Meet Elise, HR Manager at Summa Linguae Technologies.
Elise and the HR team have two main goals:
- Bringing in rockstars that are aligned with our values: Excellence, Positivity, Impact, Courage, Innovation, Self-Improvement, and Transparency.
- Keeping our current rockstars supported.
“At the end of the day, our team wants to make sure our people are developed, engaged, and happy to come into work every day.”
Let’s get to know Elise!
Elise was born in Fairy Glen, Saskatchewan—a tiny prairie town of only a few dozen people. According to Wikipedia, “[Fairy Glen] not only has a Co-Op, but also a section of paved road.”
Despite everything Fairy Glen had to offer, Elise spent the majority of her growing up years in Vernon, BC. Elise moved away from home when she was 15 years old to pursue ballet at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
According to Elise, ballet school is where she learned her work ethic and how to balance different priorities.
And the balancing act went way beyond the ballet moves—for her last two years of high school, Elise would do three hours of ballet in the morning, eat lunch, go to school for three hours, and then head back for several more hours of dance.
After high school, Elise chose a “normal” (her air quotes) education over a career in ballet, opting for the Broadcast Journalism program at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. Elise originally wanted to be a TV meteorologist, but fell in love with sales during her first work practicum.
Elise then moved to Vancouver, British Columbia for work (for those keeping track at home, that’s province #4), starting as a receptionist, but earning a promotion to account manager at the end of her four years. She compared her career arc to Pam from the Office.
Elise worked at a few broadcast media organizations before jumping to a major brewing company, where she was first exposed to HR and had the opportunity to explore a variety of HR roles.
It was in these roles that she experienced firsthand the value of culture and how important it is to care about your people.
Ultimately, Elise fell in love with HR because it gave her the chance to impact people and their overall experience both in and out of the office. Elise ended up moving to Ontario (her fifth province!) before moving back to Vancouver to oversee a large commercial client group that gave her experiences she never would have imagined and largely shaped her approach to HR.
Joining Summa Linguae Technologies
Elise joined Summa Linguae Technologies because it was clear people were their priority.
And for Elise, values and culture were her number one requirement for a role—because she’s experienced all different types
Summa Linguae Technologies’s size at the time—35 employees—also meant the ability to have a big impact compared to the larger bureaucracies she was coming from in her previous roles.
Why Summa Linguae Technologies?
We asked Elise a few questions about her time at Summa Linguae Technologies so far.
What’s your favourite part of working at Summa Linguae Technologies?
“The people. I love that we have such a diverse team
“I also love the HR team (I may be biased). They’ve been really awesome. They had the historical knowledge to start, but watching them grow and develop has been a favourite part of mine.
The ability to think of strategic initiatives we want to roll out has also been great. And we’re given the leeway to try and test things out. For example, within the last year, we’ve added a People Leaders structure and built out a Competency process.”
You’ve had a lot of roles before joining Summa Linguae Technologies. How has Summa Linguae helped you in your career development?
“I’ve learned so much in such a short timeframe. It’s flown by.
“The biggest thing is I’ve learned how to be more flexible in a period of growth. I’ve ditched the corporate mindset of ‘This needs a process. This is the way it should go.’
“Now, I can take a step back and ask if something is really working—testing it and changing it on the fly with the goal of making things a bit better each time. The ability to implement flexible strategies and processes has really helped develop my strategic side.”
What advice do you have for new Summa Linguae Technologies employees?
Get to know people in all departments—not just your own!
Always be open to feedback, and ask a ton of questions.
Fun Elise Facts
You’ve lived across five different provinces. Where has been your favourite place to live?
I love Vancouver, but Winnipeg is a bit of an underdog too. The people there were so incredible. I never met a person I didn’t love in Winnipeg.
And although Winnipeg is great in the summer, it’s absolutely terrible in the winter.
Who’s your favourite musical artist?
I’m obsessed with Beyoncé. Enough said…
Do you have any secret hobbies?
Ballet has obviously played a big role in my life. I’m also obsessed with spin right now, and I love the arts and dancing in general.
What else should we know about you?
I’ve recently started volunteering for the YWCA mentorship program! It’s great to be able to pass down some life and career expertise to the next generation. I’m learning just as much as I’m providing.
And you should know I’m very social. I love spending time with friends and family.
Join our team
Curious about a career at Summa Linguae Technologies? Check out our Careers page to explore our open positions.
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