Hey! My name is Rachel Schifter and I worked at VeryVera from fall of 2016 to spring of 2018 as the Associate Producer of The VeryVera Show. In this role I learned many lessons about being a valuable (and valued) employee. Being afforded the opportunity to learn and grow in my position on the VeryVera team allowed me to enter my next job with confidence. I now work for Columbia County Board of Education in the School Nutrition Department, providing nutritious breakfasts and lunches to hundreds of children during the school day.

If I had to choose just a few skills that I honed while working for VeryVera that have helped in my new job today, they would be: consistency, reliability, organization, pressure management, and leadership. And the best way to explain these? Walk through my day.

Consistency and reliability. They go hand-in-hand. Vera expects her employees to be present and consistent in their work effort on a daily basis, which translates to being a reliable team member. This was critical to making the show great every week. If one member of the team was struggling in a given week, we felt this throughout the entire team.

This has directly carried over into my new job as well. My performance affects the entire team and our ability to produce nutritious and appealing meals for students. VeryVera helped me realize the importance of consistency in work effort and how this affects your ability to achieve at a high level.

Organization. VeryVera also taught me the importance of approaching your job in an organized fashion. Each week started with an outline of what tasks needed to be accomplished during that week. Breaking these plans down even further into daily tasks enabled us to make tangible, measurable progress on a weekly basis.

In my new role, we also need to be organized in inventory and planning to ensure that daily goals are met. This organization can start weeks ahead of time by making sure we have all our necessary supplies. Working at VeryVera helped me refine this skill as we always had many goals to accomplish – often in a short time window.

Managing pressure. Pressure is a privilege and can help us perform at a high level…when it’s managed properly, of course! Working at VeryVera helped me learn how to handle pressure and harness it so that I could achieve more. Whenever we had a big show or an important guest, we constantly tried to push the envelope. Effectively managing this pressure – and not letting the pressure manage us – always resulted in a great show.

Learning to harness pressure has allowed me to tackle challenging situations in my new job, such as being short a coworker or hosting a special event during lunch. It can be easy to focus on perceived disadvantages in these situations, but my experience at VeryVera has helped me approach them as positive opportunities instead.

Finally, leadership. This was taught and expected of us every day at VeryVera. When I first started at VeryVera, I was a reluctant leader. I lacked confidence in my abilities to lead, but was encouraged to trust in myself and my leadership abilities. Working as the Associate Producer taught me to how to lead a group to accomplish a shared goal. Each week I was responsible for leading a team in filming and completing a new episode.

Both positions have provided me the opportunity to work in the food industry, and working at VeryVera helped prepare me for success in my new role with Columbia County. Although I learned many things during my tenure at VeryVera, learning how to be consistent, reliable, organized, cool under pressure, and a confident leader have allowed me to become a stronger employee and better team member. I’m excited to continue applying these lessons and further developing these skills that were refined during my time at VeryVera.