Among other things, Tom Goldenberg shares who and what inspire him, his passion for the industry, and fun times in Squiz’s Melbourne office. (It’s all in good pun!)
Squiz: In which office are you based Tom?
How long have you been at Squiz?
Just over two years.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Moldova (in Europe, not to be mistaken with the lovely, sunny, and beautiful Maldives), where we lived until I was three years old. We then moved to Israel and lived there for seven years. And when I was 10, my family made the move to Melbourne, where I’ve lived ever since.
Which university did you attend?
I went to Deakin University in Melbourne.
What’s your favourite part about working at Squiz?
For me, it’s very much the people and the culture. Though this might sound corny, we really do live and breathe our Squiz DNA (if you're not aware of what this is, you should definitely take a look!). This company culture – and the mutual respect it breeds – is apparent in every interaction on a daily basis. I also love the fact that in many engagements, people perceive us as the underdog, which only makes us work twice as hard.
What's life like in the Squiz Melbourne office?
It's fun, fast-paced, collaborative, and a smart place to be. There’s a good team environment, with a great mixture of every personality type you could possibly imagine! As we’re all a close-knit bunch, this makes conversations intelligent, fun, and different. Our meeting room names are fun, too, like The Fish Bowl (with no fish) and The Brewery (with no beer). But don't despair, there's never a shortage of beer somewhere in the office!
Who inspires you?
First, my parents. They’re both inspirational figures to me, with the struggles they had to endure in bringing up three children, having to move from country to country, and finally settling in Australia. Every day, I wake up and ask myself, “How did I get here?” And I fully appreciate the lengths my parents went to to get us here. I never take this for granted. It inspires me to make sure I can do exactly the same for my family – so that they also feel safe, secure, and loved.
Another inspirational figure in my life has been the legendary Roger Federer. I’m a very keen tennis player and fan myself (I play three to five times a week), and for me, Federer is the pinnacle of consistency and quality. His ability, persistence, self-control, and respect for the game have enabled him to compete at such a high level for such a long time. This is inspiring in both a sporting and a professional sense. I like to approach my work as I do tennis – constantly training, learning from my mistakes, reading the game, and being open to new ways of thinking.
What's the funniest thing that’s ever happened in the office?
Easy. I’m part of the social committee here in Melbourne, and for one Friday-night event, we arranged a ‘funny hat’ party (which doesn't really need much explaining). There were pirate hats, sombreros, wigs – you name it, it was there. Anyway, I’d arranged a customer meeting for first thing the following Monday morning. However, not all of the hats from Friday night had been put away. As I entered The Brewery (let me remind you: no beer) with my customer, he noticed an elephant hat sitting on a chair in the corner. With a slightly bemused look on his face, he asked, “Can we discuss the elephant in the room?” Perfect!
What has been your proudest achievement at Squiz?
Those who know me will appreciate that I’m a regular user of puns. So for me, achieving the 'The Punny Award' for using the most puns in the office was not only a highlight of working at Squiz, but also a career highlight!
What was the last book your read?
The Dog Listener by Jan Fennell. (I'm trying to retrain my two French Bulldogs, Boris and Jasmine.)
What do you enjoy about this industry?
I’m incredibly passionate about the speed of innovation that occurs in this industry. Everyone is becoming highly accustomed to the fact that the only constant is change. This means you have to be well-read, well-researched, knowledgeable, and informed. I also love how the technology that we work with across the industry helps businesses achieve such varied goals in smart, cost-effective, and efficient ways.
What’s the best advice you've ever received?
Don't sweat the small stuff. It’s a very common and well-used phrase but a great one to abide by. I used to get bogged down in every tiny little detail. (This was back in my paintball- selling days. Yes, I was that guy outside the supermarket getting you excited about shooting your mates with paint.) It was the best advice at the time, and it still is to this day.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Concentrate harder on your tennis career! As there’s a (strong) possibility that I could have been world number one by now! So instead of reading that Tom Goldenberg's inspiration is Roger Federer, you’d be reading about Tom Goldenberg being Roger Federer's inspiration!
Tom will be tweeting his week at work at @lifeatsquiz from July 18 - July 22. Follow along to see what he gets up to on a day-to-day basis.