When Catherine Balogun got matched to a temporary Customer Support Representative role at Zola on Planted, she knew right away that she had found "the one." We recently spoke with her about her job search, interview experience, and how she was able to turn her time as a temporary role into a full-time one with the support of her Zola family. Read on about Catherine's experience for tips & takeaways when it comes to transforming your current role into a long-term career move.
Where did you go to school and what did you study?
I went to the College of Staten Island and studied Business Management, graduating in 2016.
What kind of job were you looking for?
I was looking for different entry-level jobs, at startups in New York City. I knew I wanted to work for a young, innovative, fast-growing company.
How did you hear about Planted?
A friend recommended Planted after I told her that my experience on job boards wasn’t getting me anywhere.
How would you describe your experience on Planted?
Planted gave me a much more personalized job-seeking experience because it me sent targeted opportunities in the fields I was interested in! I was also able to easily show off my customer service skills with the Sound Bite feature.
What made you apply to the temporary position at Zola? What excited you about the opportunity / company?
After Planted matched me with a temporary, four-month customer service opportunity at Zola, I did a bit of research on the company. Zola’s slogan, “anything for love,” really stuck with me — the thought of being a part of a couple's happiest time in their lives was exciting, and I knew right away that I wanted to be a part of this team!
What was the interview process at Zola like?
I felt welcomed the moment I walked in — the warm atmosphere in their office really empowered me to be my best self during the entire process.
Did you feel like coming from Planted gave you an advantage during the interview process?
Zola knew that I had the customer service voice they were looking for prior to ever meeting me because they listened to my Planted Sound Bite. I really think that gave me an edge during my interview.
Were you nervous about taking on a temporary position?
Any fear I had about taking on a temporary position only set in when I realized how much I enjoyed my job, the Zola team, and all of the things that we accomplished every day! I didn't want it to end.
What is your role at Zola now?
One week before I hit my four-month mark, I was offered a full-time role as a Customer Service Associate at Zola. A few months after that, I transferred over to the Merchandise team. I am now an Inventory Assistant, making sure inventory are up-to-date in our system so that our couples and their guests have the best Zola experience when purchasing products.
Did you find the transition from a temporary position to a permanent one on a different team to be difficult?
Not at all — Zola is the kind of place where everyone listens to you and wants to accommodate you if you’re willing to take on more responsibility or try something different. My supervisors on the Customer Support team were completely supportive of me moving to the Merchandise team and my new team welcomed me with open arms. Everyone is on your side and is rooting for you here!
Did you feel any different being a temporary employee versus a full-time employee?
Absolutely not. At Zola, you’re fully part of the team whether you’re a temporary employee or full-time employee. When I first joined the company, I was able to see the inner-workings of the Inventory team and got to work pretty closely with them, so my transition was a smooth one.
What do you enjoy most about working at Zola?
The people! I’ve never felt so welcome at a company before. Everyone is so incredibly encouraging and supportive. Zola is like another home for me!
What are some things you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, I really enjoy baking. I am also getting into photography!
Any advice for Planted candidates considering a temporary position?
Just go for it! There are a lot of opportunities out there, and you just have to keep an open mind and do your very best no matter what kind of position you’re looking for. If you put your best foot forward, people will notice! Trust me, they will.
Interested in joining the Zola team? Zola is hiring Seasonal Customer Support Representatives at their NYC office right now!