Three days ago you placed your order for a barbecue-themed lunch and learn. It’s on for pulled pork sliders, potato salad, fried chicken, and coleslaw. But then 20 minutes ago — only three hours before your meeting — you discovered a few more vegetarians than you anticipated are attending the meeting. You don’t panic. You pick up the phone. An ezCater Ninja picks up.
Jill Bernard started helping ezCater customers as a Customer Service Ninja in February 2016. Whether you needed last-minute order changes or delivery address updates, Jill made miracles happen for you and all of our catering customers. And she made it look easy.
Now, Jill trains our newest Ninjas so they can all be just as insanely helpful too. And this past July, Jill quickly ramped up into her new role as a Training Assistant to teach two classes outside of the U.S. But that wasn’t all. She also taught them solo.
We caught up with Jill to find out what it’s like to work at ezCater.
What drew you to work at ezCater?
After graduating from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, I moved to Massachusetts to work at a camp for children with life threatening illnesses and disabilities. After the camp ended, I started working at Potbelly Sandwich Shop as their Catering Coordinator. One day while browsing jobs in the catering and customer service world, I stumbled across a posting for a “Customer Service Ninja” position at ezCater. The posting was intriguing, so I decided to send in my information.
When I came into the ezCater office to interview, I was blown away by how friendly and inviting everyone was. The office is modern and has an incredible view of the city, and I fell in love at first sight — literally. I saw the opportunity to become a Ninja as a great way to develop my customer service skills and grow in an awesome and friendly environment.
What does your typical workday look like?
As a Ninja here at ezCater there is no normal. And that’s what makes the job so fun. We communicate with our caterer partners and customers through phone calls, chat, email, and text messages to solve problems and find solutions.
After going through Ninja training myself, I became interested and heavily involved with the coaching and training of our new hires in the department. Since then, most of my days are spent actively teaching trainees, coaching them one-on-one, sitting with them as they take their first calls, and supporting them through Slack (our online messaging tool) and in real life. I just recently accepted a position as a Ninja Training Assistant in our Customer Service department and will step more formally into the role of a Trainer in early September.
What is most exciting about working at ezCater?
The thing I like most about being a Ninja is that every day is different, it keeps you on your toes, and it makes coming to work fun and exciting. I love taking on new projects and expanding my skillset, which is easy to do with how fast we are growing.
I also love that we get to solve our own problems. We all have the ability and authority to make decisions, and we are supported in doing so by our management team. I enjoy being able to solve a problem and know that my team is behind me to help me and give me feedback and new ideas.
In my new position as a Training Assistant, I am eager to learn the ropes from our Ninja trainer, Heidi Adams. She’s a wealth of knowledge and she’s truly amazing at conveying our unique culture through her training presentations. Onboarding new Ninjas to our department and helping to develop our team is exciting. I’m looking forward to both the challenges and victories that will come with it. My goal is to become an effective trainer and make every new trainee feel as excited as I was to start working here.
What have you learned so far?
- Believe in yourself. ezCater promotes autonomy. We have the ability to use our judgment to solve problems. It’s refreshing to be able to develop ideas and have them put into place to help the team achieve success.
- Be open to feedback. Feedback helps us grow and we are growing very fast. Being open to receiving and giving feedback is a valuable skill. It’s the only way we can get better. Actively seek feedback whenever and wherever you can.
- Be a team player. No one can do this job all on their own. We have an amazing team filled with tons of experience. When in doubt, collaborate and tag-team a problem. You will learn new perspectives and new tips and tricks you might never have thought of before.
What advice do you have for those who are looking for a training position?
- Be a sponge and love learning. Being a coach and involved in training means you have to wear many hats. You also have to embrace feedback — both giving and getting it. It’s the only way we can help our trainees grow and how we can learn to be as insanely helpful as possible.
- Enjoy challenges. Challenges are a natural part of life, especially with the ebb and flow of change. Being open and willing to attack a challenge head on, and develop ideas and a plan for how work through things is invaluable. Every day is different and flexibility is a must.
What are some of your favorite things about being in the Boston area?
Everything you could need is right here. Sox games, Bruins games, and tons of cool restaurants and bars. I love the waterfront area, especially during the summer. But I also love the lights and decorations during the fall and winter time too. When I have the time, I walk to catch my train and take a detour through Faneuil Hall and the Public Market. There’s so much to see and do, and it never gets old.
What do you like about working in Downtown Crossing?
I love being so close to everything. Whether I want to head over to Fenway to catch a game on a Friday night or walk to the Boston Common to enjoy the weather — it’s so easy to get to everything around here. I commute into the city from Lowell every day, and the little kid in me still feels like a tourist. It was always my dream to work in Boston. There’s always been something about this city that has drawn me to it, and I love being able to explore and walk through it and enjoy its sights.
Interested in working at ezCater with Jill? Check out our job postings!