Name: Jen Abzug Zaligson
Company: The University of Texas System
Role: Benefits Specialist
- What brought you to Austin and how long have you been here?
I’ve been in Austin for a total of seven years. Originally, I moved here to attend graduate school at UT. I headed to the Midwest for a while afterwards, and three years ago, decided that Austin was the place I wanted to be. I moved myself and my dog back here, and I am thrilled to be an Austinite again.
- How did you get connected to AYC?
While schmoozing at an industry networking event, someone mentioned they had been at another event where they had met the mayor. Interested, I asked more about it and they told me about AYC. Soon after, I went to a Coffee Connection, and I’ve been a part of AYC ever since.
- What are you involved with in AYC AND what is your favorite part of AYC?
I am on the Ambassador committee and the FAVE Awards committee (have you purchased tickets yet to the gala on November 10th, everyone?!). Originally in the events world when joining AYC, FAVE was an easy way to get more involved in a committee. My favorite activity at AYC is attending our mixers — it’s the perfect time to catch up with old AYC friends and meet new faces. My favorite parts about AYC are the relationships/people I’ve met over the years at the events, and feeling more connected to Austin through the programs put on by the organization.
- Where can we find you brunching in Austin on any given Saturday?
Oh brunch — the joyous, best meal of the week. Citizen Eatery is one of my favorite spots lately for their vegetarian grub. And Eastside Cafe…mmm…those crepes.
- If you could have any superpower, what would it be and what would you use it for?
Can superpowers be all about logistics? Maybe the superpower to always find an open and convenient meter when looking for parking.
- If you could have any celebrity live next door to you, who would it be?
Jason Mantzoukas (of The League fame) cracks me up every time he’s on a show/podcast, so it would be most lovely to be his next door neighbor.
- If you had guests visiting Austin for the weekend, where is the first place you would take them to show them a good time?
I tend to bring my guests to anywhere outdoors or brewery related. ABGB combines both of those splendidly, and has kickin’ local bands playing. Welcome to Austin, y’all.
- If you played hooky for a day, where would we find you and what would you be doing?
If I were playing hooky for the day, you would find me lounging/swimming/reading at Barton Springs or Deep Eddy Pool. Followed by juicing up at JuiceLand. And playing with the pups at Yard Bar.
- When people ask you what you do for a living, what do you tell them?
That I work in employee benefits for UT System, helping to onboard COBRA insurance subscribers and be there to listen and answer questions – or get them to the person who can answer a particular question – throughout their time on our coverage.
- What technology could you not live without?
After all the “essential” technologies, I must go with the iPhone.
- Who inspires you?
My family and friends, day in and day out.
- What is your proudest accomplishment?
I’m going to say taking time off before grad school to travel solo (and without a cell phone – remember those pre-paid international calling cards?). A little uncomfortable and weird at times, but it’s incredibly liberating to just go and see and plan your days as they come.
- If you couldn’t live in Austin, where would you want to live?
Sydney or most anywhere in New Zealand.
- I want to learn how to…?
Soup or Salad? Salad
Indoors or Outdoors? Outdoors, please and thank you
Winter or Summer? Summer – for sure
Tea or Coffee? Tea
Beer or Wine? Beer
Mountains or Beach? Beach!