Name: Krista Rogers
Return to Work Internship position: Customer Experience Researcher, Return Path
What did you do before you took a career break?: I started my career as a coordinator at National Geographic Television. I later joined a start-up research company where I conducted stamp research for the U.S. Postal Service. I went on to manage a team of researchers that provided all the visuals for Discovery Channel’s online magazine. After moving to Denver, I worked as a data analyst for a telecom company. I then returned to school to study Biology and Chemistry and worked as a study recruiter for a juvenile diabetes research study. Most recently, I served as the program administrator for a water conservation company.
How long were you out of the workforce?: 13 years
What is your return to work internship like?: I am a customer experience researcher on the user experience (UX) team. I help the Email Optimization product teams reach out to email marketers so we can learn about their needs, behavior, and problems. The learnings we gain from our research help us build better solutions for our customers. My day to day work involves recruiting, screening, and scheduling both customers and noncustomers for research sessions. I collaborate with product managers and designers to write scripts. I compile and analyze research data and share findings across the company. I’m working on creating a customer research website so we’ll have a vehicle for sharing the most recent research findings company-wide. I’m also looking at creating a database to hold all of Return Path’s customer research data so it can be easily accessed by the product development team.
What skills from your past life do you use in your new position?: I use my research, project management, communication, and cross-functional collaboration skills from my work with Discovery Channel, National Geographic Television, and the USPS. I use my recruiting and interviewing skills from my time as a diabetes study recruiter. When I examine our research data for patterns, I use my analytical skills from my data analyst days and my many science labs. My time spent tutoring kids with learning challenges helped me develop greater empathy. The ability to understand how another person thinks is critical to understanding what’s going on in a customer’s head and heart.
What does the Path Forward program mean to you?: I love the Path Forward program! It honors Returnees’ professional experience despite a gap on the resume. The Return to Work program recognizes that people can gain valuable experience and skills working both in the professional world and outside of it.
What do you hope to get out of it?: This program gave me the chance to get current professional experience, build my network, and learn and work with some of the latest technologies.
What advice would you give to future Returnees?: This program was created for you! Embrace the opportunity to learn and update your skills. Step into your role with both feet. And most importantly, trust the wisdom and experience you bring with you.
How did you hear about this program?: I heard about Path Forward’s Return to Work program from Carrie Ahmad, a career counselor at Turning the Corner in Boulder, CO.
Learn more about Krista on LinkedIn.
**Update: Krista is now a Senior User Experience Researcher at Workday. Congratulations on the new position!