Michelle Challen has become a powerhouse trainer for new staff and a go-to person for business processes in her four years with Nightlife. We asked Michelle a few questions about her work here, and how she’s mixed in another role – owning and managing the Cold Rock Ice Creamery at Springfield!
You started with us 4 years ago; what career paths have you taken that led you here?
I’ve always worked in admin support roles, most recently in human resources and office management in the natural health industry. The opportunity at Nightlife presented itself when I was looking for a change in direction and although the fundamentals are the same the role is vastly different from what I knew previously.
What does a typical day look like for a sales coordinator?
It’s pretty hectic but hugely rewarding! We work very closely with a number of departments across the business, from accounts, client services, music and manufacturing and no two days are ever the same. The role itself is a mix of project management, administration, trouble shooting and problem solving – our main mission is to keep our business managers on track and focused so we can continue to deliver the best service and solution to our clients.
Our sales coordinators are a tight-knit bunch. How do you see your role has evolved over time?
Having come to the role with no sales foundation I had a pretty steep learning curve to get to know the business, products and clients. Over time I’ve moved from the entry level position I started in to become a senior sales coordinator so apart from all the usual tasks, I now also train all new sales coordinators who join our business and also support existing sales coordinators in their daily roles.
You’ve been running a side hustle – you and your husband own the Cold Rock Ice Creamery at Springfield. How did that come about?
The area is rapidly expanding, and with the installation of a new Southbank-style lagoon a couple of years ago, we identified the need for an ice cream store in the region. Being long time fans of Cold Rock we jumped on board and launched our own business in Springfield. We’ve got a great little team, most of whom have been with us from the start; we’ve seen them graduate high school and move on to University. It’s very rewarding knowing we’ve given a bunch of teenagers a positive initiation into the workforce; hopefully the experience will stay with them forever.
What is your go-to combination of ice cream and mix-ins?
So many choices, so little time! If I’m feeling like something sweet I’ll generally go for double chocolate ice cream with pineapple lumps mixed through. Another favourite is boysenberry ice cream with mango, passionfruit and raspberries – a recreation of the classic Twister Cup.
And you use Nightlife in the store?
We do, we’ve had Nightlife since we opened and given that I didn’t come from a music background it’s helped me to recognise the difference having a quality music system in a retail store can make to the overall environment. It’s almost uncomfortable for the staff (and customers) when there’s no music playing, you can feel the mood lift instantly the moment the music is switched on – everything seems so much brighter somehow. We also have a crowdDJ kiosk for customer interaction and it’s really great to see the customers select their music then stand back and watch the music videos playing on the screen while they wait for their ice cream creation.
What’s a stand out moment from your time here?
On-boarding new sales coordinators has to be up there because I get to help transition new staff into the role and make sure they have all the tools they need to be able to contribute to the company’s success and make their role fulfilling. I also work closely with the broader team to manage our change in ownership and cancellation processes to keep the transitions as simple as possible for our clients.
What are your personal or professional goals for the future?
To build on my knowledge base so that I can continue to assist the business with scaling our products and services for market. We’re a fast moving technology company and our products and processes are ever evolving and changing with customer needs and demands – it’s exciting to be part of the team and to feel valued for my contributions.
Currently listening to: Julia Michaels
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Previous staff feature: Business Development Manager Jonathan Weatherston