Staff Spotlight: 20 Questions in 2 Minutes with Amanda Folkman
20 Questions in 2 Minutes is our series of interviews with Management Council staff members. This week’s guest is Amanda Folkman, Professional Technical Support with the State Software Development Team.
- Which is your favorite: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
I would have to say that it depends on the food and time of day. Breakfast food is my favorite even though I don’t always eat breakfast. Otherwise, it’s lunch.
- What’s your most prized possession, and why?
My black cat, Ellie. She is almost three years old now.
- What do you remember most about your first job?
My first job was working as a busser at a restaurant. There were a lot of things that were memorable, but what stands out is that my best friend started working there. It was great. We had so much fun.
- What’s the best concert you’ve ever attended?
I haven’t been to a lot of concerts, but the most recent stands out because I went with my mom. We saw the Michael Stanley Band, a rock band, in this very cool theatre in Akron.
- What’s your idea of a perfect day?
It would definitely be sunny, and I would probably be hanging out with friends and family. Maybe we’d go for a drive—to anywhere. We’re in a different time now, and I think that just being out and about with friends and family together would make the day perfect.
- If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
I would want to meet my great grandparents. They traveled to the United States from Italy and moved to Murray Hill (known as Little Italy) in Cleveland. It would be fun to hear their story and get to know what they were like.
- What’s your favorite family tradition?
My family likes to create elaborate scavenger hunts for holidays. The hunts (or “missions” as we call them) usually involves a fun theme, a handful of clues, and games. I used to help create these for my brothers when we were younger, and now we have continued the tradition with planning scavenger hunts for my niece.
- What tv family most reminds you of your own?
This one is tough because I don’t watch a lot of sitcoms with families. I’ll go with The Brady Bunch—there aren’t as many siblings, but we do have a blended family with lots of personalities.
- If you had unlimited funds to start your own business, what would it be?
It would definitely be something art related, probably an art gallery. The unlimited funds would be great because I could then plan something to make it a really nice space where artists could show their work and paint. It would maybe even include an art school.
- What was your all-time favorite Halloween costume?
I never had a super standout costume when I was older and went all out. However, when I was a baby, my parents dressed me up as a clown, and they went all out with that. Looking back, it always makes me laugh. My grandpa loved clowns, so I think they did it for him.
- If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
I’m a Harry Potter person, so I would pick Hermione. It would be fun to have magic and to go to wizard school. I would also want to read all the magical books in the library!
- If you could relive one moment in your life, which would it be?
This is where I go back to pre-quarantine. I think I would go back to a moment where I was going on vacations and hanging out with friends.
- Do you trust your own memory? Why or why not?
I’d say that I have a good memory. It is very visual, so I couldn’t tell you certain sounds or smells, but if I see something written down or typed out, I can remember it very well.
- What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Use your strengths and be confident in yourself.
- What motivates you at work?
It’s about helping people, so there are a lot of things I like about the work I do. I get to make an impact, solve problems, and troubleshoot to ultimately help school districts in the state.
- What three traits define you?
I would say that I’m logical, but also creative, and analytical.
- What is your personal philosophy?
It depends on the situation, but one that I like to use on a bad day is a family saying, “the bad ones make the good ones better.” If you’re having a bad day, it makes you appreciate the good days.
- Describe a win from the work you’ve done.
Over the past year or so, I’ve done some trainings that I would consider a win. They were advanced, newer trainings, that I got to structure. They helped the ITCs better understand the content and then turn around and train district staff on more complex topics. We received good feedback on them.
- How do you define success?
On a personal level, success in life is centered around happiness. Even if I was preforming top-of-the-top, if I’m not happy doing it, it’s not a success. Success in work is more analytical. It depends on the expectations, if you are meeting those expectations, and what you’re intending to achieve. For us on SSDT, it’s software goals and satisfaction from your customers.
- What is your favorite thing about working at the Management Council?
I would definitely say the people. Getting to work with the group we’ve got is excellent. For me on the SSDT, I’m really happy to be with this team because they motivate me. I know that what I’m doing is helping ITCs who are trying to help the districts, especially with trying to roll out the new software.