Editor’s Note: We're searching for the best and brightest admin professionals and workplace operators in the US. Know an outstanding Ninja? Nominations for the 2020 All-Star Awards are now open!
A huge congrats to today’s featured OfficeNinjas All-Star, Jennifer Magana!
Jennifer works as an Executive Assistant for Addepar, a Silicon Valley-based company. In addition to providing support for four of her executives, she assists with day-to-day office tasks, recruiting efforts, and marketing events. She received multiple nominations from her coworkers, all of whom touched upon her go-getter personality and versatility.
One nominator wrote:
Jen is never afraid to tackle any and all tasks…from complex meeting scheduling to leading the charge at a karaoke singing contest at our company ski retreat. She’s a problem-solver and a go-getter, two extremely important qualities in order to succeed here at Addepar. Even when the tough gets going (and let’s be honest, we all have those days), she always manages to have a pleasant style and at the end of the day, put a smile on your face.
Let’s take a minute to check in with today’s All-Star.
ON: How long have you been an office ninja?
JM: I have been an office ninja since July 1997. My first real office environment experience was working with my dad at his State Farm Insurance Agency for 6 years in San Francisco. He has been on Fillmore/Union Street since 1977. I have learned from the best.
ON: What’s the one thing that’s always on your desk and why?
JM: My dad’s State Farm Insurance pop-up desk calendar of Norman Rockwell’s The Saturday Evening Post Illustrations. It’s a constant reminder of the saying, “Don’t stress in the middle, it all works out in the end…sometimes better than expected.” Life is cyclical and challenges will always come up. When one issue arises and gets solved, another will take it’s place. Basically, to always put life in perspective and just enjoy it.
ON: What’s your favorite part of being an office ninja?
JM: My favorite part of being an Office Ninja is the resourcefulness, versatility, and variety of solutions I keep in my back pocket. No one really knows what I am capable of until the opportunity arises.
ON: How do your team members help you succeed?
JM: Addepar welcomed me as their Administrative Business Partner, not just an admin. It’s a great culture with initiative, trust and collaboration. My co-workers help me succeed by being awesome team players who know that we are all in this together. From Shea helping me from Day 1, learn the business side and sharing her guru expertise to Olivia reaching out to help me when I needed it most, our Addepar team really looks out for one another.
ON: Where does your drive come from? What keeps you motivated?
JM: My drive comes from all the adversities that have made me the person I am today. Although I chose the road less travelled, I would not change anything for the world.
My kids keep me motivated. We have a blended family. My son Mariano is about to graduate and will attend college this September. My daughter Santina will be a senior next year. Beto Jr. is going to be a Sophomore. Marisela is going to be an 8th grader. And our youngest daughter Yanissa will be entering Kindergarten this fall. There is nothing like seeing your eldest go to college and your youngest go to Kindergarten at the same time!
“When work, commitment, and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible”. – Nancy Coey
ON: What’s your favorite afternoon pick-me-up?
JM: My variation of the Whole Foods Green Colada: 2 cups spinach, ⅓ cup pineapple, 1 box of 8oz. coconut water, 1 tbsp spirulina powder, 1 tsp chia seeds and a banana in the Vitamix.
Also, my new found addiction is SoulCycle Palo Alto! I hadn’t been on a bike since I was 16. The experience is always phenomenal! I’m able to release all the stresses of the work week and come back resilient.
ON: Any exciting project you’re currently working on?
JM: I just learned about Asana (thank you, Hana!) and will be incorporating it into my daily work flow. It’s a really great tool to stay organized and I’m currently using it to for our Marketing Events Roadmap.
ON: What are the top 3 traits of an OfficeNinjas All-Star?
JM: Resilient, solution-orientated, and able to see/understand the bigger picture.
ON: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
JM: The universe will only give you what you can handle. Everything happens for a reason. If it didn’t work out the way you expected, don’t fret. It just means the opportunity will materialize when you are ready for it. There is always a silver lining, sometimes you just have to look deeper to find it.
ON: Office ninjas often have tips and tricks of the trade. Any you care to share?
JM: Read Roz Usheroff’s Book The Future of YOU! Creating Your Enduring Brand and Teamwork: The Team Member Handbook by Price Pritchett. They are literally my work bibles. My dad gave me The Teamwork Handbook when I started working at State Farm. I’ve taken it with me in all my career opportunities to re-read for myself and to share with others. Not everyone knows what it means to be a great team player, so provide them with the resources to be great!
Practice positive self-talk and affirmations. It’s not about “if,” it’s all about “when”.
Have a mentor at work. But it’s even better to have an “advisory council” made up of people who have a genuine interest in you and your path. Your inspirational gurus who can give you unbiased feedback. It’s important to have a strong support system.
Thanks, Jennifer! Enjoy your new furniture and desk accessories from Poppin!
Ninjas, you too could win an excellent prize package from Poppin. Head on over to our Flash Raffle and be sure to enter by 11:59 PM PST. Good Luck!
And, just in case you need some convincing, check out the mood board Jennifer created using images of her All-Star prizes!
Today’s All-Star is presented by:
With Poppin, your desk can finally look as good as you do!
Photos beautifully captured by Cheshiredave Creative, a Bay Area-based photographer specializing in portraits/headshots, lifestyle, food, events, and performances..