Sara Sigel is our new Community Manager and we thought it would be fun to introduce her through an interview by a GrabCAD member. Read the interview, below, to learn more about her background and ideas for the future. Thank you, William, for offering up questions and welcoming Sara to the community!
Meet Sara Sigel. Community Manager, Trail Hiker, Dog Rescuer, and Design Lover.
Why did you join GrabCAD?
I fell in love with the GrabCAD (GC) team and their mission when I visited them to talk about my passion for communities. I instantly felt how excited everyone was to make something special. They really cared about their users and the value they get out of GC. I knew that this group was driven to build a community and engage members as much as I am.
I see this same kind of enthusiasm throughout the community. Each engineer is trying to change the world in his or her own way. Cruising through the library, I see so many models of products that I use every day. How amazing is it that I get to connect such talented people with each other and to services, like our new GrabCAD Teams tools, that help make a little 3D magic? It’s great.
What is your role in GrabCAD and the community?
As Community Manager, I’ll play multiple roles. Got a problem? I’m one of the top-notch helpers that receive emails from our customer service email account. You can also send me a private message through my GC profile. Knowing what is driving you crazy and what makes you awesomely happy helps me better understand the engineers and designers who use GrabCAD.
Never heard of an introverted social butterfly? Well, that’s me. From the comfort of my desk chair I will connect with GC engineers on our site, Facebook, and on Twitter. Offline and online, I especially hope to meet engineers who have taken the initiative to create their own local GrabCAD or CAD-based communities. Is that you? Let me know.
Do you see yourself as a leader? Why or why not?
I am a listener. When I’ve had a good night’s sleep and a cup of coffee, listening often evolves into leading by example and guiding engineers through advice and resources. My friends, family and coworkers have always come to me for advice; I’ve developed a reputation with them as a fair and forthright person.
What do you like most about our community?
There is an amazing amount of talent and enthusiasm throughout the GC community. I love how readily and willingly our engineers share their work. It’s great to see peers congratulate, embrace, and challenge one another. I’ve never seen a community as active and open as GrabCAD.
What do you think needs to change in our community and how can we make that
I want GrabCAD to be a place that engineers love to visit every day to share, create, and collaborate. Everyone who touches the design process can benefit from GrabCAD. I want to get up and shout that from the rooftop! We already have so many active members offering insights, sharing tools, uploading, downloading, and creating projects together. More of that!
What makes you want to be so involved in community life?
I love connecting people and helping them get the most out of a product and their peers. It’s something that makes me happy. My goal as a GrabCAD evangelist and Community Manager is to help grow our community and engage our new and loyal users. If humanly possible, my goal is to meet every willing GrabCAD engineer, designer, and enthusiast. It’s worth it. I love a good story and everyone has something unique to share.
Do you use social media now? If you do use social media, what do you use?
How often do you use social media?
Every day. All the time. It feels unnatural when I stay away for too long.
Do you contribute to any other online communities or online industry sites?
I have a personal blog, Gull and Sand, which lacks focus but it is a fun way to keep my family and friends up-to-date with my life. I have also written guest blog posts on a few sites like BostInno and GrowthNinja.
What other communities have you worked with in the past? If so, what are they?
I helped manage the community at Shad Hall, Harvard Business School’s exclusive fitness and recreation center. There is an interesting mix of people and situations there, with long-term members like staff or faculty and then students who only spend two years with us. When they’re having fun and exercising, you get to see a very personable, human side to people who would normally be more reserved or formidable.
Will you be working with both GrabCAD and others?
I am full-time at GrabCAD and will be focusing solely on you and the GC community, so don’t hesitate to connect with me.
How do you access the internet?
My little Macbook Air and a wireless modem get me most places. But, I use mobile more and more these days. I admit to my fair share of browsing and walking, which always makes trouble for my fellow pedestrians.
What is the best/worst job you have had?
The job I’ve enjoyed most was working with the Boston Startup School team on improving the copy and UX of their website. The new one just went live as they recruit their new round of students. It is great to see such tangible evidence of your work and we had a great group of people working on that project. The worst job I’ve had was clearing tables at a seafood restaurant. It was messy, loud, and stressful. Once you drop a full tray of dirty dishes, stand in the rainforest-like humidity near the dishwashers, and run around for hours for a few bucks, you learn a little humility. Since that experience, I always leave very generous tips.
Who do you most admire?
Recently, my network has exposed me to so many amazing people. I don’t like to look to celebrities or role models I don’t know extremely well. I admire the people closest to me because you see their struggles and how they persevere and maintain their integrity.
Who do you least admire?
Anyone who is famous for being famous or admired for someone else’s accomplishments, like some socialites. I won’t name any names.
What is your link with CAD and engineering/design?
Other than some random interior design projects here and there, I am very new to CAD and I claim no expertise in engineering. But, I finished my very first CAD model for my GrabCAD profile. It took a lot of help from my coworkers, like Roger, who showed me Autodesk Inventor for Mac. I need help from the GC community to continue to improve! Any advice or tips?
My background is in life sciences and marketing. I have loved design all my life. Everyone in my family has an artistic eye and appreciation for great products. As a kid, I used to play by creating architectural doodles, coloring in famous pieces of art in my favorite coloring book, and reading books on greats like Frank Lloyd Wright.
What is your knowledge of CAD and engineering/design?
I never had any official courses in CAD or design, all my knowledge is self-taught through books, trial and error, or new learning communities like Intelligent.ly, Skillshare, and edX. I am ready to learn from the GrabCAD community!
What is your link with rendering and rapid prototyping?
GrabCAD is my first exposure to rendering and I have never explored rapid prototyping with physical products or CAD. My experience is limited to the 2D, graphic and web services like Adobe Illustrator, Google App Engine, and Bootstrap. It will be a proud day when I upload my first model and rendering. Just give me time, and some tutorials, I’m determined to make it happen!
Who do you think is the greatest engineering inventor of the 18th century?
Steam engine inventors who spurred on the industrial revolution like Thomas Savery and Thomas Newcomen.
Who do you think is the greatest engineering inventor of the 19th century?
Thomas Edison and the phonograph. I love music!
Who do you think is the greatest engineering inventor of the 20th century?
ANYONE that helped build video game consoles. I thank them for hours and hours of fun.
Who do you think is the greatest engineering inventor of the 21st century?
Something that inspires or excites me is personal or at-home 3D printers. It is so cool and has so many applications. When I walked into GrabCAD and saw a MakerBot, I new this was going to be a great match.
What do you think engineers will be designing in the 22nd century?
People are starting to understand that design is all around them. It is a part of every task throughout their day. I see engineers using newly available social data to create customizable products that are tailored to individual needs, like furniture that is contoured to your body shape and that you can print at home.
Of course, no talk about the future would be complete without a Minority Report-like vision. I get really excited when I see videos like Corning’s ‘A Day Made of Glass’ and ‘Leap Motion.’ Now that’s beautiful design that’s useful and done in a groundbreaking way.
What should every community member know about you?
I’m available to meet any member, whether they want to provide feedback, exchange a //handshake, or let me know how they’re growing as engineers. I care about user experiences, both good and bad. I believe there is more to learn when things go wrong than when they float along smoothly.
I think the body is the ultimate machine. I first fell in love with biology because of the beauty in scientific illustrations, the complexity of the human musculature, and the insane attention to detail you need to think scientifically. I bring a unique understanding to your community and I am open to learn more about your perspectives.
I’m ready to listen, so call me, maybe.
What would your ideal job be, if you could do anything?
This is my dream job! I’m looking forward to growing into a thought leader in the community management space and eventually building out an amazing team to engage every single engineer and designer in the world.
What is your favourite thing on GrabCAD, Challenges! Q&A's! MWL! Blog! Renders! Models!
Where do you see GrabCAD in 5 years time?
More content, more people, more collaboration. In 5 years, every CAD engineer and designer in the world will use GrabCAD to share and work together.
Where do you see GrabCAD in 25 years time?
GrabCAD will be invaluable to the engineering community! We will be the place to go to connect and manage engineering and design projects. GrabCAD users will save time, be more productive, and more connected to their teams both inside and outside of their company.
Trying to build that hoverboard you always wanted? Browse our library for inspiration and models. Test out concepts with us. Make changes and edits where anyone, no CAD software necessary, can view and partake in the conversation. Whatever you can dream up for the future of engineering, GrabCAD will be there in full force!