Please introduce yourself.
Hi, I’m Abby Schmidke, lover of nature (tree hugger as my siblings will call me!), dog mom to two rescue pups, and candlemaker by night. I am a Customer Operations Associate here at Wonolo. I live in Nashville, TN. My role focuses on helping our customers onboard onto the platform and troubleshoot issues and challenges that arise during their experience with Wonolo and our Wonolers.
What events in your life have brought you to your current role today?
When I was in college at Central Michigan University (Fire Up Chips!) I never expected to be where I am today. I graduated with a degree in Community Health and planned on having a career in the non-profit sector, working with communities on their public health initiatives. I moved to Nashville the day after graduation with a part-time job offer working at a local immigration resettlement agency. I ran an afterschool program helping high school students learn English as a second language and tutored them as needed.
It was only a part-time job and I had to make ends meet, so I took on a second job bartending at night and on weekends. Working two jobs is hard! Our Wonoloers can tell you that and it makes me empathic to their situation and motivates me to help them work towards a more secure financial future. As much as I loved working with the students I wasn’t able to keep up that schedule, so I made the decision to enter corporate America and a new career path. I bounced around a little looking for a company whose values mirrored mine. When I heard about Wonolo’s mission and had my first interview, I knew I had found the company I had been looking for.
When you have to make a difficult decision, what do you lean on?
I can be pretty introverted at times which causes me to listen, consider my options, then share my thoughts. I don’t love having the spotlight on me. When a difficult decision comes my way, I take a step back and reflect on it. Is it difficult because it puts me out of my comfort zone and makes me grow either personally or professionally? If that’s the reason, then I push forward and do it even if I have a shaky voice and nervous fidgeting hands while doing so.
What is one piece of life advice you can give to anyone?
Push yourself to do the things that make you uncomfortable -whether it’s standing in front of others to give a speech or even over Zoom or going to a workout class you’ve been dying to try but too nervous to do by yourself. Do it. Everything is hard the first time, it gets easier. Keep going.
If you really knew me, you would know that…
I’m overly competitive. I’m the person at the gym that has a race on the treadmill or is in a lifting competition with the unknowing person next to me. Only occasionally will the person realize what I’m doing and start running faster or adding more weights…then it becomes a real competition!