To continue our new meet-the-staff blog series, we interviewed John McGrail, a Product Analyst for the TurboSquid team. Read on to hear from this native Virginian, turned collegiate New Englander (Amherst), turned ex-pat Ukranian, turned new New Orleanian.
What does your job at TurboSquid entail?
I help analyze past sales on TurboSquid and also suggest future models that could be built. I am also the official cookie supplier for the area of the office within 20 feet of my desk.
You really seem to have garnered a lot of attention regarding your cookie inventory. I once ate nearly an entire box of Chips Ahoy cookies in one sitting—after a full meal and almost without even noticing. Do you tend toward a steady diet or sporadic binging?
Given my proximity to, and lack of privacy from, my coworkers, the sight of a box of cookies constantly on my desk has led to rampant speculation that I am, in fact, a real-life cookie monster. I have always been known as someone who eats quite a bit; I don’t deny this assertion. However, I would like to submit the following piece of evidence in my defense: I am too lazy to put a few cookies in my lunch each morning before leaving for work, so instead I just bring the whole box and leave it on my desk for the week, consuming a few every day. This in turn leads many to incorrectly assume that I devour an entire box of cookies every day, when that is rarely the case. And I do run every day after work, so that keeps the pounds from accumulating too quickly.
You taught English in Ukraine before coming to New Orleans. What motivated you to do that, and what was it like?
I studied Russian in college and had already spent a summer working in the American Embassy in Moscow, Russia. I wanted to go back to that part of the world, but I wanted to try a country different than Russia. So, I decided on Ukraine. I had a great time there; everyone I met was very friendly and surprisingly pro-America. I also joined the basketball team at the university that I taught at. I still keep up with a few of my teammates from my time there.
What do you do when you’re not at work?
I am a Venture for America fellow. Along with 39 other fellows around the country, including 8 in New Orleans, I hope to learn more about entrepreneurship both through my work at TurboSquid and in community engagement projects outside of work.
Favorite thing about working at TurboSquid?
Well, it could be the awesome office atmosphere, with no cubicles in sight. Or it could be living in quite possibly the coolest city on the planet. But what really gets me out of the bed in the morning is the knowledge that there are beer and wine vending machines in the lobby. How sweet is that?
I lived in Donetsk for 9 months and went to many Shakhtar Donetsk games here! Plus, it’s Checkmate Pro, which makes it extra scrumptious.
Tell us one final thing about you.
I haven’t watched a movie that does not include zombies in almost 2 years.
Check back with us next week to meet Corey Cambre, one of TurboSquid’s Checkmate Inspectors; and if these bios are making you wish you were a part of our team, be sure to check out our current job openings!