NZXT is growing! We are super excited to be bringing on all kinds of new talent but we also know how important it is to focus on our culture and our team while that is happening. How do we do that? We do it by bringing on amazing new people, who care as much as we do about our culture. Today we want to welcome Sam Halverson who joins us as our new Senior Vice President of People and Culture! Want to learn a little more about Sam? Well follow along and we will introduce you to Sam, why she joined the team, her commitment to diversity, and what brings her joy!
Tell us a bit about you! How did you end up leading people teams and why?
I studied Psychology at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon and–during a summer internship at a regional hotel chain–discovered the valuable role that HR can play. I believe that the people team can help the company achieve its goals and support individuals in reaching their full potential
What prompted you to switch industries and jump into computer hardware?
I loved my time at Nike and Converse, especially during times of growth and when I personally felt challenged. That is what gave me energy then and is something I continue to thrive on. Knowing that, it was important for the next phase of my career to be in a growth industry. Tech continues to grow and evolve in interesting ways and NZXT is right in the middle of that growth. Beyond that, I’m just excited to learn about and connect to a whole new industry.
Why do you feel it’s important to have a strong sense of company culture?
I see company culture as our shared set of norms and values. It’s our common understanding of how we do our work, how we interact and connect with each other, and what kind of community we want to be internally. If we have a clear idea of all of that, it means we have a greater ability to achieve our goals together and have some fun while we’re at it.
What do you feel are some of the challenges in maintaining and growing culture while people work remotely (during the global pandemic or just in general)?
Culture is the outcome of many small and big interactions and daily connections. When we are physically together, we’re able to have planned and unplanned time to deepen our relationships and know each other better. When a majority of our team is working remotely – we have to be even more deliberate about creating time to build the sense of community, team, and connection on a personal level.
What does diversity in the workplace look like to you? And why is it so important? Also – why is it such a challenge in so many industries?
Diversity to me is about having our team reflect our global community and valuing diverse perspectives. Prioritizing inclusion and giving a voice to everyone is a strategic advantage to the company that allows us to better serve our community and ultimately make even better products for them. If everyone on our team feels able to be their full selves with no need to spend energy on covering/masking, they can then utilize that time towards innovation and the achievement of our company goals.
If you had to pick your top two priorities–tough I know–to focus on as you begin your journey at NZXT, what would they be and why?
Build some foundational Scalable HR Practices and Systems to support the global expansion and growth of NZXT – especially when it comes to hiring and bringing on new talent. We want to focus on all things talent from interviewing, to onboarding, to benefits!
Help build our current team’s skills and knowledge. We have a group of really passionate teammates globally so I want to spend time making sure we can invest in them and their passion to give them more ways to grow. The focus is really about finding amazing people and building the tools to invest in the team long term. This balance helps us make sure we bring in and keep the best team now and in the future.
What’s a personal goal of yours?
Maintain my current commitment to my own health and wellness. I regularly practice Pilates and spend time outdoors whenever I can. I know that the better I feel physically, the more energy I have to bring to my family and my work.
Who or what inspires you?
I get inspiration from other people who are committed, passionate, and bring energy and optimism to their work. When people around me demonstrate they care, it inspires me to strive for excellence.
What has been a source of joy to you from a place that you did not expect?
Recently, I have found joy in all the small things that I’ve taken for granted in the past. Appreciating the moments that come with more time at home allows for things like cooking and family dinners or walks outside with my daughter and our dog Sadie.
What’s your all-time favorite video game?
I’ll admit I don’t regularly play video games these days, but I do love an old-school arcade video game. We have Ms. Pac Man and Galaga arcade machines at home and I’m pretty good at them!
Want to work at NZXT just like Sam?
Thanks so much to Sam for taking the time to answer our burning questions! We look forward to seeing her do some awesome work here at NZXT. For anyone interested in joining the team, we are hiring! Check out our jobs page here: nzxt.com/careers. We encourage you to apply. We’re committed to creating a workspace free from discrimination and one where everyone has a voice, regardless of their role.