haku New Hire Spotlight: Kate SullivanWritten by
Our haku team continues to grow! The newest member is Kate Sullivan, who joins us in the role of QA Engineer. Originally from Russia, Kate spent 13 years living in the Florida Keys before moving to Miami in 2020. “I felt like it was time to try a big city and find out who I could be. There was no what if,” she said.
Let’s get to know more about Kate.
What is your role at haku?
I’ll be making sure that codes are written up to par and operate properly so that our customers and their customers have the best possible experience. I really enjoy the end result of seeing user satisfaction even if they're not my customers directly.
How did you get into the tech industry?
I was working in the hospitality industry as a restaurant manager and one day the software in our establishment completely crashed, so a new system had to be installed. After a long installation process, it turned out it wasn’t ready for the release at all! During that time, I learned how complicated it is to get the bug fixed, and more importantly how many people can be affected by one mistake in a code. I didn’t think much about it for a few years until I came across a QA Bootcamp here in Miami, that opened up a world of opportunity for me, where I can fulfill my desire to help people using best practices and expertise.
Where do you envision your career in 5-10 years?
Hopefully still in this field. I am loving working at haku so hopefully I gain more responsibilities and learn from our teammates so I can continue to grow here. I think the key is finding a way to use the knowledge in the back of my mind that maybe I haven’t used yet.
What is your idea of a perfect day?
I enjoy the water, the ocean. A boat day. Any kind of snorkeling or free diving is amazing. I enjoy seeing places I’ve never been before. I love hiking, road trips, all of that. That could all be a perfect day.
What is one of your biggest fears?
When I was really young I was so fearless, but now I’m sort of afraid of heights, and before I didn’t care! Now I can’t even ride a Ferris wheel! Even at a friends’ apartment, I don’t want to step out on their balcony. I’m claustrophobic, actually. So how do I love snorkeling? I could go swim with sharks and I don’t care. It’s strange.
What has been a memorable life experience for you?
The most memorable probably would be the shark feedings! The restaurant I worked at in Key West was located by a canal with access to open water. A few times we spotted nurse sharks in there. Having a fish market full of scraps gave me an idea for a new attraction. We created the shark feeding attraction where anybody could come feed real wild sharks by themselves. Most of all I enjoyed sharing my knowledge about these creatures and ocean life in general with people that have never seen the ocean before. It was a very fulfilling experience for me.
What is a major accomplishment in your professional career?
When I started working at the restaurant, I remember asking the owners about this vacant space they have. They had so much room for weddings or events! I convinced them to try to bring in events and they told me to go ahead and lead it myself. Long story short, I was able to create and establish a whole new ‘Special Events’ department that now brings in 25% of the revenue for the whole complex. To this day, they still operate most of the concepts I began.
What is something you will splurge on regardless of circumstances?
My fish tanks! Sometimes I just see things and I love it so I have to buy it. I’ve had a pond, saltwater tank, fresh water tanks, 75-gallon saltwater one actually. I had scallops and shrimp and so many fish, I wanted to make my own little reef. Can’t really do that now in my apartment here but I love fish tanks.
If money and time were not an issue, what is something you would do tomorrow?
Travel the world. I want to go to Brazil, Peru, Alaska! Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia! My friend who is a photographer sends me pictures of these locations and they are so amazing. I would definitely go as soon as I could.
What is a great piece of advice someone has given you or that you would share with someone?
Just have patience, everything happens for the best. I believe in karma. I believe in manifesting. If you’re positive and you believe with an open heart, you’re going to get results.
All of the recent spotlights we’ve done have had great nicknames or stories about how they got a nickname. Do you have one?
Kate the Great! I’m not sure where it came from, but it matches my personality perfectly. Life, in general, is great., and if it’s not great – find a way to make it so. That is the mantra that I follow in my day-to-day life and I feel my friends reflected it perfectly in the name they gave me.
We are very excited to grow our product team and Kate is going to be a fantastic addition.
Want to explore an exciting career at haku? We’re growing our team and always looking for talented and outgoing individuals to add to our incredible haku family. Check out our openings here.