Salt Lake City, USA πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

LA Drury

Lead Community & Operations Manager

Hey hey, I'm LA! I joined Memorisely the day Zander took it full-time, and have never looked back. If you don't know about my furry child, click and start reading... 🐢
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Salt Lake City, USA πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
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LA Drury

Lead Community & Operations Manager

Where are you from? Where are you based?

I bounce between Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah among the Rocky Mountains. β›°


What led you to Memorisely, and how did you land a spot on the team?

A few years ago, I discovered this fascinating world of UX/UI Design, and have always been drawn to this world and community of thoughtful designers. After spending way too much money on an online Bootcamp and not having the time or resources to help build a portfolio after graduating, I quickly realized that I wouldn't be able to develop the necessary skills to pivot careers.

During my initial exposure and pursuit into UX/UI Design, I hopped on the Memorisely train to dive into learning from other designers and engaging with Zander, who's art and content has inspired me since the beginning.

Fast forward to September 2020β€”I was traveling for work trip and saw Zander's message about hiring a Community Manager in the Slack Community. Despite my long-time career in sales and marketing, I always found joy and fulfillment forming relationships and growing communities in my own time. I had no idea this was something I could do for work, let alone inside an amazing design community that I have always admired! At that moment, I sent Zander a hopeful message to chat more about this roleβ€”and, to my surprise, he was keen to send me the application details. From there, I applied, interviewed, completed a task, interviewed some more, and landed the role! Let's just say, it was one of the best days in 2020!

I now work closely with our Bootcamps, Community, and team Operations. I have learned and grown in ways that were unimaginable to me before this. Since October 2020, the team has multiplied in size, and I am proud to be apart of such an incredible movement in the Ed Tech industry. I landed my dream job, and it only keep getting better each day, thanks to our epic team at Memorisely!


How has previous experience impacted you and prepared you for this role both personally and professionally?

I would have to say working in both corporate settings and startups, have helped prepare me for diving into the fastest and most agile company yet! We're constantly growing here at Memorisely, so I owe a lot of my prep to my former work in Sales, Marketing, and personal study in UX/UI Design. With that said, I have learned more than I can explain from Zander, who has help mold me to best perform in my current role.


Talk to us about your experience working in a small, remote start-up environment?

There is loads to say about working in a small Startup, let along a fully remote one. No day is the same as the next β€” there are always moving pieces to our puzzle, which keeps it so exciting! It's challenging and fun, always giving us the opportunity to keep learning and growing together as a team.

Due to the intimate sized team here at Memorisely, we are super close regardless of the fact we have yet to meet in person. We joke with each other, have each other's backs, and constantly keep up with life outside of work. This type of work environment makes it easy to work hard to keep Memorisely alive and thriving! Not to mention that I get to work with some of the most brilliant folks on earth. There's nothing like it!


Walk us through your typical day?

This is a good question. There are 2 types of days: the ideal day-in-the-life, and the more common day-in-the-life. I can explain...

🌞 Ideally, I'll wake up around 6:15 AM, grab some water and let by pup, Ruby, outside. Afterwards, I'll head outside on a run (on the trail if conditions suffice) to up those BPM's and wake up that sleepy brain of mine. I then take a quick shower, and brew some necessary coffee and breakfast before heading into some DM's and team stand-ups. The Memorisely team primarily resides in Europe, so most of my daily communication with them occurs in the morning hours. Following this, I finalize my daily tasks list (which I hand-write in my giant sketch book, aka Holy Grail). It's now time to pop into any events for that day, which help reignite that energy flow for me! Up until lunch, I'll get started on my tasks.

🌞 Mostly, I wake up around 7 AM and either head out for a quick run or walk with Ruby depending on my motivation. Following this, I rush to the shower, coffee, and breakfast in time to sit and respond to any pending messages, pop into my morning meetings and events, and write out my daily tasks. Followed by actually doing those tasks until lunch time!

Next up....

🍽  Ideally, I'll unplug while I take Ruby on a quick walk, make some lunch, and eat while I listen to music, podcasts, or my Audible book. Then I'll pop into Slack to connect with any new messages before heading back to my to-do list.

🍽  Mostly, I'll head out for an afternoon run if I didn't get one in earlier, or pop into town to grab some lunch. I'll answer DM's and review my tasks to wrap up in the afternoon.

Once I wrap up work, I leave my house. Some days I'll find myself inside my house all day, and those days make me crazy πŸ˜΅β€πŸ’« Β So, to solve this β€” I'll take Ruby to the dog park, run some errands, or simply go for a short hike before settling down for dinner. Some days I make plans with friends to grab some dinner and catch up; other days, I make my way home and relax with a yummy meal followed by a lot of treats! There's no such thing as a meal without some chocolate πŸ˜‰ 🍫

By 10:30pm I am already in bed reading myself to sleep. Goodnight! πŸ’€


The most exciting or unique part of your day-to-day at Memorisely?

My favorite part of the day is catching up with our Community and Students. Nothing brings me more happiness than witnessing designers from all corners of the world connect and engage with each other every single day!

I also love my morning coffee. β˜• Β It is a golden part of every day!


What's your best advice for overcoming challenges in the workplace?

Get fresh air πŸƒ Close your computer and step outside without any technology and walk around for a bit. Take 3 super deep breaths, close your eyes, and just exist. There are things happening around you that you can't control, but you can control how you react.

Before reacting to a conflict or challenge at work, take some time to reflect on how your reaction may impact you in the end-game. Take on the perspective of someone else and try and see the situation from a different point of view. Then.... take intended action!

Breathe, and know that everything will be okay!

Learn UX/UI live β†’

Care to share your work space setup?

My desk is too small for me (I like my space πŸ™ƒ)... Taking suggestions on good desk setups! Dying to snag a standing desk one of these days.

On my desk, I keep my laptop and monitor for dual citizenship.

Next up, is my iPhone holder for a steady stand when filming on my phone. Headphones have their home right on top the phone stand.

My giant sketchbook stays next to my computer at all times for when I need to edit or add my daily notes and tasks ✏️

You'll see some Lip serum, because Utah is very dry, resulting in loads of moisturizers!

And lastly, my coveted space-heater because there's not a day that goes my that I'm not cold at some point while working 🀣


And your go-to or must-have apps?

On my phone, I have the world clock to help me with various timezones around the world. The weather takes up some real-estate because Utah is known for the unpredictable conditions πŸ˜‚

The we have the apps most used during the work day... including the horrible red notification bubble! Once those will be gone... just not today ha ha.

The background image is me and my best friend before she passed away in early 2021 β€” this is a photo on our trip to Thailand. 🀍

For the computer, I think the apps speak for themselves. We are big fans of Notion, Figma, Loom, Zoom, and Spotify here at Memorisely!


Share your can't-live-without productivity tip or hack?

I can't go without my written to-do lists on a GIANT pad of paper. I use a 9-inch X 12-inch sketch book β€” it allows so much room to fit everything on 1 page and even doodle when necessary 🀩

I use the todoist app to help schedule tasks in the future and also recurring tasks. So when the day comes around, I'm able to write everything down on paper and plan out my day accordingly. Try it, and I bet you'll never go back to using regular-sized paper!


Name one thing you recently learned that surprised you.

From the author of Hooked β€” Nil Eyal, brought to my attention that the opposite of distraction is traction. Both of these words come from the root: action! Traction and Distraction are verbs that we take action upon. So, we are in control of our distractions. Something to think about next time we pick up our phones to scroll social media... πŸ€”


What's your favorite thing to do outside of the virtual office?

If I have the time, I'll always try to escape to the mountain trails. There is something so freeing existing in nature! ⛰️

Aside from that, I spend most of my time with my pup, Ruby. She rules my life, and I let her... πŸ™ˆ


Share your current go-to tunes.

I love listening to Spotify's creative focus playlist. In fact, it's on right now as I'm writing this! But, you can never go wrong with some oldies and classic Rock. I'm a big fan of Cold War Kids regardless of the day!


Three pieces of advice for breaking into the UX/UI Design field?

  1. Just start. But find guidance (e.g. Bootcamp) β€” there is a lot of information out there that is hard to digest if you're just getting into this field of work. Intentional and guided learning will be the quickest and most thoughtful way to pivot into anything new!
  2. ASK WHY! Why am I doing this? Why is it done that way? Why does it look that way and not another? β€” why is one of the most important questions you can ask every single day.
  3. Follow through with yourself and celebrate πŸ₯³ Make realistic goals and create personal milestones to celebrate along the way. It's important that we celebrate ourselves for all the hard work we devote ourselves to!

Thanks for reading my story!

Salt Lake City, USA πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

LA Drury

Lead Community & Operations Manager

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