Team Spotlight: Shana Olson

Meet Shana

Caring. Determined. Connector.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background? How did you end up in your current role?

After working as a preschool teacher and a couple of non-profits, I started my career in marketing and advertising at a boutique advertising agency specializing in San Francisco Museums, Performing Arts and Tourist Attractions. I absolutely loved working with my clients and watching our campaigns come to life. When I moved to Oakland in 2013, I went in-house for Five Little Monkeys, a local toy store with six locations and an online store, where I created and implemented all marketing, advertising and events. I had my third child in 2017 and put my career on hold as childcare is somewhat cost-prohibitive in the Bay Area. When my youngest started preschool I went back to coordinate four “Monkeypalooza” community-wide “friendraser” events for 1,000+ attendees over the course of one year. It was also during this time that I went back and fulfilled my dream of receiving my MBA in Marketing Management. Upon graduating in May, I started researching advertising agencies in the SF Bay Area.  I was ultimately attracted to Just Global’s people and mission. I also loved that Just Global has such a strong presence in the area, as personal relationships are so important to me. I started at Just Global just under 5 months ago, but it feels like I’ve been here for years!

Shana crossing the finish line of her first half marathon!
An accurate representation of daily life in the Olson house
Shana's "Car-Mencement" Graduation

You recently were nominated as Just Global’s Employee of the month, congrats! Can you tell us a little bit about a project/projects you’ve been most proud to work on and why?

Thank you! It was definitely a surprise and an honor to receive Just Global’s February Employee of the Month during my third month at the company. I have always loved puzzles. I love figuring out how separate pieces fit together to form a complete picture. I have been involved in onboarding multiple clients over the past five months. Each onboarding is its own puzzle: How does each person’s role and personality fit into the larger picture? How do we address each client’s needs and desires in a timely, organized, efficient and personalized manner? How do I lead a team to ensure that each specialist is able to achieve all their milestones while also feeling appreciated? While we are still knee deep in the onboarding process, it is so rewarding to look back and see how far we have come. There is no better feeling than knowing we have brought our client’s vision to fruition. I cannot wait to see where we will be in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and a year from now. Please be sure to check back in!

What career advice would you give someone who is looking into breaking into the world that is B2B marketing?

I am a natural connector. I enjoy nothing more than connecting a person with something meaningful to them, be it a person, favorite restaurant or favorite vacation spot. Thus, the advice I would give someone looking to break into the B2B marketing world is network, network, network. Reach out to people in your life who might know someone who might know someone who might know someone. Treat every interaction as an opportunity to break into your next role. While researching SF Bay Area agencies, I looked up potential LinkedIn connections at every agency I came across. I had one first connection at Just Global and multiple second and third connections. I reached out to my first connection, a fellow parent at our elementary school, and after some initial conversations, I had my foot in the door. You never know where you will meet that one connection – it could be anywhere from an industry event to a trip to the grocery store.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work? Do you have any hobbies?

I love spending time with family and friends. I am a mom to three children: Isaac (10), Asher (7) and Henry (5). We love to explore new places, play at the beach, ride bikes, family game nights and read lots of books. It’s never quiet in our house. If it is, someone is getting into mischief 😉 

I love spending time with my extended family and friends. I am quite the extrovert and nothing fills my soul more than being with people I love. Food is a huge passion of mine. I wake up thinking of food and I go to sleep thinking of food. I grew up in a family of bakers, so I learned from an early age to appreciate delicious food. I love to travel. I’m excited to start exploring new places now that our kids are bit older and “family trips” can officially become “family vacations” (if you know, you know).

I ran my first half marathon in 2019 after having never been a runner yet always wanting to be one. I just signed up for my second half marathon in September. I have a lot of training ahead of me, so I guess sharing this with you is a great way to ensure personal accountability!

Having grown up with bakers, did you also pick up baking or were you more of a taste tester? (if you do bake, what’s your favorite thing to bake?)

Shana's Pokeball cupcakes!

I love this question! For the most part I am an excellent taste tester. Dessert for our family consists of everyone sitting around with a fork, taking a bite and making comments on what you like and don’t like. During college, my mom would send me brownies. I would take a bite and make a comment about it being too dry or too much of one flavor. My now husband would suggest I was being too critical as my mom made such an effort to send me something. After being part of our family for almost 20 years now, he has learned the fine art of dessert critique! Our family bakery, Fantasia, was a San Francisco staple. I am convinced if they didn’t sell it when I was really young, I would be an amazing baker today. When I’m not taste testing and baking myself, I LOVE making cookies.

What games are a favorite in the household?

We play all the games in our household! We love board games like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, King of Tokyo, Carcassonne and Splendor. We also love playing card games such as Sushi Go!, Rat-a-Tat-Tat, Dutch Blitz, Exploding Kittens, Unstable Unicorns, Spades, Uno Flip and The Great Dalmuti. I love that our whole family can play together on a level playing field. Even though our 5-year-old cannot read, he has been known to beat the rest in most of the games! He can watch a game played once and somehow understands exactly how to play and add his own strategy into it. I’m a little nervous to see what will happen once he learns how to read in kindergarten next year.

What’s your go-to work playlist?

Brett Dennen Radio – I love how the songs are upbeat and uplifting, yet at the same time mellow and good for focusing. I do love to sprinkle in a surprise element and often ask Alexa to pick a station for me. 

Loewhaley has been cracking me up on Instagram. I don’t tend to follow many influencers, but I look forward to seeing her posts. She adds humor into this new virtual working world we are living in. I think I literally spit out my coffee the other day when I saw this post.

Top three favorite movies:

This is a hard one as I am one of those people who tend to forget a movie as soon as I’ve seen it. I would probably say my top three movies are:

  1. Love Actually
  2. Kicks
  3. The most recent movie I saw was “Seeing Red.” We went with a large group of fourth grade families from our school as a few of the parents work at Pixar and wanted to add some magic back into the movie experience that had been missing for so long. I laughed and cried my way through the entire experience. I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet!
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