On today’s Vlog we chat with Alexandra Baker from Uber Eats who’s part of the Uber team working out of CreativeCubes.Co – Cremorne.
Alex, originally born in Australia has spent the last 17yrs living in New York & Orange County California…. I’ll pause there she can tell you her story when you press play 🙂
Connect with Alex her on LinkedIn
Tobi Skovron: Good afternoon, everyone. Welcome back to the VLOG. I have a very special guest here, Alex, from Uber Eats. Alex has joined us in the building a couple of months ago when we first opened the building.
Tobi Skovron: Uber Eats have been a phenomenal tenant, often shouting lunches and brunches and all the rest of it for the community here. We’re excited to have you. Let’s talk about a little bit back in history.
Tobi Skovron: You’re Australian?
Tobi Skovron: I’m Australian. You lived in New York?
Alex: Yes, and California.
Tobi Skovron: How long were you in New York for?
Alex: Five years and I was in California for 12 years.
Tobi Skovron: Twelve years in California? So you were gone 17 years?
Tobi Skovron: Wow! I thought eight and a half was pretty good. So don’t be shy. I there’s about 4,000, maybe 5,000 people.
Alex: Just a handful.
Tobi Skovron: Yeah. Talk to me about New York. That’s where you went first, right?
Alex: No, I did all my schooling in California, came back to Australia for university and started out my career, and then went back to the US to New York when my husband decided to do an MBA and then we both got jobs after that in New York City.
Tobi Skovron: NBA as in Michael Jordan NBA?
Alex: I wish – MBA. MBA, post-graduate degree.
Tobi Skovron: Awesome. Where did you go to school?
Alex: Where did I go to university?
Tobi Skovron: Yeah, or college.
Alex: Monash University.
Tobi Skovron: Okay. And did you do any US schooling?
Alex: I did some in Santa Barbara as well.
Tobi Skovron: That’s what I was going to say. USSB?
Alex: Yeah, UCSB.
Tobi Skovron: I thought I saw that on your LinkedIn a week ago when I was stalking you. Awkward.
Tobi Skovron: Cool. Yeah, I’ve got a real soft spot for Santa Barbara. My oldest daughter was … She wasn’t born there, but she was made there.
Alex: Got it. It’s a special place.
Tobi Skovron: Yeah. So you’ve had a ton of US experience.
Tobi Skovron: How long have you been back in Australia for?
Alex: I came back in June, so what’s that? About five months.
Tobi Skovron: Okay. And what’s the biggest thing that you’ve noticed compared to the experience in the US?
Alex: Yeah, well, it’s been a bit of an adjustment, particular coming from New York versus California. California is a little bit more of a relaxed lifestyle similar to Melbourne or Sydney, whereas New York is just go, go, go 24/7.
So coming back from that in the middle of winter was a complete 360 of what we’d been used to. I was lucky enough to get a great job straight when I got back, so that helped me ease back into the adjustment period.
Now, I’ve got a great place in Richmond, so we’re in the middle of where we want to be. That being said, anytime you move, whether it’s from Melbourne to Sydney or from South America to Europe, it always takes time to adjust.
Tobi Skovron: Sure. What’s the hustle barometer like here?
Alex: I mean, Australians are extremely hard workers. Even in the US, people say that. Over there, I think people tend to get into work a little bit later. Here, I think people get into work a little bit earlier.
So over there, naturally, they stay later. I would always say over in New York you work hard, play hard, which is amazing but is an exhausting experience, which is one of the reasons we wanted to come back to Melbourne to start saving for a house, thinking about making a family.
Some of those things are a little bit harder to do in New York when it is that 24/7 kind of living large. But, yeah, it was great to hear that there was a common theme of Americans referring to Australians as hard workers.
Tobi Skovron: Yeah. I’ve never met an American that doesn’t like an Australian, and I’d equally like to think the same on the other side. My experience in the US was being Australian instantly gained me access to an opportunity to be listened to.
Tobi Skovron: And then the hustle and the hard work validated the door either to be closed behind me and keeping me in the game or alternatively just keeping it open should I want to be out of it. Do you find that in reverse here?
Alex: Kind of. I think because I have an American accent, over there, I wasn’t necessarily thought of any differently.
My husband, however, he felt he was a little bit special. People remembered him because he was Australian and he did extremely well in his MBA and at work. So he really stood out. Since coming back, he feels that he doesn’t have that something that sets him apart from the others. Whereas on the flip side, I’ve taken that role coming back even though I am Australian. I was born here.
I have the American accent and the experience, which does set me apart. That being said, Uber and Uber Eats, the breadth of people that they have working for them come from all around the world. So at work, I’m not necessarily any different from some of my colleagues. But definitely, the people I meet on a day-to-day basis, I feel like I do stand out.
Tobi Skovron: It’s funny. There’s another colleague on the Uber Eats team that’s stationed here. I think you guys are transitioning next week. The new team’s coming in here.
Alex: Yes. I’m secretly saying I’m not transitioning because I love it here.
Tobi Skovron: That’s awesome. We’ll get you back. There’s actually a person on the team that lived and worked in Uber Los Angeles-
Tobi Skovron: … and randomly decided to leave LA, come to Melbourne, like total parallel life with me. Lands up in Melbourne looking a job. Uber Eats opens up. She applied but she didn’t transfer internally. She decided, “I’m out.”
Tobi Skovron: And I just think that’s a pretty remarkable story.
Tobi Skovron: You’re led by an incredible person in Jodi. I am semi-jealous of you being under her leadership, but I’m also really happy that I get to see Jodi and learn from the outside as well.
Tobi Skovron: Jodi’s daughter and my daughter are actually in class together. It’s such a crazy world.
Tobi Skovron: But, yeah, I just think that you have a phenomenal team here. You’ve been really hospitable and really generous of your time to me. You’re always bringing food for the community, which is amazing. Everybody loves that. So I just want to say thank you.
Tobi Skovron: I look forward to meeting your husband in a few days, and I look forward to checking in with you as things evolve as you go through.
Alex: Well, thanks for letting us take some of the desks upstairs and introduce us to the other businesses you have in this space. I think that’s another great thing about being here in addition to the nice facilities and good vibes that you have.
Tobi Skovron: Our focus is building a home, not a house. And I feel like although we have the extreme in Uber Eats, a super global powerful business down to a guy that’s creating this ultrasonic cleaning toothbrush for your teeth, a single guy out of college who hasn’t raised a dollar yet in funding – to have that depth and breadth of talent and skill under one roof.
We love having you here. It’s an awesome vibe. I find it super addictive to be here. I know I have to be here because I have to make this thing a success, but I love getting out of bed and hurrying to the office and being here. People like you make it that much better, so thank you so much.
Alex: Thank you
Tobi Skovron: I’ve got a huge show coming up tomorrow. This is the awkward part of the segment where Alex sits here while I go turn off the iPad if it hasn’t died already
Alex: We’ll find out.
Tobi Skovron: We’ll soon find out. So tune in tomorrow. See you guys.
Alex: Bye, guys.
Alex: It hadn’t died?
Tobi Skovron: No.
Alex: Oh …