Celebrating 10 years of Karen

Karen has been part of the Boxclever team for ten whole years. That’s a decade worth of memories, laughs and serious dedication from our Analytics superstar and very own Head of Fun. We caught up with Karen to ask her 10 questions about her time at Boxclever!

1. What is your favourite memory at Boxclever?

Halloween circa 2013 – in the old office when Kathryn decorated the door / my desk / the windows with a tonne of Halloween stuff as a totally surprise.
It was either that year or a year later when I made every one get chased around a cornfield by chainsaw wielding zombies! Claire’s shrieking was hilarious!
Or my first Christmas as the HoF when I made everyone do Go Ape and segway dressed as Santa, and then we decorated cakes in the back of a limo with a polar bear on the way to a tree house restaurant.

2. Favourite Excel Formula?

Vlookup, it’s so simple but so effective I use it at least 10 times a day and I can still remember when I was first taught it in my 20s…
But special mention goes to ‘iferror,”.”’ for keeping those spreadsheets tidy (and allowing the other formulas to work as they should).

3. What have you learnt about yourself since being at Boxclever?

That I probably am best in a smaller agency, I really like knowing everything that’s going on and seeing the impact I can have personally. I’d be totally lost in the big agency’s that have >150 researchers.

4. What could you give an hours presentation on with absolutely no preparation?

Probably excel formulas and keyboard shortcuts that will save you hours… “alt ESEV” if you want to transpose paste values (thanks Andy!!) and we would work far longer hours without F2 and F4.

5. Where did The HoF (Head of Fun) nickname come from?

Once Matt C and Maite joined, we had 7.5 staff! So it was decided we should do more social things and Sam suggested I could be in charge of that. Not sure who first said “Head of Fun” but as the HoF abbreviation is funny, I’ll blame Matt Picton for that!

Who wouldn’t want to claim David hasslehoff as their family…

6. What did you want to be when you were a child?

Lawyer, until a teacher asked how I’d feel if I put someone innocent away or let off a guilty person… as an adult I’d probably handle that idea better but there’s no way I’d have remembered all the case citations needed, my brain just doesn’t work like that. So with no better ideas I did joint honours psychology and management at uni to just learn about a load of different stuff and randomly it included some statistics training. I also only did the statistics 2 module at Alevel maths as if I didn’t they would have to put on a class just for me, guess it worked out!

7. Most embarrassing story whilst being at Boxclever?

Probably when I was a little tipsy at the Christmas party and broke the bubble chair, then messaged Kathryn to ask if I was fired.

8. How did you get in to a career in analytics?

Sam! I started as a social researcher doing mostly quant but even a bit of qual! I’d always been interested in the more advanced data stuff and had some statistics SPSS training at uni but it was only when I went to Nunwood and they had a full analytics team headed up by Sam that I learned more and then had the opportunity to move across and be trained up! I still remember the day circa 2009 when Sam and I were discussing a brief about train service proposition and my quant brain was going in circles and I just said to him there’s too many interlocking variables, and he said “Have you heard about conjoint…” at that point the answer was no, now I’ve run loads, probably about 10-15 this year alone!

9. How do you think your colleagues would describe you?

Ha! My first ever proper job interview I was asked how would your friends and family describe you and I thought that was unfair as it was probably different to how you would be at work, I answered honestly with “friends and family? Erm, I don’t know, probably friendly, outgoing and well, a bit dippy really” thankfully all they did was laugh, write down “honest” and gave me my first job in research! Turns out it was probably a fair response from colleagues anyways, though they’d probably swap outgoing for something to do with coloured spreadsheets…

10. What is your favourite lunchtime hang out?

Generally, Banh mee at the market, I missed those topped chips soooo much in lockdown!! But ‘honorable muncens’ to individual lunches have to be the free lunch Dean, Andy, Rich and Maite and I got at Waterlane Boathouse when they opened and wanted feedback on the food. And my 10th birthday lunch, love Blue Sakura and it was a lovely surprise.