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#Duckumentary - Jess Ferrau

Today we speak with Jess Ferrau, Executive Assistant!

What’s your favorite thing about working with your team/department? 

One of my favorite things about my team is that I get to work with every department in some respect. It definitely keeps things interesting that no two days are ever the same, and I’m glad that I get to build relationships across departments.

Outside of work, do you have any favorite activities or hobbies?

When I’m not working you can usually find me taking care of my bunnies, Sandi and Moo.  I’ve helped rescue a few dumped bunnies in the Philadelphia area, and occasionally transport animals for ACCT Philly – being allergic to most pet dander it’s a great way to get my “cute and cuddly” animal dopamine rush without the long-term sneezing and added responsibilities.  I also really enjoy being out in nature and exploring different trails and historical sites.

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given relating to your job/career?

“Kindness is the most underrated skill in business” – Gary V.  
Just being a good person and treating people with love and respect goes a long way to building your relationships – professional and personal.  

What’s one thing you never leave home without?

Earrings, it’s irrational but I don’t feel fully dressed if I forget to put earrings in.

Cats or dogs? Why?

Bunnies! Or really any animal honestly – I love them all.  Growing up, I always had dogs: a black lab, two Boxers, and currently my parents have a German Shepherd, two Pugs, and a Rottweiler/Pit mix.  I’m allergic to cats, so as much as I always must pet one when I meet them, living with a cat ain’t gonna happen.  

What is your favorite part of your job? 

One of my favorite things about my job is the variety of projects I get to be involved in.  From helping EDA's COO Adam Morse manage outward client expectations to being part of the FUN Committee, I get to be part of a lot of aspects of the business which helps me learn more about what we do and who we are as a whole.  I’m actually a pretty shy person, but being in this role, you need to be a little outgoing and take the initiative on things, so I’m enjoying being challenged to step outside of my comfort zone and push myself to build that confidence to do new things.

If you were planning your favorite meal, what’s on the menu?

Probably Cajun grilled chicken with creamy mashed potatoes, broccoli and cheesy garlic bread. If calories and being full aren’t a factor, add in some chicken tortilla soup and loaded nachos.  Ending with a skillet chocolate chip cookie topped with ice cream. 

How do you stay updated on industry trends and advancements, and are there any recent developments that have caught your attention?

I’ve been on LinkedIn more since I started with EDA than I have in a while, probably since college! I notice more discussion happening around “soft skills” and people’s persona in the workplace as opposed to skills that can be taught.  It’s very important to be likeable in the workplace, because most technical skills can be taught – but having a good personality and decent character is something you inherently have, or have to make a conscious effort to develop. 

What's your proudest accomplishment, either in your professional or personal life?

One of my proudest accomplishments would have to be owning an online boutique with my mom and earning 3 cruise trips through our wholesale supplier due to our sales.  It’s challenging working with family, but well worth it; my mom still runs the boutique and I help out as needed.  On our very first trip, we swam with dolphins in Mexico which was always on my bucket list and is something I’ll cherish forever!