Squiz Q&A with Aaron Cluka, Training Manager

This week, we caught up with Aaron Cluka, Trainer Manager form our office in Auckland, New Zealand.

Squiz: In which office are you based?

Cluka: I’m in our Auckland Office.

How long have you been working for Squiz?

I’ve been with Squiz for four and a half years, split between the Sydney Office and New Zealand.

Did you attend university?

I did! I went to a small liberal-arts college, Monmouth College, in the rural American Midwest. I have a bachelor’s degree in history and communications.

What do you get up to on an average day?

I’m usually training clients online or developing training. I’m also beginning to get into quality-assurance (QA) testing work for New Zealand projects.

However, it truly depends on the day. For days that I’m training clients, I typically send out the materials online and prepare for the course. Then I’ll conduct the training using a training software we use here in New Zealand. During breaks, I’ll check on what’s happening in the office both here in Auckland and down in Wellington. On days I don’t have client training, I generally work on several different projects: helping clients with small training-related issues, working on QA for upcoming new sites, doing a bit of training admin, and looking at ways to better train our client base here in New Zealand and around the world.

What was your dream job when you were young?

I wanted to become an astronaut!

Where can we find you when you’re not at work at Squiz?

I’m either gaming at home or travelling the world.

What one item – it could be a skill; it could be a thing – do you wish you had?

I wish I had a pug! (And I hope I will have one early next year!)

What’s something random about you that none of your colleagues know?

When I lived in the US, I auditioned for American Idol and made it onto TV. No, I am not telling you which season, and yes, if you know the season, you could find it. I got to meet the big-three judges at my third audition; they said I was good but not what they were looking for. Unfortunately, they ended up showing my second audition, during which my voice cracked after a long day of singing and waiting. It’s okay, though, because I got several jobs out of that experience! I just don’t like hearing my voice crack on national television!

What’s new and exciting right now in the tech world for you?

Biotech. CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats), a tool used in biotech, is becoming better and has the power to fundamentally change our world and how we treat diseases and sickness. I can’t wait to see what happens there.

What attracted you to join Squiz?

Squiz was very open about working hard and being good. To see the passion and the can-do spirit was a welcome change from my previous two jobs in Sydney. Also, the company was welcoming and accepting; I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Finally, what’s the best thing about working at Squiz?

The people. I’ve been lucky to work with Squizzers around the world thanks to my job as a trainer, and I absolutely love the diversity and character of each of the offices. I’ve encountered incredible people, and to see their level of talent and quality is impressive. It was the people who brought me to Squiz, and it’s the people who keep me here.

I have worked in private business, in government, and as a contractor. I’ve worked with great organisations and terrible organisations. Squiz is one of the best I have been a part of. It’s open, engaging, diverse, and amazing.

Aaron will be tweeting his week at @lifeatsquiz from 5 to 9 December; follow along to see what he gets up to during the week.

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