🏡 City: Trouville-sur-Mer ➡️ Geneva ➡️ London
💼 Job title: Head of Courier Operations
🎓 Studies: Hospitality Management at Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne
🔮 Languages: French 🇫🇷, English 🇬🇧, Spanish 🇪🇸
👣 How do you commute to work: I cycle to work, it takes me about 15-20 minutes every morning. I just bought a new pink bike, I’m pretty sure it’s faster than my previous black one.
🧳 Travel dreams: Renting a van (with a bicycle in it!) and going through Baltic and then Nordic countries for at least 3 months with the freedom to stop whenever and wherever I want to hike/visit!
🎬 Favorite film: “Garden State” by Zach Braff. I saw it for the first time 15 years ago and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen it since. So good.
📌 What would you say makes a great Head of Courier Operations?
The first thing is the ability to link our work to the couriers’ main challenges. Having the right frameworks in place to understand what is most important to them, what challenges they face, and prioritise our projects based on the impact it will have on them. It’s a challenge to find the right balance, but it’s so important and absolutely key in my role: being able to show the impact of the teams’ work on thousands of couriers delivering on the Stuart platform gives a lot of meaning to what we do.
The second element that comes to mind is stakeholder management; couriers are at the center of the business, and the processes we set up for them will have an impact on clients, on Customer Support, on our clients’ end-customers. I think as a Head of Couriers Operations it’s very important to always keep this in mind; there is often a lot of alignment with different parties before we find the best solution.
📌 Tell us about one key moment in your career at Stuart - success or failure. What did you learn from it?
Success: presenting, along with the rest of the team working on this project, a new product feature that was going to give more autonomy to couriers in the application they use every day. We presented this to the whole company at our company offsite last year in Formentera - presenting to 200 people was not something I had ever done before, and it was a big moment for me. I rehearsed the presentation many times with my manager, stripping it down a lot to focus on the context and why this mattered for couriers. I was very proud to be able to communicate this to the whole company!
Failure: we communicated to partner couriers some news that was a necessary change, and while still fair, it wasn’t necessarily a change that was impacting them in a positive way. We tried to put way too much of a positive spin on it. Learning for me: don’t sugarcoat it - they know! Transparent communication is key.
📌 What’s it like being a woman working in Logistics? What advice would you give young women joining this field?
We are a diverse team, so I have to say that as a woman I don’t feel like an outsider in the company. Where it does feel different perhaps is being a woman in management in a tech company. It feels empowering, scary at times but in a good way.
The advice I would give to any young woman is to believe in yourself and don’t be scared to take decisions! I feel women more often lack self-confidence than a lot of men, and it holds us back too much. If a man explains something with a lot of confidence, don’t let that make you think he necessarily knows better. Speak up, take risks, trust yourself. Don’t let other people’s certainty and confidence overshadow your own.
📌 What qualities do you think a manager should have? How do you contribute to your team’s growth and promotion?
The first one that comes to mind is listening. Being available for your team members when they have a question or a doubt, asking the right questions when talking about career goals or what they enjoy doing or less so, and in general being approachable, always.
The second one, especially in a company that is growing fast like Stuart, is the ability to anticipate. What your team and your stakeholders need today is not what they will need in a few months. The ability to think ahead, and take decisions now that will positively impact the company in 6 months, is I think a key quality a manager should have, especially in a scale up.
Regarding the team’s growth and promotion: we are lucky to be in a company where the business is growing so much that the scope of people’s role is already evolving on its own. Having come from bigger corporate companies, I can tell you we probably learn at Stuart in one year what we would learn in a traditional company in 5 years. However, that does not mean you can just relax as a manager and let things happen on their own, especially as this growth means people need to adapt quickly. Stuart is very human-centric, and it requires a lot of communication and transparency.
I try to never shy away from having sometimes difficult conversations. Some decisions are not easy to communicate, some feedback is not easy to give, but in the long run it will be beneficial to face the facts and have that conversation. Giving constant feedback, however big or small, is I think a very powerful way to grow your team members and a key part of being a manager.
📌 What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Back in 2018, my colleague Mike P. showed me how he was using starred emails to keep track of things to do, and how you shouldn’t have more than 20 emails in there. Strong, high impact advice.
📌 What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
I would say coffee ☕️ - I can’t remember the last time I had a day without coffee, but I don’t think it was this year! That, or dim sum. Choosing between these 2 would be very difficult! I often go to DIn Tai Fung in London; they make xiao long bao, a special kind of dim sum with soup inside. Definitely a sweet spot!
📌 In another life, what would you probably be doing?
I don’t know if it’s in another life or in my next life when I’ll be needing a change from London and work but I’d love to be somewhere very remote with no one around. Either somewhere in the mountains or in the countryside, having a few sheep, growing vegetables, doing yoga retreats and living a very simple life.