Hey everyone 👋!
I just chatted with a key member of the Freestar team, and I can’t wait for you to meet her. She’s one of the reasons that makes Freestar go-round. Have a question about an event? She knows the answer. Can’t seem to find a document? She knows where to look. The list is endless.
In this edition of Inside Freestar, I am so excited to introduce you to Amber Master. Amber is the Senior People Operations Manager on our People Operations team. Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Amber heard about the culture and growth at Freestar. She started by connecting with a few Freestar employees online to learn more and then made the switch to Freestar. She was so energized by the level of engagement and growth available at Freestar, and to honest, we don’t where we’d be without her.
Ready to meet Amber? Let’s go! ⚡
Editor’s note: The following has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Trish: Hi Amber! Let’s dive right in — can you tell me a bit about what you do at Freestar?
Amber: Sure, I’m on the People Operations team. We do all kinds of things – from interviewing, hiring, training, and of course, employee engagement. We try to make the workplace a fun and welcoming atmosphere. It can be tricky to keep people engaged, being a fully remote company. We have to innovate and find ways virtually to keep people engaged and maintain an enjoyable workplace.
Being a startup, People Operations does wear a lot of different hats. I also help with some of the travel management (coordinating travel and events) and also act as a systems administrator for our various platforms. Those are the large buckets that most of my work falls into, but there’s a variety of other things as well.
Trish: What does your day-to-day typically look like?
Amber: It varies kind of across the different things that we do in People Ops. I’m more productive in the morning so I usually try to jump in and start tackling tasks and get the important things off my to-do list before the day gets started. Later in the afternoon, I usually have a couple interviews on the books and internal calls working with people on various projects. I also receive ad hoc requests from different colleagues especially around systems admin or training. And then, you know, there’s always long-term projects that you have on the to-do list. My long-term projects are usually focused on improving current processes we have in place, or ways that we can elevate training internally – what we can do to help employees learn and grow, etc.
Trish: Can you tell us about the structure of the People Ops at Freestar?
Amber: We’re kind of a small but mighty People Ops team. Generally, Christy (General Counsel and Chief People Operations) focuses on contracts and legal aspects at Freestar. She’ll do department-wide initiatives, planning for what’s coming next and our team goals. Then, there’s Megan who is focused on recruiting. She reviews resumes, sets up interviews, and works on the hiring of new employees. Megan also takes charge of our Women’s group and our Diversity group. I tend to focus more on training plans, employee engagement, continued education, and helping Megan with our recruiting efforts.
Trish: What is a fun fact that people might not know about you?
Amber: I’m a twin which is always fun. My brother and I are not identical. (I tend to get asked that after sharing I’m a twin.) We’re still pretty close and he actually lives right down the road so I see him quite often.
Another fun fact is that I was a badminton state champion. I was a softball player and in the off-season, we were required to play another sport or do weight training. I wasn’t a fan of the idea of weight training with all the football players. I decided to try badminton since it didn’t seem too hard to learn. It was fun and I really got into it. Being really competitive, I ended up being a state champion which is cool to say. It’s such an obscure sport to have said that you were good because everybody kind of giggles.
Trish: When you aren’t working, what can we find you doing?
Amber: I’d probably be spending time with my four kids (ages 18, 16, 13 and 10). They keep us pretty busy. They’re all involved in different sports and activities. Our Junior was a drum major in the marching band so we went to Friday night lights and had the chance to just enjoy the football games. Our 13 year old does a bunch of different sports – cross-country, football and basketball. Our daughter, Micayla, does gymnastics. During the downtime, we just enjoy time with them and try to stay active. We’ll go rock climbing or go on walks or do various fun stuff with them.
Trish: Tell us a little bit about why you chose Freestar and the career growth you’ve experienced here.
Amber: What initially drew me to Freestar was the people. I got a chance to meet a couple people on LinkedIn and just really enjoyed the conversations we were having. I really liked how down to earth everyone I spoke to was and just really engaging and generous with their time.
So when I was looking for a new role, Freestar was one of the companies on my short list. It seemed like they were a cool company, growing quickly and had a lot of great things going for them. The people are just amazing to talk to. That hasn’t changed at all since I’ve been here.
It’s so cliche, but in all of the recruiting interviews, I get asked “what’s your favorite part about Freestar?” I know I’m in People Ops and I’m supposed to say this but it’s definitely the people. Everybody’s really down to earth: they say what they’re thinking, and there is none of that corporate BS or posturing. I’m lucky to just get a chance to work hard with people that are excited about the same goal and passionate working towards the same thing.
For how I’ve grown Freestar, I mean, there are a lot of things that I’ve kind of come across in my journey that I didn’t know how to do initially. I just sort of had to do some research, figure out the options, make the best decision with the information I had and move forward. There have been a lot of projects and things that I’ve taken on that I hadn’t done before but jumped in and figured it out. I like that there’s that opportunity to really learn and grow and try new things. I’ve been able to expand my skill set here.
Trish: You might have already answered this, but maybe you have a different response to share. What’s one of your favorite things about life here at Freestar?
Amber: Definitely, the people. To add on to it, I would say that it’s fun to work at this level of velocity. We’re a quick growing startup and means things happen quickly. We’re trying to stay competitive from the tech side. We’re trying to provide great service on the people’s side, and all of that requires momentum and effort.
When I jump on internal calls with the people at Freestar, I’m often like “wow, they were really impressive,”. The people on our team are subject matter experts and they’re really talented, and super smart. It’s fun for me to walk out of a meeting being a little bit intimidated and a little bit challenged. I think to myself “I have to step up my game to keep running with these people.” and I love that challenge.
Trish: Finally, what advice do you have for prospective Freestar candidates?
Amber: I believe the people that do well at Freestar are people that are very self-motivated – when they don’t have the answer, they go out, research and find the answer. They’re able to really be proactive towards things. Ad tech is always changing and our role is always changing. The company is growing and that requires a lot of learning, developing and continuing to be different and a little bit better than yesterday.
Internally, we often talk about being that one percent better each day. It’s really necessary. I think there are people that love to be lifelong learners and continue to expand their skill set. Those are people that see a lot of success at Freestar and on top of it, have the core value of “own the outcome” instilled within them already.
WANT TO JOIN AMBER ON FREESTAR’S PEOPLE OPERATIONS TEAM? WE’RE HIRING! CHECK OUT OUR OPEN ROLES HERE.