Brooke Stencil has been a member of the Extra Space Storage team for just over five years. She started with the self storage company as a Website Optimization Manager, where she evaluated website behavior and data to generate A/B testing opportunities. Now, in her current position as Director of Digital Marketing, Stencil helps set strategies for connecting with self storage customers digitally.
In the following Q&A, Stencil shares more about her career with Extra Space Storage, including the advice she’s received from her mentors, the most challenging aspect of her work, and the projects she’s proud of.
Q: How did your career path lead you to Extra Space Storage?
A: Prior to Extra Space Storage, I worked at advertising agencies in both New York City and San Francisco. I enjoyed the opportunity to plan and buy advertising space for a variety of clients for both digital and traditional formats—ads on Hulu and Pandora, as well as TV spots. One of my favorite clients was Kikkoman (You know them…the soy sauce!). We bought advertising space in The Next Iron Chef, where we secured an entire commercial slot to premiere a trailer for a documentary the agency made on the brand.
I decided I wanted to move back to Salt Lake City from San Francisco and found a job online with Extra Space Storage’s marketing team. Fortunately, people from marketing leadership were traveling to San Francisco a couple of weeks after I applied, so I was able to meet them in person. Not too long after that meeting, I moved to SLC and started with Extra Space Storage.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve received in your career?
A: Be someone that others want on their team. Do this by being reliable, building trust, and taking on new opportunities with a hunger for learning and a desire to add value.
Q: Which experience(s) in your career influenced who you are today?
A: I think beginning my career in New York City helped me quickly understand how to operate in a business environment. Things I learned in that job that are still very applicable include:
- Always bring a notebook (or something to write notes on) to every meeting. Preparedness is key
- Don’t ask every question that comes to mind. Do your own research first, and if you’re still stuck, then ask.
- Directness doesn’t mean people don’t like you. Often (especially in New York), that’s just how people operate and get things done.
- Speak up if something isn’t working. I started off opening and processing invoices. I knew very quickly that I needed more of a challenge. I asked my manager for more opportunity, and it led me down an exciting new path that helped me get where I am today.
Q: What has been the most challenging aspect of your career?
A: I think it’s easy to let self-doubt creep in and try to hold you back. Whether it’s taking on a new role or working with teams on initiatives that you don’t know as much about, it can be easy to doubt your abilities. In my current role, I work with people that are subject matter experts, who are more well-informed than me in many ways, but it’s important to put trust in yourself, trust in others, and to be honest when you don’t know something.
Q: What has been the most fulfilling aspect of your career?
A: Getting to work with incredibly talented people has been really fulfilling. I’ve built long-lasting relationships with coworkers. When teams accomplish goals or individuals on my team succeed with new challenges, it brings me joy to know that people are reaching their goals.
Q: Describe your most successful endeavor with Extra Space Storage.
A: Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to speak onstage at our Partner Conference. It was both a chance to educate our partners on our cutting-edge marketing strategies, as well as demonstrate my leadership within our department to many of the internal executive members. I rose to the challenge and, alongside my manager, put on a great presentation. We received lots of positive feedback and even had one partner say he needed to look no further—Extra Space Storage was the option for him.
Q: What advice would you give to future Extra Space Storage leaders?
A: Lead by example. Show others how to be a great employee by living the company values, treat others fairly, and make smart choices. I like this quote by JK Rowling: “It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
This article is part of an ongoing series of interviews with Extra Space Storage (NYSE: EXR) team members. Brooke Stencil is the Director of Digital Marketing at Extra Space Storage.