Victoria Cumberbatch comes with 8+ years of community management experience spanning non-profits, startups, and consulting.
I'm a dynamic, engaging, community leader usually discerning ways I can hone my specialities and collaborate with those better than me.
She is also a writer, speaker, leader, and a DEI advocate. Specializes in ideation, management, conflict resolution, and drinking a lot of hot beverages (her words, not ours 👀). Quite a track record that is!
Victoria addresses the fact that is she or is she not related to Benedict Cumberbatch. She’s had quite a life as a community builder and she walks us through some of the peculiar stuff that makes her who she is. Vicariously witness life through Victoria’s eyes as she talks about her travel stories, an incredible journey of being in the community space, and what fictional character does she identify with the most (Hint: It’s that Nick Kroll show everyone was talking about).
Here’s the episode👇
01:51 - Wait, that’s just way too many tattoos!
02:38 - Favorite part of her job.
02:57 - Her not-so-favorite part.
04:35 - You’ll probably crave some after this lol.
05:04 - Clearly born in the wrong generation.
05:43 - A quick this or that.
07:03 - Her advice for young, up-and-coming managers.
08:34 - Her top 5 favorite countries.
Hritika: Hello everyone. Welcome to another episode of the community show, where we get to have a quick fun chat with community managers from across the globe. Today we have with us Victoria Cumberbatch. Victoria, welcome to the show. Before you introduce yourself, are you in any way related to Benedict Cumberbatch? Please tell me.
Victoria: The million-dollar question. Yes, there is a distant relation. Most Cumberbatchs that are brown are from Barbados, which was a colony of England, no surprise. So, there may be some unfortunate slave history there but that's as far as I know, and he confirmed that in his interviews during 12 years of slaves. So, that’s the only way I know.
Hritika: Damn, that is so cool. Like such a cool thing. I'm really into Benedict Cumberbatch. Sorry to steal your thunder, but like why don't you introduce yourself to the audience?
Victoria: Sure, yes. Thank you. I'm Victoria Cumberbatch. You can call me Vicki or V, pretty much anything other than Victoria. I've been in community management since 2014, but it wasn't called that then of course. And now I am doing community consulting. I do one-on-ones, I create strategies for people as well, offering advising and mentorship. So, I'm in that space, living in Denver, typically in the US, and I'm a Capricorn, what more is there to say.
Hritika: What is something that people don’t know about you?
Victoria: Oh, that I have over 30 tattoos. Surprise.
Hritika: Wow, what is your favourite tattoo, which one of the 30?
Victoria: I have an absolute gorgeous scene from Harry Potter, drawn on my leg and I got it in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia by a guy that I was very nervous about. If it was going to happen, he didn't typically tattoo brown skin. It has the invisibility cloak, so it's like a particular kind of way. He knocked it out of the park. I just want to only be tattooed by this guy. I live in Denver, so it might be a little far, but you know what are you gonna do.
Hritika: What is your favourite part of the job?
Victoria: I love getting to interact one-on-one with my either community members or that's also why I started offering one-on-one mentorship, because I truly love that space of brainstorming together, working together, trying to figure it out where's the magic sauce.
Hritika: And, what do you hate about it?
Victoria: Metrics, data you know, you gotta do it. I definitely am more of a person that had to figure it out as I went along. My brain doesn’t tend toward that logical side, so it's hard to focus and figure out what it is the people want, but luckily, we have people around us that can help. So, I have no problem asking for help.
Hritika: What is the most common stereotype you have heard about your job title?
Victoria: Probably that community managers are really nurturing and empathetic and sensitive, which doesn't always have to be the case. And also, that they're not all extroverts. I am, but all community managers do not necessitate that. And I think more introverted and more reserved people arguably can do a better job because they have better boundaries of their selves.
Hritika: What is the one thing that keeps you going throughout your day?
Victoria: Well, it's no longer coffee since I'm off of it, sadly. The thing that keeps me going throughout my day is, I guess the ability to work with a team I miss being part of a team, being a consultant is just by myself most of the time. And I really do miss being able to bounce ideas like I love that.
Hritika: A community manager you want to give a shoutout to?
Victoria: I would shout out my gal, Alex Angel. She and I just had a call earlier this week and we realized we are the same person which is always lovely to find out, especially when you're not near each other at all. So yes, big shouts.
Hritika: Your favourite snack to munch on during meetings (with your cameras off, obviously!)?
Victoria: Obviously, well okay. I'm between two, but Triscuits and Cheese. I've definitely become a Triscuits and cheese aficionado during the pandemic. It's not great for my thighs.
Hritika: How do you unwind after work?
Victoria: I would hate to say that I watch TV, but I am watching Inventing Anna. And also, I do like to go for a walk. I try to do that at the beginning of the day, but now I'm more of at the end of day is like a look forward to. So, I do like that.
Hritika: Your go-to song on a difficult day?
Victoria: My go-to song on a difficult day is probably Sugar by Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan, Chaka Chaka, Chaka Khan. That's my girl. I was born in the wrong era.
Hritika: One superhero character you relate the most to?
Victoria: I relate most to, okay, so, do you know the show big mouth?
Hritika: I have heard about it. I haven't seen it.
Victoria: All right, It's hilarious. It's crass, but there's a character in there who's also biracial, which is like the first time ever in animation that I'd seen this and her name is Missy and she is me and I am her and we are one. So that is her.
Hritika: Quick this or that, Fruit Juice or Protein Shake?
Victoria: Protein shake.
Hritika: Early morning meetings or late night events?
Victoria: Early morning meetings.
Hritika: Work from Home or Work from Office?
Hritika: The TV show FRIENDS or THE OFFICE?
Victoria: The Office
Hritika: Slack or Discord?
Hritika: What according to you is the most important thing when it comes to building a safe space in your community?
Victoria: Creating guidelines. People need boundaries as much as they think they don't.
Hritika: A community hack that you want to share with us?
Victoria: My secret sauce, I was just talking about this the other day, but I guess along the lines of guidelines is setting expectations. So, what I mean by that is your expectations for how you work, how you communicate, how you do your job, what people can expect from you in the community, and what people can expect from you in your internal team. Having that be really clear, especially actually for all working from home and working remotely, it can be difficult to read between some of those lines. I just say what the lines are. I mean, maybe at a different time, it would've seen like, woah she really is telling you what it is, but now I think it can be helpful if you don't know someone's personality that well, they kind of give you a heads up on what to expect.
Hritika: Your mantra for life?
Victoria: Oh, uh, I have tattooed, shocker, is it's all good always, no matter what it is it'll be fine. It's right on my knee cap. So, when I sit down, I see it.
Hritika: One advice for young CMs/people just getting started in the space?
Victoria: Yes, I would say regardless of how new you believe you are; you matter. And so, you have to advocate for yourself. If you don't work after a certain time, if you don't like being spoken to in a certain way if you have a really great idea and you want it to be really heard, you're going to have to push like a little bit, try a little bit. Do small micro pushes to be more of yourself as much of the time as you can.
Hritika: A community you recommend joining?
Victoria: Can I cheat and say two?
Hritika: Yes, yes sure.
Victoria: Okay. So, I'm in, ladies get paid, which started on slack and is just migrated to circle just for the community in there, regardless of where they're at. And also, girls love travel. I've been in that group the longest, and it's still on Facebook. I use the one on Facebook group. It's a game changer, life changer for me when I travel, when I was a single woman and at any other time in between. So, those are the two I'm in all the time.
Hritika: Most interesting place that you have travelled?
Victoria: I love these questions. Okay. But that's so hard. Okay. Just as a side note, like I've been to over 65 countries. So, this is a very difficult question. The most interesting place that I have traveled to, maybe Cambodia. Uh, interesting, it's so hard.
Hritika: Okay. You can pick top five.
Victoria: Okay. So, my top five favourite countries, Mexico is always top of the list just because I feel like I'm Mexican. People may laugh at this, but I don't know, I love the UK. I love England. I think I had a really intense past life there. I also love Thailand and I also absolutely loved Columbia. Those are my favourites with honourable mention to Montenegro or my boyfriend might slice me. He's Montenegrin.
Hritika: Yes, cool. It was lovely having you, I won’t hold you up, because I know you have 10 other things to do, but it was lovely meeting you.
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