From time to time we feature different members of our team, to learn more about them and their pursuits both in and out of the office. We interviewed Brittany Blackman, a Client Relations Manager and Recruiting Asisstant, to get her perspective and hear about her goals.
A fiery bundle of cheer and energy, Brittany has been committed to helping Allshore since she first started with the company in 2013. Allshore’s Chief Operations Officer Tara Waddle told us, “Brittany has grown tremendously over the past few years, and is continually proving to be a valuable asset to the company. She is engaging with and dependable to her clients, and excels as a leader with both the teams she manages, and to her fellow support teammates. We are so fortunate to have her in the Allshore family!”
Andrea Gudbergsson, another Client Relations Manager, works closely with Brittany on recruiting and communication interviews. “I have had the joy of working with Brittany for the last two years. She is such a pleasure to work with and I have learned so much from her! She has a great attitude and is always willing to step in and help. Her light shines bright into our work day.”
We chatted with this spunky sprite to find out more about her past and her passions.
So Brittany, tell us about yourself! Where did you grow up and go to school? How did you end up in Norman?
Well, I was born in Aurora, Colorado actually. I miss the mountains. I used to be a little dare devil up on the mountains. We would always go skiing, and I was a small ball of flying fury! My family moved around a lot when I was growing up. I have lived in Florida and New York as well. When I was 13 my dad was transferred to Tulsa, OK for a promotion, and I have lived in Oklahoma ever since. He has worked for United Airlines since before I was born.
Is your dad a pilot? Or does he just work for an airline?
He started out cleaning the airplanes, and worked his way up to Manager! He is currently the Station Manager for United Airlines in Tampa. He is in charge of a lot of people, and is my role model for good leadership.
Do you get a family discount on flights with United?
I have been very lucky to have a family member in the airline industry. We actually get to fly for free, as long as we fly "standby." Basically, we show up, hope there is an open seat, and if we are next on the list to get a seat, it is ours! It is a blessing for sure, but also means I have spent many lonnnnng days waiting for a seat at airports. You never really know how the flights will work out. The smallest thing can change the entire schedule of the airport, and one cancellation or delay affects everything. But I have gotten to see some cool places because of this!
When did your parents move to Tampa? Did you ever live in Florida with them?
I lived in Florida with them when I was younger, from about nine to eleven years old. While I was attending the University of Oklahoma, my dad was transferred from Tulsa back to Florida. Since I was in the middle of school though, I stayed here.
What made you choose the University of Oklahoma?
The truth is, I followed my significant other. I’d actually never considered OU. I was leaning more toward Oklahoma State University or Northeastern State University. Then I decided to go to Tulsa Community College for my two year degree because it was a lot cheaper. When Tanner chose OU, I followed him a few semesters later.
Looking back now, do you like that you made that choice?
I do. I had a really fun time at OU and made some great life long friends. OU has a nice campus and I enjoyed most of my classes. Plus, I found Allshore, which wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gone to OU. I have an Associates Degree in Psychology, but decided to switch to Human Relations while at OU. I really enjoy working with people, and get a strong sense of accomplishment from helping others. When I help others, and see them make changes for the better or succeed in something, it makes me happy! So I decided I wanted to help others in ways that didn't involve me knowing their deepest darkest secrets.
Tell us a little bit about your adventures at OU! Did you do any extracurricular activities?
I don't feel like I had an extraordinary experiences, I was a typical college student you can say. I worked hard through college as a server at Chili’s all four years. I wish I would have gotten more involved in extracurricular activities, but I missed my chance!
If you could go back, what would you have gotten involved in, and why?
Some sort of international club would have been cool, to begin my journey of learning about other cultures. I really want to be able to speak Spanish fluently, so a Spanish club would have been good. Then maybe some sort of club or organization that was involved with volunteering with kids. Kids are the best; they say the funniest things and are so open to learning new things.
Would you say that your hobbies and interests have changed quite a bit from your college days?
Well in college, my life revolved around school, getting good tips at work, watching Netflix, and hanging out with friends. Now my life revolves around building my professional strengths, establishing good relationships with others, watching Netflix, hanging out with friends, Zumba, and mostly importantly, playing with my adorable dog, Rosebud.
Did you drink coffee in college?
Here and there, but not that often. I wouldn't make it at home ever, but would grab Starbucks occasionally. I started drinking it when I joined the office for sure. Now I drink it every morning! I used to be a night owl, and would stay up until two or three in the morning. Now 10:00 PM hits and I think it’s past my bedtime! I’m groggy in the morning, but once I get up and moving I wake up. I used to take a lot more naps than I do now.
Does Rosebud help you wake up, at least?
Rosie is not a morning dog. She grumbles at me when I wake her up.
Do you have a routine that you follow with her?
She is pretty funny. She knows that when I am at my desk it means don't mess with me. But if I go sit on the couch or in my room, she will bark at me until I play with her. She is really good at staring at me. She knows I cannot ignore her cuteness.
Would you ever consider fostering animals? Seems like you are really good with dogs.
I love dogs. I grew up with them, we got my first family dog when I was three years old, and we have always had one since then. I have considered fostering dogs a lot, but I don't know if that would be a good decision for myself. I get attached pretty easily to them, and would end up adopting any of them who I couldn't find a home for. I have a really soft spot in my heart for animals, especially dogs.
Why don't you tell us a little bit about your volunteering?
I have volunteered off and on with a few organizations. I am looking into getting back into volunteering more, hopefully on a weekly basis, but I’m not sure where yet. I have volunteered with Zoi's Animal Rescue a few times; they are a dog rescue in Tulsa. I have helped out a few Saturdays at adoption events, walking the dogs around, talking to people about them, trying to find nice homes for them.
I have also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity several times, and had a small internship with them where I helped out around the office with paperwork and helped set up events. Habitat for Humanity is an organization that helps lower income families buy and build a home! I helped out on a few construction sites and, if you can believe it, I have helped hang drywall. That was no easy task. I had to use a nail gun and was quite uncoordinated with it. I also have helped clean up construction sites and paint houses, inside and out. I got to tear down a ceiling of a house that was being renovated. That was a lot of fun, because I seem to better at demolishing a house than building one.
Was the internship for Habitat during the summer?
During high school I volunteered with Habitat in Tulsa to give back to my community. In college, to graduate with my degree in Human Relations I had to have a certain number of service hours. So I talked to OKC Habitat about volunteering on a weekly basis, and they offered me a small internship to participate in various different aspects of their company. It was a great learning experience and I had a lot of fun meeting new people. We would go to the "house revealing" ceremonies where families would receive the keys to their new home. Seeing their faces as they stepped into their new place was so rewarding. Habitat changes lives for families, and it was really great to be a part of that!
Speaking of internships, let's talk about your internship with Disney! Give us the details on that!
I did a six month internship with Disney in Orlando, Florida! It was a great experience! I got to meet people from all around the world. The culture there is so diverse! They call it an internship, but it is really just a job. I worked in one of their quick service restaurants, called the ABC Commissary which was located in Hollywood Studios. I worked in the kitchen cooking the chicken and burgers, preparing the sandwiches, plating up the food, and delivering it to guests. My job was not very glamorous, but it was still really cool to be there and see the parks during the holiday seasons. They go all out for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Did you visit the park a lot to go on the rides?
I did! A great perk of doing the Disney internship was that you got to get into all four parks for free, and you got passes to use for family and friends as well. Actually most of my family lives in Florida, so I was able to treat them to the parks!
So you basically lived at the Park for those six months, right?
Correct, they had apartment housing set up for all the college program students. I lived in a three bedroom apartment with 6=six girls. Let's just say....things got interesting. Girls are rough to live in close quarters with sometimes, so I would spend most of my time with the friends I made in the parks.
You've mentioned a lot of fun things that have happened through each role. Do you have any particular experiences from your previous jobs, volunteer work, or experience, that really stand out to you?
From volunteering at Zoi's, my family actually ended up adopting two dogs. They are part of the family now, and sometimes my dad seems like he enjoys their company more than his human kids. From volunteering with Habitat, I always remember the family whose house I helped renovate, the appreciation they gave us for helping restore their house I will remember forever. They were so thrilled that the house they had lived in for 30 years was going to be saved. I made a few life long friends from Disney who I still meet up with from time to time. One is from New York and one is from Tennessee. We spent a lot of time out in the parks riding rides and watching shows. It was one of the best times in my life so far. Other than work, I didn't really have many responsibilities during that time. I have been given a lot of great opportunities for sure, and am happy I was able to experience all these different things. It has all helped me grow and turn into the person I am today!
So, moving from the past to the present and future, do you have any plans or goals?
I have some goals for my life I want to accomplish within the next year or so.
1. Get on a good workout and exercise routine and eat healthy. I have been pretty bad about making poor choices as far as my health goes. I am not getting younger so I may as well establish these good habits now!
2. Start volunteering weekly with an organization that works with kids or animals.
3. Learn to speak Spanish fluently. I have Rosetta Stone and need to take some time to sit down with it and brush up on my Spanish. I have recently become interested in Sign Language as well, and might add that to my list. I’m going to start with Spanish though, and then we will see.
Do you want to learn to speak Spanish for fun or maybe to travel to those countries?
It’s a little of both. I would like to do some traveling some day to Spain perhaps. I’m actually hoping to go to Costa Rica next year too.
Any other places you want to travel?
There are a lot of places I hope to travel to someday: Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and more. I love to travel and see new places. Honestly, I am open to traveling just about anywhere! Life is too short to stay in one place.
Have you ever gone out of the country?
I went on a cruise to Mexico when I was young, and I have also been to Canada to see Niagara Falls. That is about it though, so just on the same continent.
How long were you in Canada?
It was just a few days, and we stayed in Niagara. Honestly, I don't remember too much about that trip other than the pretty waterfall since I was pretty young. I do remember reading stories about people falling into the water and down the falls, but surviving. Some people do it on purpose, and are extreme adrenaline junkies apparently.
So, you've lived in quite a few places, and visited even more than that. Where would you say is your favorite? Is there a particular place that you would most recommend others visit?
Well, I am a huge amusement park fan if you couldn't tell. One of my favorite trips was to Ohio to go to Cedar Point. They have the best roller coasters in the world! If you like that kind of stuff, I would definitely recommend going there. I also love skiing in Colorado and would recommend that. I go to Winter Park. They have such cute shops for when you are off the slopes, and great skiing levels for any experience! The mountains are so beautiful and when you’re breathing that fresh mountain air, you really can feel a difference! I like to do adventurous things, and I really want to go white water rafting too!
Tell us some of your favorites! Activities/hobbies, foods, TV shows, movies, books, music, etc.
Activities/hobbies: I think we talked a lot about my personal interests already. Volunteering, amusement parks, and dogs!
Foods: ICE CREAM. I also love broccoli cheddar soup, pickles, cinnamon crunch bagels, and coffee.
TV: I watch a lot of Netflix, and I really like Grey's Anatomy, Parks and Recreation, and The Office.
Movies: I like series a lot, like Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and The Hunger Games.
Books: Harry Potter again!
Music: Alternative rock is my favorite genre. I really like Breaking Benjamin, Seether, Meg Myers, and Imagine Dragons.
What's the part of your position here that you like the most?
People bring me bagels and coffee all the time!
My real favorite part of my role would have to be being a part of the recruitment team and taking communication interviews. I also really enjoy helping new clients and developers by giving them orientations and providing them with information and support. I enjoy that! My co-workers are pretty cool too, and the environment here is so great! We are so open and honest, and I am not afraid when the going gets rough, because I know I have a great team to back me up.
Lastly, I have to ask… If you could have a superpower, what would it be, and why?
Well...I would like to be able to stop time. So when my alarm clock goes off every morning, I can just go back to sleep until I am ready to wake up.
Brittany brings a fun energy to the Allshore office, and is always ready to help. We’re definitely lucky to have her, and hope that we celebrate many more workiversaries with her!