Howdy Doo AYS, it's the one and only Generation Gamers, back to you yet again with an exciting part 4 to this thrilling inside scoop of the Life of a Staff member at AYS! If you haven't already checked our the last 2 interviews, I strongly recommend you read them before you continue! DGE Interview | Developer Interview. In today's blog, we will be interviewing one of AYS's management members, please welcome our Chief Community Officer, Cailee!
What is your role in AYS, and how have you gotten here?
I'm the Chief Community Officer, and I got here with hard work and dedication. I started out as a helper and gained the trust of the Executive Team. After a little under a year I was promoted until I became an Executive myself! I was also the Team Lead of Social Media for a while before I left that role to focus on Moderation. I look over the community side of AYS, hence the name, and I do my best to train and watch over everyone. More specifically, I manage the Moderation Team, the Partnership Team, and Events Team. If you're ever looking to be hired into these roles, feel free to ask me any questions about them!
What motivated you to join AYS, and how has your role evolved since then?
I started talking in AYS back in 2019 and I loved the community so much that I applied for the position of Moderator. I used to be a Minecraft Skyblock Moderator so I was kind of experienced with Moderation. Since then I've gone through my adult life within AYS and learned so many things about discord. Being the CCO of a large server was the last thing I thought I could ever be.
Can you describe a typical day in your role, from the moment you walk in to when you leave?
When I come back from work or wake up I usually have a ton of pings. I check them through my notifications so that I don't forget to respond when I have time. I check on the Moderation Team and see how they're doing with their tasks as well as handle anything they may have missed. I know I'm definitely not as active as I used to be, but I do try to engage with the team and regular members as much as I can. Since I'm usually busy I jump in wherever I can, but I trust my team to handle anything when I'm not there.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your job and why?
Seeing people grow and make friends is definitely the best part of my job. I like to call myself the "Mom of AYS" because I see everyone here as my children learning to grow. Even when they make mistakes, I love them and I'm always so proud of them when they're doing the best they can for themselves.
How do you handle challenges or difficult situations in your role?
I'd admit that I'm not always the calmest person, but I also try to admit when I'm wrong. Heated arguments happen, but that's a part of life, and people need to remember that being angry isn't forever. I usually deal with a lot of angry or angsty kids/teens, so it can be tiring to deal with.
Are there any memorable or unusual experiences you've had while working here?
Haha, I'd have to say the most unusual moments are when people claim I'm racist or homophobic when I'm legit a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Its silly to think people judge you so instantly. My most memorable experience in AYS is always when someone I care about gets promoted or recognized for their actions.
How do you maintain a work-life balance in a demanding job like yours?
It's definitely not easy at some points. Since I have a real life full time job I usually don't have a lot of free time nowadays. But I am sure people understand when I take time to self care. I also like to sit and watch movies with my husband to destress some days.
What skills and qualifications are important for someone in your position?
Well, for management you definitely need to have the patience to work with a bunch of kids and a lot of stupid people, so if you work retail for a year, then only will you be close to my level of patience! I have also been a real life Manager, and am currently one right now. I know quite a lot about the ins and outs of businesses, of course to this day I still have more to learn.
Can you share any tips for management experience within AYS?
As a management member, you need to be able to be "scary" when you need to. If people don't respect you, then they'll just ignore what you ask of them. You also need to earn their respect as well, so you can't be too hard on anyone. You need to find a good balance between boss and friend.
What projects or initiatives are you currently working on, and how do they benefit AYS?
I always definitely want to bring better and newer events to AYS, my latest one would be the AYS Halloween Candy Event, which was much easier than a design event. I'm also helping out with the preperations for the AYS 2023 Awards Ceremony! I'm excited to see who wins this year, and wish everyone the best of luck.
What do you enjoy most about working with your colleagues and team members?
I absolutely adore my team and coworkers. They are all so passionate and they work so hard every single day. As long as you work hard and do your best, you'll be alright by me! And also, I love playing games with everyone, they're so funny and great to be around. I just absolutely love working and having fun with them.
How do you stay updated on AYS/Discord/Growth trends relevant to your role?
I watch what people say in the lounge. I get that with so many people advertising, sometimes many people don't join servers anymore. I'm more than aware that people don't tend to join servers anymore. I do listen. I do care. But what a lot of people don't tend to realize is that everyone wants to be famous. And when everyone is famous, no one is actually "famous". Slow down. Maybe instead of starting a server, you invest in one already made. Who knows, you may eventually become a huge part of that server.
What advice do you have for individuals interested in pursuing a role in a similar role or AYS itself?
I was never actively seeking to be promoted, I worked as best I could. I chose to put my coworkers and the server above myself. Sure, I may have applied for the roles I have today, but I never expected to get them. I was so happy and I'm still happy to be a part of this team. I'm lucky to be a huge part of AYS. I love this team. My advice to anyone who may take on my role after I'm gone is this: If you don't put the community or team first, if you're only thinking about being selfish and taking over to get power, you'll have no place here. My position isn't as powerful as you think, and I never intended to be powerful. I just want AYS to become the best it can be, even if that means it does it without me. The staff, the members, everyone here makes AYS what it is. It was never one single person and it never will be. Being selfless is one of the biggest parts of being an AYS Staff Member. And I hope that when the day comes and I have to pass the torch, the next person shares the same values.
I'd just like to take a moment to acknowledge Cailee, for her time in writing these detailed and personalised responses, I found them highly informative and I'm sure all of you did too! If you are interested in joining the Partnership, Moderation or Events team, as Cailee said, please take a moment to message her. See you next week, for we dive into the life of a Moderator at AYS! Toodleoo, AYS!