Employee spotlight: Brooke Meyer
At Understood.org, we’re living our mission by creating a world and a workplace where everyone can thrive. We support and challenge each other to make an impact, embrace difference, set the standard, and act with purpose so that we can thrive together as a team. Each and every employee plays a foundational role in helping us achieve our mission and strengthen our culture
In our “Employee Spotlight” series, we interview employees from across the organization about their background, their work at Understood, and why they are motivated to shape the world – and our workplace – for difference.
In this Q&A, Brooke Meyer, Content and Project Manager at Understood, shares a bit about what brought her to Understood.
Tell us about your career path. What brought you to Understood?
While attending St. John’s College, I had a work-study job as a teacher’s assistant at a local elementary school. I noticed early on that there wasn’t any framework that would allow for more TAs. There also wasn’t any free extracurricular support for the school’s at-risk students. Back on campus, there weren’t enough work-study jobs for students who qualified.
I remember wondering, “Maybe we can implement a two-birds-one-stone solution.” So, after a few discussions with the school’s board and my college’s financial aid department, I was given the green light to kick off (and manage) a free afterschool tutoring program at the elementary school. The whole program was contingent on the college and school granting work-study jobs as TAs to those volunteer tutors. The overworked elementary school teachers loved having a dedicated TA. The free tutoring was a huge benefit to the at-risk students and their families. And the paid work-study jobs provided much-needed financial relief to the many college students who took part in the program. This experience sparked the realization that I had a knack for operations and creative problem-solving. And it inspired me to look for jobs where I could make the kind of impact I’d made with the work-study program.
So, after working a few different jobs, I landed an interview with the nonprofit that started Understood, the Poses Family Foundation. As a person with learning and thinking differences, I felt a strong connection to Understood's mission. After a year at the foundation, I moved over to join the Understood team.
What’s your role? And what does your day-to-day look like at Understood?
As a content and project manager, I’m a connector between editorial and content driven work and the production side of the content team. My day-to-day responsibilities vary and depend on what projects are in the works. But essentially, it all fits into a few buckets.
The first bucket is daily project management. The second is supporting editorial work, content management, and content curation. The third is triaging new requests that flow through the Jira content request system. And the fourth is process troubleshooting and generally putting out fires that pop up.
What’s the best career advice you’ve been given? Or what advice would you give to others?
For most of my career, I didn’t realize how important it was to prioritize me. And to take the time to figure out what I needed to be my best self and do my best work. I would burn out a lot.
Since the pandemic, I’ve spent a lot of time redefining what it means for me to be productive and successful. And for me it means doing things like taking walks after long meetings and blocking time on my calendar to focus. It looks like making my desk at home a super cute, well-organized space. And most importantly, it means being honest with myself and others about my workload and capacity. So, I would encourage others to observe how they work. And to get a feel for when they’re working their best. Note these instances. Doing this was a game-changer for me because it showed me how my brain works. It also empowered me to ask for support when I need it.
Interested in joining our team? Check out our open roles here.