicate but in the simplest most repeatable way to can.  People only remember information for a very short period of time and if you want people to buy in to an idea, concept, product or even you then you need to make it stick.
4. Who did you idolise when growing up?
Very cliche, but my Mother and Father.  They were both great leaders, not just managers, they were innovative, encouraging and made sure our life was full of family, culture and travel - things that drive to me to this day.
5. Do you have any morning rituals?
I am really not a morning person!  I am a night owl and tend to have evening ritual like making sure I switch off for the last hour before bed.  I have a bad habit of multitasking and trying to take as many things of my to-do list as possible but appreciate the need for down time.  Recently this has involved sitting out on the terrace with my husband and dog and simply chatting through our day.  I try and use commuting time for learning and reading - something I think is key to grow yourself and progress your career.
6. What do you enjoy the most about your current job?
The people first and foremost, it is a joy to go to work and be with such warm people who all want to be there.  Secondly its the challenges and fast pace that start ups bring, there are so many opportunities to fix, build and create things that you never get bored and are always just outside your comfort zone which is where you learn the most.
7. Is there one book that you have read more than twice?
There are two that I always go back to for reminders - Start With Why (Simon Sinek) and The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss (both have great Ted talks as well)
8. What memories do you have of your first ever job?
My first ever job was in Woolworths at age 16, I worked for the university tech research group when I was in my final year and my first ever professional role was as a developer for an Investment Bank - for the latter my memories were being thrust in to the corporate world and having to learn all about how it operates, as well as learning my day job.  I loved it, apart from being on call for when banking systems broke in the middle of the night.  I learned some pretty harsh lessons about good and bad management and the joys of red tape, something I definitely don’t miss when working in fast pace tech startups.
9. What is an embarrassing thing that not many people would know about you? (for example, have you ever been on a game show or something similar)
I dropped out of university first time round and spent time at dance college, training as a chef and working on an Army base in Kuwait during the recent Iraq war, ran a business and then went back to university after realising it was my true passion - not regrets just a bit of a detour and lots of life learning on the way.


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