Mandy Martin is a workplace consultant in our Columbia office. She’s a native of Columbia and graduated in 2014 from USC with a degree in accounting. She has a passion for startups, company culture, and the future of Columbia.
When I decided to leave the accounting world, I started looking into what’s next for Columbia and South Carolina and I started to see that our future is in startups and entrepreneurship. We have so many smart and talented people studying at USC and in the past, they all moved away when they graduated. Now there’s a push to keep those people here and I saw McWaters was in a position to help support that because we understand how important a space is to culture and attracting and retaining talent.
The whole team at McWaters has helped educate me and given me the tools to teach business leaders in Columbia how things like shifting from cubicles to open spaces, integrating technology, or even just adding some color can help make their space more attractive to young talent. I love that I can go out and consult with people on those topics and even if they don’t buy anything, they’ve still learned something.
Coming from the accounting and finance world, I didn’t know very much about the product lines McWaters carries before I started. What’s really cool about Steelcase is their education program. Every new employee goes to Grand Rapids, Michigan to go to Steelcase school for a week. They taught me all about the products and the research behind each one. Now I feel really prepared to explain the ins and outs to all my customers.
Since I do have a background in accounting and finance I feel like I understand a different side of the business. I know how important project management is to keeping a project on schedule and on budget, so I try really hard to be a good project manager. I’m also one of our youngest employees, so I can give some insight into the types of products and designs that will attract and retain people like me.
I’ve gotten really interested in ergonomics since I started working here. Before I would just sit in a chair and not really think about it, because it’s just a chair, right? But now that I’ve been educated I understand how important these chairs are to making sure people are healthy at work. We have people coming in on their own wanting to buy a Leap or Gesture chair just because their back hurts and because of the ergonomic design of the chair, they really can make a difference.
So far, my most memorable project has been working on a coworking space in Columbia. It’s a business that’s important to me personally because my boyfriend, Colin Griffin, currently uses a coworking space, SOCO, for his small startup Krumware. I think these startup companies are the future of our city and I’m excited to be able to help give them a local space that’s cool and techy that will help attract creative and innovative talent.
Interested in seeing how your space can help attract and retain talent? Contact us.