#inspiredbystories

17 and a Half Questions With Caroline Trudeau

We ask inspiring people 17 and a half questions. This week we have Caroline Trudeau, who is Executive Director, Head of Digital & Experience Innovation at Slalom Consulting in the US Mid-Atlantic region

1. What I like about my job

There are so many parts of my job that I like: exercising my creativity everyday, dreaming up innovative solutions in an unprecedented time in history, collaborating with global partners I respect and admire to bring the next wave of digital experiences to the world. But what I love is the honor I feel, because I get to  lead people everyday.  While my aspirations are big, it’s daily connections with my team that drive me to keep growing.

2. What sometimes frustrates me

My level of tolerance for waste is pretty low. Especially when it comes to time. Wasting time: What a pity!

3. My secret alternative job

I would be a comedian. Laughing is one of my favorite things in life. I would probably have a hilarious set about the absurdity of some of the mundane things we all experience in life. It would end with a lesson about how it’s those things that make life truly enjoyable.

4. Best strategy to survive a really bad day at the office

Walking away. Literally! Stepping away from my desk and going for a walk is the best remedy for a bad day. There is something about being connected to the ground in forward motion I find meditative and soothing. I enjoy walking around on the wooded pathways of my suburban Washington, DC neighbourhood.

5. When are you in the famous flow

Sunday morning. That’s when I undertake new creative projects because morning is my best time of day and Sunday leaves a whole day to play! It’s that time when the previous week of work is really done and the next one hasn’t begun just yet. I can truly feel free to flow then.

6. Biggest success so far

Completing the Ironman triathlon in 2015. I committed to the journey a year prior, exercised the discipline to train for 10 months, showed up at the starting line feeling prepared and confident and finished some 14 hours later. Crossing the finish line was the best moment of my life so far. And it keeps giving: while I don’t compete anymore, the experience brought me the mental discipline to stay the course. It also taught me that growth is a long-term commitment, just like endurance sports. If I set my mind to it, I can do it.

7. Biggest defeat

Oh, so many defeats… I couldn’t close a deal that would have been mega avant-garde for the automotive industry 3 or so years ago. While I have no regrets and everyone on the team did their very best, it was a real disappointment to end a long journey with an awesome client. I often use it as an example of so many lessons learned.

8. Worst buzzword

Right. It is so often inappropriately used and definitely overused, especially as a filler word in a sentence. It’s rampant in consulting. It can also sometime be used in a condescending way.  I try really hard not to use it, but it sometimes slips out. Right?!

9.  Best reward after a hard week at work

Sleeping in on Saturday mornings. It’s a C19 tradition. On Friday evening, I shut the black-out blinds completely, turn off all the devices and wake up whenever I feel like it. It’s truly a luxury and I look forward to it every week.

10. Home office or in-house

Home. Someone from Slalom DC is likely going to have to show up at my door to drag me back to the office.

11.  Most important traits a colleague/business partner must have

Be a person of your word. Say what you are going to do, do what you said you would do.  Always. That consistent dependability is one of the most important trust building tools. It shows credibility, commitment and care.

12. Your creative hack

Post-its. One thought or idea per post-it. Brainstorm until all the ideas are out. Look at your work and once you start seeing a pattern, that’s a creative concept to explore.

13. First website to check in the morning

I don’t have one! Like Sophia, I like to roll out my yoga mat in the morning, or linger with a large cup of coffee. If I must though: during the week, it’s email; on the weekend, probably Instagram.

14. Favorite digital tool

My iPhone. I can’t live without it. And all the digital tools it holds!

15. In which book or series have you learned the most for your (work) life?

The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss: a gift from my Mom when I left home for my first adventure. It’s really simple. I cherish it dearly.

16. Which series, book or podcast can you generally recommend?

Modern Love. Notable personalities read real life love stories from essayists published in the New York Times’s famous column. I am a lover.

17. Most prominent follower on a social channel?

@BMWUSA follows me on Twitter. That does count, yeah?

17 and a half: I’ll always go back to…

Munich.  It’s my favorite city in the world.  See you soon!

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