In this week’s Meet the Squids, we’re talking to Susan de la Houssaye, Human Resources Coordinator at TurboSquid. While her daily to-do list is varied and plentiful (and probably impeccably organized, as you’ll read below), Susan also monitors the many resumes that flow into the TurboSquid inbox. If you’ve applied for a job with us, it’s very likely that your resume passed through her hands first. Read on to find out some of Susan’s handy resume tips– as a former Career Counselor, she definitely knows how you can get the attention of her fellow HR folks.
What’s a typical day at the Squid Tank like for you?
Every day here is different. Some days I’m making travel plans, preparing for a new hire to arrive, doing pre-screens over the phone with potential candidates, posting job openings, contacting headhunters, working on expense reports, signing checks, sending wire transfers, ordering lunch for a department meeting, preparing for a company meeting or a board meeting, and the list goes on.
In our Meet the Squids series, it seems we’ve also managed to cover many distinctive facets of New Orleans culture (food, drink, music, and numerous organizations), and this week’s interview with Eric Arvidson, CFO, is no exception. Eric is one of the voices of the beloved New Orleans’ listener-supported radio station, WWOZ, now in the midst of its annual membership drive.
Eric offers his thoughts on why he loves WWOZ, and talks to us about one of his more… fiery hobbies.
What does your day typically consist of?
A typical day consists of emails, spreadsheets, planning, and meetings. Each day can be a bit different, but the overall goals are to make budget projections and make sure we pay our artists each month. Much of my time is spent helping others do their job, and sometimes that means staying out of the way!
What’s your favorite thing about working at TurboSquid?
Working at TurboSquid is always a challenge and each day presents something new. I enjoy that we try to keep the “corporate rules” to a minimum. But when it really comes down to it, distilled down to its essence, what makes TurboSquid cool is the people – employees, artists, friends and family. It is fun to see everyone working from so many different angles, for a common goal.
NOLA Burners’ 2012 project, Bebe Brulee, was featured at Burning Man. Eric says, “I love to create big art structures and then burn them down. Of course, we do it on purpose (and safely), but I think that scares my wife sometimes…”
WWOZ is in the midst of its membership drive - why do you think WWOZ has become so important to New Orleans? Oh, and when can you be heard on the air?
I think WWOZ is the voice of the culture of New Orleans, and as they say at the station, they are the Guardians of the Groove. New Orleans has such a unique and robust music scene and I think it is vital that there is an outlet for local musicians and sounds be heard. We are very lucky to have such a wonderful radio station that pushes that out, all over the world. I am not regularly scheduled on air, so you just have to keep listening to hear me next!
One more thing! Tell us about your favorite model from the TurboSquid catalog.
I love this Sea Stallion. Just a cool looking, big helicopter.
This week in our Meet the Squids series, we’re talking to Paul Teall, General Manager of the Content Group. In addition to his management duties, Paul also has a secondary job title at TurboSquid: commissioner of the office’s cutthroat Fantasy Football league.
What do you do with your time outside of work?
I’m relatively new to New Orleans, so I still love exploring the city with my family. There’s so much to do here – we’re all still thrilled to be discovering new things about the city.
I’ve had a couple of jobs in the video game industry, and I’ve got a side project centered around that – gamejobhunter.com: It’s a site that’s focused on helping people get a job making games.
What does your day at TurboSquid typically entail?
Working with the CheckMate team to help expand our certification efforts! The team is working incredibly hard to make sure that our quality of our catalog continues to rise. I’m also working on a few more very cool projects, but it’s a little too early to discuss those yet.
Do you have a favorite thing about working here?
I love the people that work at TS – we’ve got a really fun and talented team. Being in downtown New Orleans is also great. We’ve got a lot of cool restaurants and bars nearby, which keeps things interesting.
What else do you get to do at TS HQ?
One of my unofficial job duties is acting as the TurboSquid Fantasy Football league commissioner. Our league has gotten pretty intense over the years – we’re up to 16 teams, and the competition is ruthless. I get to publicly shame people that forget to set their rosters, which is always fun.
Is there anyone in the office who’s doing particularly well this season? Now is an acceptable time to praise them, or throw some shade.
Ted Sedberry is actually 9-0.
How much does everyone hate him right now?
Probably a lot.
Ed. note:Without shaming anyone too hard (I’m super nice like that), we also talked about the highs and lows of the league, with Paul citing the “fall from grace, for our Super Bowl champ of two years ago.” So I had to ask…
Is there a Loser Bowl trophy?
They get $50 and a year of living with the shame of a Loser Bowl “championship.”
Before we go, tell us about your favorite model in the TurboSquid catalog:
If you’ve made a call to our Support Desk, it’s very possible that you are already familiar with Member Services Agent, Jordan Cressy. In this issue of Meet the Squids, Jordan shares her thoughts on talking to customers, and shares her dream of talking to animals.
First of all, what do you do when you’re away from the Support Desk?
I like to overestimate my ability to DIY. My house is littered with half-finished projects and art supplies. I really like music. I sing and play a little piano. I also love to write… I like to write children’s stories.
I have a corgi named Raleigh. I am a little obsessed with corgis. My corgi has a lobster outfit, ‘nough said.
What does a work day look like for you?
I answer questions. Well, I try to answer questions. I am the liaison between questions and answers (fancy).
I answer chats, phone calls, and tickets from our customers. Generally, if one of our members tries to contact us, there is a one in five chance (sometimes one in three) it will be me! I do my best to help our members get the information they need. I want to help!
Another big part of my job is to hunt down fraud, like Buffy. That’s what she was doing, right?
What’s your favorite thing about working at TurboSquid?
I am just a 3D girl in an 8 bit world: a Super Mario World! (otherwise known as the Member Support desks) My other favorite things about TurboSquid include: Endless Hot Tea, and the soda fountain (this is less important to me, but my friends are so jealous!).
Mostly, I get to learn about some really awesome stuff with some great people! Because what is cooler than 3D?
Pretty much nothing! What’s it like working with TurboSquid customers?
It is really nice when we have customers who appreciate what we do. Most of our customers leave feedback, but it is always really great when customer sends us a message of thanks. We also have a couple of characters who we all know by name. It’s funny because we are really a very small group, so most of our customers know us and we know them. That said, I am sorry that I sometimes don’t remember names… But if you come in to chat or call and say “Hey! I am the guy with the Elephant model in Maya” I’ll totally remember you!
It takes a certain type of person to understand the needs of both our 3D artists and our customers who work in the arts industry. Support Agent, Logan Dixon, fits that bill with a trained artist’s eye and a naturally helpful disposition. This week, we’re delighted to present our interview with Logan, who tells us about his strangest support moment, as well as his encounter with a stranger from the spirit world.
Ok, Logan, spill it! What’s the strangest support call you’ve ever received?
I once got a call from a guy who purchased a model of a big Viagra bottle, who was asking me about where to put his shipping information and if it was really discreet shipping. I ended up having to tell him we don’t sell real physical Viagra that he can use, and I refunded him.
What do you like most about working at TS?
My favorite thing about working at TurboSquid would have to be the excitement of being a part of something profound… and I mean that in more ways than one.
For instance, I get to communicate with and help art departments from major companies and organizations, assisting them with their orders for upcoming projects. That’s a very rewarding experience, even if I play a small part.
To be honest, I think I just really enjoy helping people. I suppose that’s why I am a Support Agent.
Our Support Agents are known to be quite busy. What do you do when you’re not at Squid HQ?
I am a traditional 2D artist, and you can often find me in my studio working away at my latest painting or drawing. Perhaps some day I will step into the realm of 3D but for now I will stick to my brushes.
Feel free to check out my website (that is in need of an update): logandixon.com
I think one of my more rewarding pieces was “Becoming of Medusa” which features my sister as the model for Medusa. It’s a fairly large drawing that took me at least a month to complete. I find re-visiting classic stories and changing them to fit the message you would like to convey
Word around the cereal bar is that you have quite a fascination with the supernatural. Any close encounters with the paranormal?
Yes, in fact, during my summer abroad in Sorrento, Italy, I had a ghostly visitation nearly every other night. I am completely serious when I tell you that a ghost crawled into bed with me and would stroke my arm and speak into my ear. Then, some mornings, others on the trip experienced cold hands grabbing their feet. My last day there, I woke up one night and saw the spirit move to my roommate’s bed. After a couple of minutes he jumped out of his sound sleep, swinging, saying, “Get off of me!” and he stormed out the hotel and spent the rest of the night out on the terrace.
Do you have a favorite 3D work from the TurboSquid catalog?
I originally saw this statue in Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli in Naples, Italy, during a summer abroad, studying painting. This model by Clay Master brought back that memory I had of realizing the whimsical nature of this statue.
This week, we’re taking a few minutes to talk to Dade Orgeron, TurboSquid’s Creative Director. A Southern man at heart, Dade has traveled much of the US, landing in New York City, and then back again to Louisiana. On his triumphant return, Dade comes to our New Orleans headquarters bearing much knowledge, and a recipe for genuine down-home Louisiana white beans.
You’re originally from Louisiana, right? How did you end up working in New York City?
I was born in Baton Rouge, grew up in Galliano, Louisiana, on Bayou Lafourche, and moved here to NOLA in 10th grade. It was the perfect balance of life in Cajun country as a child and the awesomeness of New Orleans during the 80′s as a teenager.
Because of my career path, I realized that I would inevitably need to end up in either LA (Los Angeles) or NYC. Having done quite a bit of work in LA, I knew that NYC would probably be a better fit for me. I wasn’t looking for a new job (I was quite happy in Seattle) but when a New York agency contacted me to be their new Creative Director, I decided to take the offer and made the move across the country to try things on the East Coast.
What’s been the most striking difference between life in New York and life in New Orleans?
Everything. Every place I’ve lived has been so different from the rest. People’s attitudes, geography, food, music, weather, lifestyles… It’s all unique in some way.
Rumor has it that you used to make your own Cajun and Creole food, out of special Louisiana ingredients, while you were living out of state. How did you pull that off, and what did you cook?
It’s funny, you can find some things all over the country like Andouille Sausage and Tasso… but it’s never quite right. Then, when you start talking about Boudin, Cracklins, Rillettes, and Hog’s Head Cheese, forget about it. Even the shrimp is usually different, not-so-tasty freshwater varieties. After years of struggling to recreate my grandmother’s recipes, I decided to start creating my own ingredients from what I could find locally. So, curing and smoking became a huge hobby for me. And if there was something I couldn’t replicate (such as shrimp, crabs, and crawfish), I would order them from a grocer in Lafayette.
Do you have a favorite recipe to share with us?
One of my all time favorites is also one of the easiest (as long as you don’t have to pickle your own pork), white beans and rice:
White Beans and Rice
1 pound Navy beans (I like Camellia brand)
1 pound pickled pork (I like Richards brand) chopped into small cubes
1 medium onion chopped
2 bunches green onions chopped (white parts separated from green tops)
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 bay leaf
salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
6 – 8 quarts water
6 cups of cooked long grain rice
Pepper vinegar on the table (I like Trappey’s brand)
Rinse the beans, discarding any brown ones. Place the beans in a pot and cover them with an index finger’s length of water. Bring to a low boil and continue boiling for 1 hour.After the beans have been going for 45 mins… place the pickled pork in a large dutch oven with a little bit of cooking oil (I love enameled cast iron for this), and bring up to a medium high heat. The goal here isn’t to brown the pork… you just want it to release its water and have it evaporate.
Once the liquid has evaporated, stir in the onions, green onions (white parts only), garlic, and bay leaf, and cook on medium heat until onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). Now add the salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (be careful… you can always add more later) and continue cooking for 1 minute to let the flavors absorb.
Now rinse the beans that were boiling in the other pot under hot water, drain, and add to the pot of pork and onions. Stir to combine and cover with an index finger’s length of water. Bring to a low boil and continue cooking, slightly uncovered, for 2 – 3 hours (depending on how creamy you like your beans). Be sure to stir from time to time.
Once done… grab a deep bowl, drop in a pile of cooked rice, cover the rice with a few heaping ladles of beans, squirt a few dashes of pepper vinegar on top, along with a few green onion tops, to your liking.
As the Creative Director at TurboSquid, what does an average day at work look like?
Lots of creative reviews, so, tons of Skype conversations and email chains. Along with that, there’s recruiting new talent, training and mentoring internal and external artists to expand their capabilities, and strategizing new processes and procedures to maintain the highest quality content. And did I mention meetings?
What’s your favorite thing about working at TS?
The people, without a doubt.
We hear you’re hiring! What are you looking for, and what does it take to work with the Content Group at TS?
Yes, we are. The content group is growing rapidly and we are constantly looking for artists to join the team. Because our focus is mostly on photo-real content, we are looking for exceptionally talented 3D artists that have strong skills in modeling, texturing, lighting, and rendering, with an exceptional eye for detail.