Claire Salinas is the technical content editor at Operator Qualifications Solutions Group. She is the one who takes complicated federal guidelines and makes them clear and understandable — it appeals to her natural problem solving instincts and love of communication. The work she does also uses both her intelligence and creativity (and she has lots of both things)
Claire is friendly, passionate and easy to be around; she is quirky but in all of the best ways. Her answers contain some great advice for all of us.
What was your first job? A carhop at Sonic. That job made it clear the service industry is not for me.
Describe a typical day in your life. Wake up, turn on my devotional audio, make breakfast while I listen to it, spend some time in prayer, listen to audio of daily news briefing while I set my computer up for the day. Begin work. Depending on how hard I need to think, I put a podcast, webinar, or music in the background for white noise. End the day and force myself to Red’s for a workout. Post my success on my Instagram story, do a victory jig for getting off the couch. Grab dinner. Go back to my house to unwind with Netflix and continue reading whatever book I’m working on.
What advice would you give the younger you? Do things you enjoy and try new things without worrying about how it will contribute to your future success.
What event in your life most shaped who you are now? There are two, actually. In high school, my youth group went on weekly outreaches to rough areas of town. We would play kickball, cook food, and hang out after listening to the sermon. It exposed me to a population I would have had very little interaction with otherwise and opened my eyes up to the prevalence of poverty in my own community. The other one was my parents’ divorce, which forced me to mature faster in a lot of are-as. It also made more resilient and motivated to always be able to take care of myself.
What values do you live by? I’m a Christian so I follow the principles of the Bible and try to hear from God about how I live my life. I generally try to be considerate, generous, and kind.
What do you most appreciate? I most appreciate people who can be themselves and love others for who they are.
What is your favorite journey? My writing journey has been pretty fun. I progressed from the college newspaper, to freelancing for several publications, to my current role in technical writing. Very cool to see all my hard work pay off.
Where is your favorite place to be alone? I currently live alone so often it’s in my apartment when I’m reading at night. When I’m really focused it feels like I’m alone when I’m reading or working at some of my favorite coffee spots in town: Carpe Diem, Reve Coffee Lab, and the downtown location.
What living figure most inspires you? If Mother Teresa was alive it would be her, since she’s not I would say my mom. She has endured so much so graciously and not allowed it to make her bitter or angry. She continues to give to others in all the ways she can, and it inspires me to do the same.
What was the best advice you were ever given? Your journey doesn’t have to be linear or similar to anyone else’s. As long as you’re happy and you accomplish your goals that’s what counts.
What book would you tell everyone to read? Cannot narrow this down to one. I was an avid reader as a child and my favorite books remain the "Chronicles of Narnia" series and "Alice in Wonderland." I recommend all versions of the "Boundaries" books by Dr. Henry Cloud. Recently I’ve read "To Kill a Mockingbird," which was phenomenal and made me cry, "Behind the Curtain" by local lady Monica Rougeau that offered practical advice on leader-ship, and last night I started "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson.
What is the best thing about where you live? The best thing about Lafayette is the warmth of the culture and the artistic diversity and beauty in the area. I also love how it has a small town feel but that its large enough to allow me to be social, meet new people, enjoy new restaurants, and hear tons of live music.
How do you "let the good times roll"? I really enjoy Cajun dancing, partner dancing, and really dancing of any sort. Doing it at any of our local festivals is a thrill for me and so fun! I also love listening to live music and local bands that of course make me want to dance.
What did you want to be when you grew up? A marine biologist so I could be with dolphins all day.
What is your motto? Just keep moving. Also, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond.
How would you like to be remembered? As someone who invested in my community to make it better and in other people to help them grow.
What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself? You can do it, you can do it, you can do it.
What three things are vital to BEing YOU? Giving back, learning more, working hard
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Look at you!
What is your favorite word? Exponentially
What do you collect? Pictures of my niece because she’s so adorable.
What food could you live on for a month? Grilled chicken
What would you change about yourself? My ability to focus on one thing at a time. I tend to chase a lot of rabbit trails.
What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with? I suppose Alice in Wonderland. Most people think she’s rather odd but she’s trying to do the right thing, it’s just that world keeps shifting underneath her.
Describe yourself in five words. Quirky, communicative, honest, funny, and caring.
What is your idea of happiness? Being with family and knowing that all is well. I think people just need to know they’re loved no matter how many times they get knocked down. Life can be so hard and the more we empower people with love the more they have the power to change.
What is your favorite movie? "Bride Wars," it’s a bit cheesy in ways but I love the idea of fighting for a real happily ever after, even if it’s not what others expect, and doing it all with your best friend.
What music defines who you are? My musical journey started in high school with Dark Blue by Jacks Mannequin and all of Owl City’s music. Artists who I think could encapsulate me are Hillsong Young and Free, Jenn Johnson, Matt Kearney, Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris, Rachel Platten, Demi Lovato, Andy Grammer. Essentially these are worship songs, chill songs about enjoying life, and fighter songs about overcoming.
Who is your style icon? Blake Lively always has the prettiest outfits. I love her classy manicured looks and her hilarious relationship with Ryan Reynolds.
What do you most regret? All the things I didn’t try out of fear. Otherwise I’m very happy with where I’m at in life.
What question do you wish I'd asked? What are some things you’re dreaming about?
What would the answer be? Using my talents to write songs and screenplays one day. That my life will turn into a Hallmark movie this Christmas. That people will find real peace this Christmas.