Tarah is a passionate Capetonian who loves to enjoy the best her city has to offer, both from a natural and cultural perspective. When she's not curating the content for iXprience (including the blog, gathering alumni stories and managing the communications), she can be found hiking, running, or enjoying the foodie experiences the Mother City under Table Mountain has to offer.
What is your favorite travel memory?
This last summer, I had the opportunity to travel with iXperience to our Lisbon campus, which was an incredible experience. The combination of history, a dramatic city landscape (cobbled streets, a thousand hills with the views to match), and the unending foodie experiences all made for a truly memorable experience. There are so many students and prestigious universities, which adds an awesome, youthful energy to the eclectic city.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
My rate of learning has been exponential. iXperience encourages the team to be 'learning machines', so we're very supported when it comes to new skills acquisition. I have learned so much about strategy, writing, design and data. More than that, I feel like I work for a company that has a good and true mission that aligns with my personal values of furthering education, both locally and internationally.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
We've had many students return to do iX for a second, or even third, time, as a Teaching Assistant. It's wonderful when students experience both professional as well as profound personal growth, and go on to spread the word about iX when back home. Brandon Taleisnik, a student who came to our very first program in 2014, returned three years later, in 2017, because he loved his experience so much. He's now a fantastic iOS developer because of the skills he acquired with iXperience.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
I have already been on the Lisbon program, which was the most amazing experience! While I wouldn't hesitate to go back, the next city I'd love to visit with iXperience would have to be Tel Aviv. The beaches, hummus, history and people sound too good to miss – and launching in a brand new city is always so exciting. Watching students grow and learn, and meeting the lecturers, teachers and TAs who help foster that growth is also very special.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
Our company is unique in so many ways! Leadership does not depend on age, the hierarchy is fairly flat, and everyone is pushed to grow in areas where they need/want to. We are also very supportive, and know that we can rely on one another when the pressure is on.
I was especially proud of the team for managing the iXperience program in 2018 in three different cities around the world, all while maintaining team cohesiveness. There was a real sense of everyone just jumping right in, and going above and beyond their scope of work to help out where help was needed, no matter how menial the task.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
Our team cohesiveness, and a supportive environment that fosters individual and collective growth. Our leaders are also great at keeping everything very real and transparent. We are allowed to be humans, but are pushed to grow, challenged when we need to be, and given real ownership over our departments. We all believe strongly in the purpose of what we do and maintain a very ambitious mindset, focused on the big goals.