Who is our team? We know you probably find yourself asking this question. At the Talent Cluster, we are fortunate to count on excellent professionals to perform our local and global operations. We have focused on the Aquaculture stories across the world with our Talent Views, but this December, we want to present you with our own stories! Today we present you with Leah Stoker's Story!
Leah Stoker is AquacultureTalent's Senior Recruiter. She is based in our Northern California office and has been on our team for almost two years! Before joining us, Leah worked different recruitment and brand development jobs. Currently, she is developing new business for our company in the United States and delivering excellent professional to key roles in the Aquaculture, Seafood, and Fisheries Industries.
This is a topic we always ask for our Talent View and we have always believed is one of the most important ones to address. Everyone has different ways of landing in the Aquaculture industry. For Leah, her Aquaculture industry came into her life over 35 years ago. It is an industry she has always "held dear to my heart". She had a dream of farming fish, and she pursued an education in it. First at the College of the Redwoods with an associate in Aquaculture and then at Texas A&M University, studying wildlife and fisheries science. "After some years in college, I went on to build a family. Run a business completely unrelated to fish, became a career advisor, coach, teacher, and then a recruiter."
And shortly after her last job change, she saw a job ad by AquacultureTalent, looking for a recruiter. She thought it was perfect and wrote a very passionate Cover Letter to Cristian, and pursued her application. "Fish, Business Development, and bringing people together by helping companies find the perfect hire and professionals land their dream jobs. I am lucky. By now, my career has come full circle, with much more ahead, and much more to do and accomplish, of course!"
We asked her this. It is important we check up on our team members and make sure they are feeling in a good place, we have said it in the past, and it is our rule. Leah says:
I have the BEST job! I love working with people and enjoy seeing good things come together. So, whether it is a company looking to hire a Production Manager, or a professional looking for opportunities to further their career – putting these entities together is what thrills me and keep me going".
These past two years have provided Leah with plenty of learning opportunities, not just about the business, but also about herself. "Not one person has the ability to do every job or wear every hat in a growing business. I have learned to listen, expand, and learn from every relationship I develop in my position. My colleagues are smart, committed, and energized. AquacultureTalent has a strong foundation and our organization will thrive because of the people that make it happen".
She considers herself very lucky, in this industry, and at Aquaculturetalent, she has found all kinds of people. Bright, creative, and hardworking people have made her Aquaculture experience a unique one. "Whether they are colleagues, pros in the field, or business managers and owners. I learn so much when talking about their unique challenges and successes. Any achievements I make, are because of all of them. And for that I am thankful".
We all love a fairytale story. But in all honesty, what keeps most of us pushing forward is the ability to overcome challenges throughout our careers. For Leah Stoker, the biggest challenge is to find the "Perfect match".
Everything must come together – there has to be satisfaction on both sides. I'm a match maker – the spark has to be there. And the want to work together and then connect and be dedicated to the other. When there has been a successful "pairing", that is my best day".
Leah started working with AQT in the first quarter of 2020, and we all know that probably wasn't the best timing. Soon after, our world shut down due to the pandemic. However, Leah and everyone on the team has been able to overcome the challenge that represented. "We strides, business is growing again, and the outlook is great". Regardless of COVID restrictions making multi-national team cooperations a bit complicated, "AQT has been an amazingly supportive company. Able to involve me culturally even from across the pond and looking after my well-being during the pandemic"
For Leah Stoker, experiencing lockdowns and pushing through the struggles of business and personal wellbeing has not been easy. For her, late 2021 was not an easy season, "It was hard to be alone in an office, trying to push, grow and make things happen. It is difficult to not have the human factor and people around you to bring you up. Yes, there are Teams meetings and video chat, but some days can be very trying". She has gotten used to "this way" of doing business and has found in us, her teammates and other professionals in the industry, valuable connections, and friendships, despite modern communication channels and methods.
"Despite the challenges, on a personal and professional level, I have to say I am in a great place. I appreciate working for and with a great caring group of people. My colleagues are the best". Leah says she is proud of who AQT is and what the organization as a whole will become. "With the help of every person in the organization, from Venezuela to Norway, our business has been able to build many things. Putting together solid brand awareness and a foothold in the industry these past couple of years. And will continue to grow and be at the forefront of connecting great talent with positions in this very specific sector".
Being a psychologist, and especially with my academic background and coming up, I believe everything in our lives is about constants and variables. And in the variables, everything we can do to bring changes to our and other people's lives for the better. We asked Leah about the impact she is making in the industry with AQT and she said:
I think the biggest impact AquacultureTalent makes is helping companies acquire the right talent to grow their businesses. As well as putting the right people with highly specialized skillsets into positions that enable them to grow their careers. We open doors for both. Know the industry. We care about the outcome and about industry growth. At AQT we care about quality. We inspire growth in the sector by putting professionals and companies together, creating that spark and the match. Working with TALENT in the industry… This is what we do well and look forward to doing for MANY years to come".
Because it's not just about Aquaculture, Seafood, Fisheries industry, it's also about us, about the people behind industry. WE ARE AQUACULTURE!