🏡 City: Long Island, NY ➡️ Williamsburg, VA ➡️ Washington, DC ➡️ London ➡️ NYC ➡️ London

💼 Job title: Head of Courier Experience

🎓 Studies: Finance & Economics at The College of William & Mary VA, USA 

🔮 Languages: English 🇬🇧🇺🇸

👣 How do you commute to work? I like to mix it up—cycle, bus, train or run

✈️ Travel dreams: Tokyo, Osaka, Hakone 

🎬 Favorite film: The Parent Trap

📌 What do you like most about your role as a Head of Courier Experience?

The people and purpose.

I get to work with so many different teams at Stuart. In my team, Courier Experience, we define really integral processes that interplay or support many other teams—from Account Management to Finance, and almost every Ops team in between. I love the breadth of people I get to speak with on a weekly basis: you learn a lot, and get a lot done together.

The core of what we do is constantly working to make the courier experience, while delivering with Stuart and within our community, better and better. We acknowledge where we are and always have the fleet experience at front-of-mind. Understanding pain points and closing those gaps boils down to making someone’s day better—there’s a real sense of purpose in that.

📌 What drew you to the logistics field originally? How has Stuart evolved since you joined the company?

Logistics is fantastically complex and vital to our every day, which is what initially drew me to it. I wanted to join a company with a great mission and amazing people, where I would solve really interesting problems. Stuart ticked all of those boxes for me.

I joined Stuart at the end of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. What a whirlwind my first year at Stuart was! It’s hard to describe how much Stuart has evolved in just words. The team has more than doubled, our fleet has multiplied, we’re serving more clients, the courier app has new features, we’ve executed on countless projects, smashed KPIs, set new goals and used the rocket emoji on Slack over a thousand times. People always ask me where I see Stuart in two years—what Stuart achieves in two months is incredible, so comprehending two years worth of that is hard to fathom.

📌 What skills are essential for success in your Operations team at Stuart? 

Being outcome-driven: Focussing on impact and value versus checking off 20 things on your to-do list. The “to-do” list is never “done” and being “done” is not the point of it in the first place. This mindset is really helpful in defining the right goals, measuring success and making meaningful change. A lot of us at Stuart have read Josh Seiden’s Outcomes over Output and it’s a fantastic book.

Adaptability: We operate at a very fast pace. You need to be organised, agile and ready to adapt. A plan changing at the last minute is not a failure, it just means a change in course.

Empathy: Always put yourself in your stakeholder’s shoes to understand their perspective and what is important to them. This should inform how you communicate, make decisions and demonstrate value. As Courier Experience, the most important stakeholder to my team is our courier partners—you can bet I’ve been out on my bike in London (albeit very slowly...) doing deliveries and experiencing our product. Empathy is also essential to being an in-tune manager and coach to my team.

📌 What's one project you're particularly proud of? Why?

Pinpointing one is honestly really hard. I worked on the initial rollout of a new delivery invitation couriers would see in-app, with a brand new map and design. I was part of the initial product discovery session (lots of stickies surrounded us that day…), our product team then built and designed the entire thing, and I helped to roll that feature out to every courier in the UK (with the help of a lot of people across Ops of course). 

The invitation has gone through even more iterations and improvements since then, but I will always remember being a part of that first version because it was such a cool experience. I am immensely proud of a lot of projects my team has delivered in recent memory, including our courier perks Partnership with Collective Benefits, new courier payment statements, re-branding our weekly courier newsletters and collaborating on a new support experience in-app. We are just getting started.

📌 What is your motto or personal mantra? 

Pressure makes diamonds.

I heard this from my Dad a lot while growing up—at the time it was the last thing I wanted to hear when frustrated by sport or studies! I still keep it in mind when my brain wants to give up on something “tough”. A simple reminder that “sparkle”, brilliance, strength come from grit and persevering through a challenge.

📌 If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

Serena Williams! I think she is just amazing. I played tennis growing up so she’s an idol in that. I just love the way she carries herself on and off the court—as an athlete, mother, public speaker and woman. I’m just generally inspired by her presence and that’s through a screen. I would be completely starstruck if I ever met her in person.

April Kane photo

📌 What are three words that could best describe you? 

First, I’d say adventure. COVID-19 has put a bit of this on hold, but I love planning a new adventure, whether that’s visiting a new city, trying surfing for the first time, running a new race. I don’t love every type of adventure (no thank you to sky-diving) but if it’s running-related I’m usually game. 

Next, runner. I’ve run several ultramarathon races around the world—I’ve run over Table Mountain in Cape Town (100k distance; “UTCT”), around the entirety of the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales (217k distance; “Ring of Fire”) and through the Grande Randonnée du Tour du Mont-Blanc (GR TMB) trail from Courmayer in Italy to Chamonix in France at more than 6100m altitude (100k distance; “CCC”). Trail running is my favourite, and I must admit it’s also an epic way to see a place in 24 hours.

Finally, curious! I’m just generally intrigued about a lot and love learning new things. I’m a nerd at heart. 

Interested in joining the Stuart team? We’re hiring! Check out our open positions.

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