Inspirational profiles of women in
leadership roles in the tech scene.

Cover Photo: 
Thumbnail Photo: 
Banner Color: 
#ed8d83
Alternate Thumbnail: 
Lead(H)er Profile – Eva Moscat, Director of Software Engineering at iRobot banner image

Lead(H)er Profile – Eva Moscat, Director of Software Engineering at iRobot

Open Jobs Company Page

Our Lead(H)er series features impressive women leaders in the tech industry. In this Q&A, we are featuring Eva Moscat, Director of Software Engineering at iRobot


Where did you grow up and how would you describe yourself as a child?

I was born in the Dominican Republic; my family immigrated to Lawrence, Massachusetts when I was very young and that’s where I was raised. Because Lawrence’s population is predominately Latinx/Hispanic, I was able to continue to be raised within the rich Dominican culture.  

I was an active and creative child growing up. I practiced karate with my two older brothers and joined different sports teams for basketball, softball, and baseball. At the age of 13, I earned my black belt in Kyokushin Karate. I was creatively inspired by my parents. When I wasn’t physically active, I was following in my father’s footsteps by learning how to draw or in my mother’s footsteps through poetry. My mother still has most of the poems I wrote as a child. 

Through sports and karate, I learned discipline, the virtue of hard work, the importance of teamwork and collaboration, and the art of healthy competition, which were all characteristics that helped me throughout my life and career. Through painting and writing, I learned to tap into my creativity which later helped me further develop my problem-solving skills and eventually my programming/coding skills. 

A picture containing person, floorDescription automatically generated

What did you study in college and what was your first job out of school?

As an undergrad, I studied and graduated with a BS in Mathematics. I chose Mathematics with the goal of graduating early as a way of saving money, thanks to the math college credits that transferred over from high school. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my degree, but I was leaning towards accounting. 

However, as part of my major, I had to take a Computer Science course. Prior to college, I did not have any experience with programming and had not heard of CS as a major. After taking Computing I where the focus was programming in C, I was drawn to coding. I fell in love with the exercise of solving a problem and then implementing/coding the solution so that future problems alike are solved by my software. Quickly, one course became two, which then became a minor, which then became a Master’s degree in computer science. I learned to develop software to do different things -- solve problems, create games, convey information, control hardware, and reverse engineer to modify existing software. 

After graduating from my undergrad studies, I followed my new passion and my first job out of school was as a Software Engineer, developing real-time embedded software for defibrillators. 

Can you share the details on your career path and what were the critical moments that got you to where you are today?

I’ve had a typical career path of starting out as an individual contributor/software engineer and navigating into management. However, the most critical moment in my career was after 5 years in the industry, someone offered to be my mentor. She helped me gain confidence in my technical and problem-solving abilities by challenging me to lead technical initiatives, encouraging me to speak up and share my ideas, and providing specific actionable feedback. Through my gained confidence, I started taking on tasks that although were ambiguous and scary at the time, ultimately stretched me as an engineer. If it wasn’t for her mentorship I would not be where I am in my career today.

What is your current role and responsibilities?

I serve as the Director of Software Engineering for the Robot Operating System Platform department at iRobot. In this role, I am responsible for the connectivity firmware, the operating system, and the manufacturing and customer care tools functions. 

Looking back, is this where you thought you’d be professionally?  Was it always your goal to be in this position?

I am fairly introverted so being responsible for a large organization is a big change from how I started my career and a welcomed challenge to my personality. However, it wasn’t always my goal to be in this position. I planned to remain on the technical route as a software engineer. As I went through my career, I found I needed more influence to impact the culture within tech. This caused my goal to shift towards management, and I embraced the opportunity to apply my technical and problem-solving skills in new ways. 

For people who are looking to be in a similar position, what advice would you give to others in terms of helping them achieve their career goals?

Prepare yourself for the opportunities you crave. As an individual contributor, I read countless management books, I took initiative and was proactive in tackling and improving issues outside of my direct domain, and I sought mentorship from colleagues in management roles. When the opportunity arose and a Software Manager role opened, I was ready for it.

What are the most important skills that you need to do your job well?

A proactive mindset, critical thinking, and good collaboration skills. If I see an opportunity for improvement, I go into problem-solving mode and think of solutions to solve the issue or provide suggestions for improvement; this applies beyond technical challenges and whether it’s directly within my realm of responsibilities. Attempting to remove roadblocks instead of waiting for them to be removed is incredibly powerful.  

What do you find most interesting/rewarding about your work?  

Being in a position of influence, what I find most rewarding is mentoring others, providing opportunities, impacting culture, and working with people to achieve their career goals. What I find most interesting is working on robots and all the different disciplines, technologies, and collaboration it takes to build the awesome products iRobot creates. 

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

Reflecting on moments I’ve felt most proud or most accomplished from an engineering perspective makes me think of the software I’ve implemented for products that have saved lives, been to space, and/or have been worn by President Obama. However, the biggest impact I have felt was when I left one of my previous employers. In my transition, I received emails from my direct reports and peers voicing how much they appreciated my leadership, mentorship, and contributions. Considering I’m new-ish to management, this reinforced why I chose this path for my career and helped quiet my imposter syndrome. 

Are you involved with any professional organizations outside of the company? Volunteer work?

I’m fueled by expanding access to STEM education, particularly for underrepresented youth. On a personal level, I serve as an engineering mentor at Lawrence CommunityWorks: Movement City designing and co-facilitating robotics workshops for local youth, ages 8-14.

iRobot also has a STEM outreach program which I love supporting; it’s one of my favorite parts about working here. Through my volunteer experiences with the STEM outreach program, I’ve been able to virtually support robotics classes in the Dominican Republic as well as meet students ranging from middle school through college to offer encouragement and mentorship.

A group of people posing for a photo outside of a buildingDescription automatically generated


Q&A

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and newborn son. I recently became a mother so what I most enjoy right now is watching him grow, hit his milestones, and seeing him find ways to keep us busy/running around. 

Outside of family life, I enjoy watching anime, playing basketball, and building my sneaker collection.

A person and person holding a babyDescription automatically generated with medium confidence

How do you manage stress?

I take a step back to organize myself; I make a list of the items that are on my plate, prioritize them, and tackle them one by one. I also have a network of trusted colleagues that I share my thoughts, ideas, frustrations, and proposed solutions with.

How many cups of coffee do you have in a day?

I have one cup of coffee in the morning to start my day.

What's one of your favorite places in the Boston area?

El Taller Cafe & Bookstore in Lawrence, MA. The café has amazing Latin food, but I also enjoy attending the community workshops they host, looking at the local art hung in their gallery space, and checking out the endless books (some by local authors) in their bookshelf.  

Any book or podcast recommendations?

Some of my favorite books are: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen, and Bruce Patton, Quiet by Susan Cain, and El Descuido De Dios by Ana Puello.

What advice do you have for recent college graduates?

Be inquisitive and take your time to dig into what you’re working on to learn past your immediate task. Regardless of your role and responsibilities, there is always something to learn whether it’s how to do something, how not to do something, new technologies, pros and cons to different implementations and solutions, process improvements, etc. Your learnings from your experiences will prepare you for future opportunities.

About the
Company

iRobot, the leading global consumer robot company, designs and builds robots that empower people to do more.

View Company Page
Lead(H)er Profile - Amy Wagner, Chief Financial Officer at CreateMe banner image

Lead(H)er Profile - Amy Wagner, Chief Financial Officer at CreateMe

Open Jobs Company Page

Our Lead(H)er series features impressive women leaders in the tech industry. In this Q&A, we are featuring Amy Wagner, Chief Financial Officer at CreateMe


Where did you grow up and how would you describe yourself as a child?

I grew up in a small town in Connecticut and was definitely a free spirit - picture a super girlie-looking total tomboy that got straight A’s but also was the first person disrupting the entire class during an exam because she was bored.  

What did you study in college and what was your first job out of school?

I graduated with a degree in Environmental Science & Public Policy and a citation in Spanish which essentially means I voluntarily took all of the pre-med classes (and loved them) and knew I wanted to work in a career or company that had sustainability as a core mission and value.  From college, I went into investment banking to gain a practical skill set in finance and accounting that I could then apply in my target field.

Can you share the details on your career path and what were the critical moments that got you to where you are today?

I think the first most critical decision in my career was deciding to enter into investment banking.  As a profession, investment banking teaches financial modelling and valuation, which are fundamental to understanding decision-making in business.  Even more critical, was selecting Citigroup and then, within Citigroup, my industry group.  As a major global market leader, Citigroup attracted some of the biggest and most complex deals.  Within Citigroup, I found two mentors that worked on a number of these deals and also had a management style that empowered me to play a big role with a lot of autonomy, without which, I would have never learned everything I did at that job.  They also taught me how to be a manager and mentor, which has been invaluable in my career.

The second most critical decision in my career was deciding that I was enough on my own and that I could not only found but also successfully grow and exit my own start up.  Based on everything I learned in investment banking, and a natural ability to think critically about why and how things should be done, I developed a thesis for how my business would outgrow and “win” against my competitors.  I then implemented and tested different programs to achieve my main goals, always starting with “why” and “what could be” and not with what currently was there.  In doing this, I found my superpower - connecting all of the disparate data points to formulate an efficient and successful strategy to achieve a goal.  

The rest is history.  Both moments and experiences have gone on to shape my career.

What is your current role and responsibilities?

My current position is Chief Financial Officer of CreateMe.  As the CFO, I am a strategic partner to the entire executive management team and a sounding board for ideas and critical analysis.  More granularly, I oversee all of the accounting, finance, FP&A, corporate development, M&A, and global procurement functions.

Looking back, is this where you thought you’d be professionally?  Was it always your goal to be in this position?

It was always my goal to work with really smart people who are also really good people at a company that positively contributes to society.  CreateMe is just that - a team of exceptional people working to make the fashion industry more sustainable and equitable. 

For people who are looking to be in a similar position, what advice would you give to others in terms of helping them achieve their career goals?

Take the time to completely understand everything you are doing.  Don’t take anything for granted and always get to “why” you are doing something a certain way.  What you will often find is that there are inherent assumptions baked into every task and not all of those assumptions hold true for your company.  By critically thinking about each task, you will not only be able to connect the dots better between all of the disparate things you are doing, you will also be able to identify efficiencies and learn on the job.

What are the most important skills that you need to do your job well?

Attention to detail, critical thinking, deep understanding of various disciplines (finance, accounting, tax, law, etc.), and patience.  One of the most critical skills I have developed in my career is the ability to take a breath, keep my calm, and give everyone the benefit of the doubt.  There have been so many times that one simple skill has made a world of difference.

What do you find most interesting/rewarding about your work?  What’s the most challenging?

The most rewarding aspect of my work is that there is a new challenge every day.  It keeps work interesting and affords me the ability to learn and grow.  The only aspect that can be challenging in my role is when information is too siloed because it could lead to inefficient business outcomes.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

My proudest moment in my professional career was at the conclusion of my first M&A deal.  We had just secured a huge valuation for the two founders, way more than either had thought they could sell for, and one of the founders said to me, “If only we had found you sooner.  We could have been 5x as big.  You were the missing link.”  I was only 22 at the time so it wasn’t my network of buyers or knowledge of M&A that had impressed him.  It was the way I broke down his business drivers and marketed it, the way I cultivated relationships with each team member of his company and the buyers to get the deal completed, it was the intangibles that he felt I brought to the table that leveled up the perception of his company.  The confidence gained from that moment allowed me to build on those skills and get better professionally.

Are you involved with any professional organizations outside of the company? Volunteer work?

I am a firm believer in literacy, medical research, and animal rights and have worked with several organizations, including serving on the Board of Reading Partners while I still lived in NYC and serving as a foster parent for dogs for years before adopting my own.


Q&A

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I have four kids, three dogs, and an amazing husband as well as a ton of family that lives near by so I enjoy anything active and/or with family - running, water balloon fights, swimming, barbeques, you name it.

How do you manage stress?

My best stress relievers are running or snuggling with my kids.

How many cups of coffee do you have in a day

Two - but I use espresso-quality coffee like most people use just traditional coffee so I’m not sure what that would be in terms of caffeine intake.

What's one of your favorite places in the Boston/New York area?

I love both cities a ton.  It’s odd but, my favorite places in both are the walking/running paths along the rivers (the Charles and the Hudson).  It’s a nice mix of the city and the suburb that I grew up in.

Any book or podcast recommendations?

I largely read via Audible on my way into the office since finding the time to sit with a book tends to escape me during my daily routine.  I loved “Song of Achilles” and “Circe” and just started Trevor Noah’s “Born a Crime”.  I tend to fluctuate between fiction and nonfiction/historical books depending on my mood on the day when I start a book.

What advice do you have for recent college graduates?

Whatever job you do, be excellent at it.  Take full responsibility and ownership of what you are doing and it will open countless doors for you.

About the
Company

CreateMe is an integrated software, hardware, and design company that’s revolutionizing the apparel industry. Combining breakthrough technology and human ingenuity, we take brands from concept to consumer faster and more sustainably than ever before.

 

 
View Company Page
Lead(H)er Profile - Christina Arellano, Chief Customer Officer at Acoustic banner image

Lead(H)er Profile - Christina Arellano, Chief Customer Officer at Acoustic

Open Jobs Company Page

Our Lead(H)er series features impressive women leaders in the tech industry. In this Q&A, we are featuring Christina Arellano, Chief Customer Officer at Acoustic


Chris in Paris at the Prince de Galles, overlooking famous Avenue George V

Where did you grow up and how would you describe yourself as a child?

I was actually a child of two United States Marines, so I spent my early years in North Carolina, California, and ultimately landed in Arizona which is where my mother’s family is from. Having two Marine Corps parents taught me early on to always do my best and never give up. These core values helped shape me into the person I am today.  

As a child, I was very curious and always wanted to know how things worked. I would spend time taking things apart so I could put them back together. I knew early on in my childhood that I wanted to have a profession that allowed me to be creative, solve problems, and help a business be successful.

I was also an avid sports fan and loved to play competitive team sports. It is through that foundation that I learned the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and hard work.

What did you study in college and what was your first job out of school?

My undergraduate degree was in industrial engineering from Arizona State University (Go Sun Devils!). After I graduated, my official first engineering job was at Motorola serving as a manufacturing engineer in a semiconductor manufacturing facility. The job was in a cleanroom so I had to wear a “bunny suit” from head to toe to prevent contamination of the semiconductors that we were manufacturing. However, the start date for my job wasn’t until two months after my graduation, so I took a job detailing cars at a local auto shop until my official start date arrived at Motorola.

Chris flying over Switzerland/The Swiss Alps

Can you share the details on your career path and what were the critical moments that got you to where you are today?

After starting my career as a manufacturing engineer at Motorola, I transitioned to FedEx Ground where I was responsible for the Southwest U.S. territory. At FedEx, the philosophy is for leaders to work every job so they understand the different responsibilities and perspectives of the various teams that they support. I’ve taken that philosophy to heart in everything I’ve done.

Following my time at FedEx, I joined American Express where I transitioned from being an individual contributor to a manager for the first time. I was nervous to apply for the position, but realized that no one is born a manager -- at some point, someone had to give them a chance. I was accepted for the position and led all reengineering teams in North America for Amex Business Travel. Now, I love to be able to provide that opportunity to others. 

From there, I entered the executive leadership team for the first time when I joined McKesson. I was able to relocate in the U.S. to three different places and hold various leadership positions during this time, further expanding my skill set. 

Each of these experiences working with Fortune 100 companies helped prepare me in different ways for the scrappier private equity world. Big businesses often have more mature infrastructure and processes than PE-owned companies, which was certainly a culture shock. However, I was able to take the best practices and lessons learned from my time at those big brands and apply them to my role at Acoustic. 

What is your current role and responsibilities?

I serve as the Chief Customer Officer at Acoustic, an open, independent marketing cloud and analytics provider. In this role, I’m responsible for our Customer Success, Professional Services, and Customer Support functions within the business. Our ultimate goal is to ensure customers have a superior customer experience and are able to fully maximize the value of the solutions and services that we provide.  

Looking back, is this where you thought you’d be professionally?  Was it always your goal to be in this position?

I always knew I wanted to be in business and help companies solve problems, but never imagined that my journey would take me to the role I’m in today. I grew up fairly shy and introverted. Being responsible for customer relationships is a big change from how I originally started my career as an individual contributor working behind the scenes. 

For people who are looking to be in a similar position, what advice would you give to others in terms of helping them achieve their career goals?

I’ve always taken the initiative to improve processes and solve problems without being asked. I believe in the philosophy, “Ask for forgiveness, not permission (within reason).” No one is ever going to be upset with you if you solve a problem for the business.  

What are the most important skills that you need to do your job well?

Dedication, hard work, collaboration, and the mindset of “making the impossible possible.” I believe that everyone needs to challenge the status quo and look for ways to learn from the past so we can improve in the future. I also think having a “get s#&! done” mindset is a must and an incredible superpower if you can get your team rallied behind it.

What do you find most interesting/rewarding about your work?  

I love mentoring and helping members of my team. To this day, I still have mentoring sessions with people I used to manage many years ago. It is the most rewarding experience to see people grow and accomplish their own personal and career aspirations.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

One of my proudest achievements is the work we were able to accomplish when I worked at Upserve, a hospitality POS business that provides the technology for restaurants to manage front-of-house and back-of-house operations. I joined Upserve a few months prior to the pandemic, and when COVID hit, I wondered if I had made the right choice. The restaurant industry was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, and we had customers going out of business because of it. Yet our goal was to grow Upserve’s business so it could eventually be acquired. 

Despite these challenges, we were able to have that successful exit with a 10x revenue multiple during the height of the pandemic and improve our retention rate by 10% year-over-year. It was an incredible challenge, but I’m very proud of all we were able to accomplish.


Q&A

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I love to travel with my family and experience new things, places, and food. I consider myself an avid foodie and have a rule not to eat anywhere we could eat at home when we’re traveling. Prior to the pandemic, I was exploring different parts of Europe, but my favorite destination is the one I haven’t visited yet -- I always want to see somewhere new rather than revisit the same places.  

The Swiss Alps

How do you manage stress?

Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed, I try to remember that small wins accrue to larger success. The same goes for your workload: if you look at it holistically, it can overwhelm you, but if you aim to accomplish one thing at a time, it will be much more manageable. 

It’s also important to have a good network of trusted colleagues you can talk to. Spend time speaking with people who can give you an honest perspective. 

Outside of this, make sure you’re prioritizing your health and getting exercise. It’s incredible how much of a difference movement can make in your day.

How many cups of coffee do you have in a day?

Three per day. I have a mandatory two cups in the morning as I start my day and one more shortly after lunch.

Any book or podcast recommendations? 

Yes, a few! Some of my favorite books are What got you here, won’t get you there by Marshall Goldsmith, You are a badass by Jen Sincero, and Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue by Nick Mehta.

What advice do you have for recent college graduates?

Be open to opportunities. I think people can be too focused on looking at a position’s title vs. what they can learn from the job. I never thought I would have a few of the positions I’ve held, but when I saw the scope of the jobs and the responsibilities I would have, they piqued my curiosity and I recognized that they would allow me to learn and grow. Especially when you’re first starting out, it’s critical to absorb as much as possible and be open to the vast possibilities ahead of you.

About the
Company

Reimagine everything.

View Company Page
Lead(H)er Profile - Laurie Mitchell, Vice President, Partner & International Marketing at Wasabi banner image

Lead(H)er Profile - Laurie Mitchell, Vice President, Partner & International Marketing at Wasabi

Open Jobs Company Page

Our Lead(H)er series features impressive women leaders in the tech industry. In this Q&A, we are featuring Laurie Mitchell, Vice President, Partner & International Marketing at Wasabi


Where did you grow up and how would you describe yourself as a child?

I grew up in a small suburb outside of Hartford, Connecticut. Looking back I would describe myself as a well-rounded kid. I was always focused on doing well in school and bringing home good grades. If I didn’t have my nose in a book, I was usually running around playing with other kids in my neighborhood. I was the type of kid who got along easily with others, I was friends with everybody rather than just one particular group.  

What did you study in college and what was your first job out of school?

I studied business and marketing at the University of Connecticut. I was always very interested in marketing because it was something that allowed me to be creative, and I am fascinated to learn what makes people buy certain products. Right out of college I was very intent on getting an actual marketing job, not just any job. I hunted for a while until I found an entry-level job at a small startup called Excel Switching that was looking for help in marketing. I was the first marketing person at that company so I was given the opportunity to learn all aspects of marketing from day one. 

Can you share the details on your career path and what were the critical moments that got you to where you are today?

As time went on, the startup I was originally working for brought in additional marketing professionals. This gave me the opportunity to have many talented bosses who helped propel my career as the company grew to over 900 people. I also had many mentors, and one who was pivotal introduced me to the idea of a partner program and together she and I built the partner program for that company. This gave me opportunities to travel and build partner marketing programs. Looking back, that experience was the key moment that transformed my general marketing career into one that was focused on partnerships and alliances. To this day I am still thankful to her! 

What is your current role and responsibilities?

Currently, I am Vice President of Partner and International Marketing for Wasabi. I am responsible for marketing to, through and with Wasabi’s partners. My team and I work to recruit technology alliance partners where our products are complementary, and we then take those partnerships and drive a better story together. We then go out and recruit their channel partners. Along the way, we are building a sea of evangelists of the Wasabi product. On the international side, we basically walk through the same process but from an international partner perspective. We work with the broader marketing team to build the brand and create content, along with all the other wonderful things that are used to promote the brand overall. I enjoy the role because it is both fun and challenging. I get to work with very talented people and do something different every day.

Looking back, is this where you thought you’d be professionally? Was it always your goal to be in this position?

I am not the type that had a set specific goal in mind, especially when I was younger. I always knew that I wanted a job that would challenge me but also be fun at the same time. It was important to me that I worked with great people and this path took me to where I am now. Looking back, I am exactly where I want to be at this stage of my life. I think it is important to have the ability to roll with the punches and make adjustments along the way. You never know what opportunities will arise and where they will take you.

For people who are looking to be in a similar position, what advice would you give to others in terms of helping them achieve their career goals?

First, it is important to be able to work well with others. It may sound overly simple but it is important to be inclusive and respectful to everyone no matter their level or title. It is also important to never adopt the mindset that you know everything, no matter what your title is. I would advise someone just starting out in their career to recognize that you are never done learning because your industry, technology, products, processes, and people will always be changing. Marketing has completely changed and gone inbound digital since I started my career and I had to adapt. You have to always be able to adjust and learn along the way.

What are the most important skills that you need to do your job well?

Communication is the most important skill that comes to mind. Over-communicate and communicate often. And be diplomatic. In each partnership, some people have different timelines and styles than you and you may not always see eye to eye. But if you are patient and open you can come to a solution that all are happy with.

What do you find most interesting/rewarding about your work?  What’s the most challenging?

I love our creative marketing and voice at Wasabi. Telling our story in a fun and interesting way through social campaigns, our Migrate with Nate campaign and more makes Wasabi a fun company to work for. We are very marketing-driven, and while many tech companies underfund marketing, I’d say we fund it well. One of the most challenging parts of my job is finding patience. Some companies we work with are big companies and don’t want to give you the time of day or they are on a different timeline than we are.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

My instinct tells me my proudest moment is happening right now. At Wasabi we launched a partner network that has tripled in the last few years and continues to grow so rapidly. So much has gone into it including digital marketing automation which constantly feeds the sales team with leads and new partnerships to activate.  We are building an A+ team which is our best asset. 

Are you involved with any professional organizations outside of the company? Volunteer work?

I wish, but as a mother of twin girls, that’s what keeps me busy outside of work. 


Q&A

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I love going to the beach and being active - hiking, biking, skiing, yoga. I really love cooking, and I did lots of it especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of my favorite new recipes that I made recently is roasted salmon with honey-mustard pecan crust.

How do you manage stress?

Taking my dog for daily walks and going to yoga every week keeps me sane. I think it is important to take time away from work, kids, etc., and focus on yourself.

How many cups of coffee do you have in a day?

I usually have one giant cup of coffee every day.

What's one of your favorite places in the Boston?

Legal Harborside is one of my top favorites. They have everything I love - seafood, great gluten-free options, ocean views and so much more.  

Any book or podcast recommendations?

The Power of Habit is a must-read. I love that book because it helps you think about how you operate and how your brain uses more energy when you are out of habit. It applies to pretty much every aspect of life.

What advice do you have for recent college graduates?

Don’t settle for any job. Go out and find the one that is the best fit for you, even if it takes time. Also, use your network, and don’t be afraid to reach out. I’d be impressed if a college grad reached out to me and asked about partner marketing. 

About the
Company

Lead(H)er Profile - Amanda Baier, VP, Marketing Communications at Vecna Robotics banner image

Lead(H)er Profile - Amanda Baier, VP, Marketing Communications at Vecna Robotics

Open Jobs Company Page

Our Lead(H)er series features impressive women leaders in the tech industry. In this Q&A, we are featuring Amanda Baier, VP, Marketing Communications at Vecna Robotics


Where did you grow up and how would you describe yourself as a child?

I grew up in Walpole, a suburb of Boston. I was bookish but also active in the 4H club as a child. I rode horses, showed pygmy goats and loved nothing more than quiet afternoons in the barn. I guess you could say I’m a little bit country! 

I was also really into the arts. I played piano, flute, french horn, and harp; acted in all the school plays; and eventually went on to participate in founding our high school’s annual film festival which is now in its 19th season! The kids write, direct, film, act in, edit, produce, and even write original music for the films. Whenever I’m storyboarding a professional production for work, I go right back to the basics that I learned from the WHS film festival. I like to think that I am proof that the skills acquired through an education in the arts are wildly relevant and transferable to a career in business. 

What did you study in college and what was your first job out of school?

I originally enrolled as an English major, but my studies ran the gamut of everything from archeology to botany to business school. I finally graduated with a dual degree in comparative literature and English with a minor in Spanish and certificates in simultaneous interpreting and technical writing with a specialization in business communications. I spent a lot of time translating Spanish poetry. Even today, the works of Pablo Neruda cast a certain spell over me! 

My first job out of school was working as a paralegal in the grants administration division of the largest healthcare system in Massachusetts. At that time, I thought I wanted to go to law school, so this was a great way to test the waters. I worked out of the Prudential tower which felt pretty glamorous at first, but I quickly realized that I wanted a smaller team and a less corporate environment. When I found Vecna Robotics and the startup atmosphere, I immediately knew it was the right place for me. 

Can you share the details on your career path and what were the critical moments that got you to where you are today?

As an English major in college, everyone asked me if I wanted to be a teacher. I think the first critical moment in my career was the early conviction that I did not want to teach. 

After I ruled out law school and found Vecna Technologies (Vecna Robotics’ parent company), I found a great fit in both grant writing and marketing due to my strong language skills. I stayed with Vecna Technologies until Vecna Robotics began the process of spinning out into its own entity. 

At that time, I became very interested in health and wellness and took a sharp turn into the world of yoga and holistic healing. I spent a year completing my 200-hour yoga teacher training, studying to become a Reiki master, and a certified health coach then left Vecna to pursue my own health coaching practice. I used the experience I gained in the studio and with private clients to land a job at a small teaching hospital in Cambridge, MA as the Wellness Coordinator for their cancer center. I was able to expand the programs offered to patients to include free Reiki, oncology massage, art therapy, organic farming experiences, and even an all-natural beauty workshop for women undergoing treatment.

One day, I got a phone call from the Vecna Robotics team, asking if I could take on some writing projects. As I jumped back into the fringes of the fast-paced startup world, I remembered how much I missed the excitement and the relationships I’d forged over the years with incredibly smart people. They were, after all, my “framily.” I left the health and wellness field to dive head-first back into the fray, identifying another key realization in my career journey: yoga is a wonderful personal tool for me to maintain my mental and physical health, but not my intended career path. This does not preclude me from sharing the practice with others. I now just see it as more of a service to my community than a career path - a way of giving back - and I get to do that within the Vecna Robotics community. I’ve taken on the role of Yoga Club President in the office and, during COVID quarantine, taught weekly classes for coworkers over Teams. Now that the offices are open and we hire a yoga teacher to come in, I still jump in and substitute teach from time to time. 

To sum it up, for me, it’s always been about trial and error and following the sparks of inspiration. I look for the places of greatest challenge, thrill, and personal growth - and remain open to change whenever it’s required. Change is hard and presents many unknowns. But, I’ve discovered that as long as I bring passion and energy through the tumult of change, I will land on my feet. 

What is your current role and responsibilities?

I currently manage the marketing initiatives at Vecna Robotics internally and externally, including demand generation, public relations, trade shows, digital and more. I work hard to foster community within the company by keeping close relationships with senior leadership and more junior team members and nurturing their growth within the organization. I also manage marketing relationships with partners to grow the greater Vecna Robotics and material handling communities. 

Looking back, is this where you thought you’d be professionally?  Was it always your goal to be in this position?

It was never my goal to be in this position, but if I look back, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that I was headed for an entrepreneurial environment in material handling all along. From a young age, I was always dreaming up random little businesses like private tutoring, custom fashion design, and making crocheted slippers to sell to my friends. Of course, none of these were scalable, so that was lesson number one!

Also, my father and my brother are both engineers. I was always watching them in problem-solving mode as they built things around the house, fixed the boat engine, took apart motorcycles, or rebuilt my dad’s 1932 Ford Pickup. When my brother got older, he then got into building robots for school projects and summer camps. So, early exposure to mechanics and automation was definitely a strong influence. 

My dad also has an appreciation for logistics feats hidden in plain sight. I remember him coming home from Home Depot with a new rake one time, and he asked, “Could you make this, package it, and ship it for $10?” He has a strong appreciation for supply chain, which certainly shaped the way I see the world. 

I think it makes sense that I would end up being in an environment that is the professional version of what I experienced at home. But at work, I get to bring my core competencies to the challenges of growing a technology business: writing, creativity, interpreting highly technical language and making it accessible to the everyday person. 

For people who are looking to be in a similar position, what advice would you give to others in terms of helping them achieve their career goals?

  1. Begin with yes. No project is beneath you, especially early in your career. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get dirty (sometimes literally when working in a lab environment!). Add value for your leadership team - look for where they need help and offer support. Through that, you gain exposure and get to work alongside really smart people, learn a bigger breadth of skills, and advance in your personal growth more quickly. 
  2. Don’t compromise. Do quality work. And if you’ve hired someone for a job, maintain high standards and push them to deliver up to expectations. 
  3. Be discerning. Know where to put your time. Don’t work just to fill the hours; focus on what’s going to get you the biggest results. 
  4. Step up. Do the hard thing -- take on a project that is big and scary or overwhelming, step into a place in your organization that needs a leader, give candid feedback in a loving way, etc. What’s hard is different for everybody, but you have to learn to recognize your edges and then lean into that discomfort. That’s how you grow and become a bigger, better, more powerful version of yourself. 

What are the most important skills that you need to do your job well?

When the ball comes at you fast, swing slower. In marketing things are constantly flying at you - deadlines are changing or being piled on. Even when the hours seem limited, resist the scarcity mindset. Take time to breathe, get centered, and stay present. This will expand time. The quality of your output relies on a steady mind. If you are rushed and disorganized then customers and prospects will see that - it will be apparent in the quality of your work.

Staying organized is another key skill. I like to set up regular check-ins that help me to know exactly where I’m at every week: budget review, weekly metrics reports, big project checkpoints, or milestone meetings. By having small chunks of time devoted to reviewing big systems, you will be less likely to be caught off guard and feel more in control.  

Another necessary skill is adaptability. In marketing, as in so many other disciplines and life in general, your plans may change at the drop of a hat. It’s important not to get thrown off or ruffled. If you maintain equanimity you’ll be happier in the long run. And if you do feel ruffled, that’s ok too. Do what you need to do to get your feet back under you first, and then take on whatever’s next. What’s past is past. Leave it there. Every day and every moment is an opportunity to start again. 

On a more tactical level, crisp comprehension and writing skills are key, especially when you’re in an innovation space!

What do you find most interesting/rewarding about your work?  What’s the most challenging?

To me, the most rewarding part of marketing is seeing the outcomes of things that actually work. A lot of time is spent setting up systems, crafting messaging, producing content, and thinking creatively, and then launching it all into the world. It’s incredibly rewarding on the days the leads start piling up and requests for interviews start coming in. Those are the days you’re validated in your efforts and you realize that the machine is working. 

Most challenging is keeping up with the demands and knowing what is valuable and what’s not. What’s actually going to help you accomplish something and have a great return on investment? I’m always reassessing: what’s the 20% of work that’s going to get me 80% of the results? It’s constantly a game of working smarter, not harder.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

My proudest professional accomplishment is seeing the culmination of many years of dedication to one mission, one company. It began 10 years ago with writing winning proposals for millions of dollars in research grants to seed some of Vecna Robotics’ early technology development - to lay the groundwork for Series A and Series B investment - to now having systems in place where the marketing machine is humming. Earlier this year, we won the Fast Company Most Innovative Companies award, ranking #4 in logistics worldwide. Getting that recognition on an international scale for the work that we’ve done over the course of all of these years was huge. It goes to show that Rome wasn’t built in a day -- it takes a lot of grit, focus, and teamwork to do things that are worth doing. 

Are you involved with any professional organizations outside of the company? Volunteer work?

I’m involved in MHI (Material Handling Industry) and just completed the MHI Leadership Program. MHI’s Industry Leaders Program helps emerging and new leaders connect with industry peers and leaders, gain a broader perspective of the supply chain and material handling industry, and grow their leadership skills and expertise. I’m also on the MHI MPro (Material Handling Industry Marketing Professionals) subcommittee for education. We pull in experts from the field of marketing to provide education to other MHI marketers. Outside of work, I also work with the Sunny Rock 4-H Program - a youth development program that teaches kids leadership skills through agriculture and care of livestock. 

What has attributed to your success thus far and what types of obstacles have you had to overcome along the way as a female leader in a predominantly male industry?

There have been times at trade shows where I’ve stood on a raised platform and not seen another woman for what seems like miles. This is can be a stunning experience but should serve as a reminder of how far we have to go to bring more diverse talent into the supply chain industry. 

One thing I’ve observed is that many women in male-dominated environments have a tendency to adopt a masculine energy. For me, it happens when I’m under stress and it comes out in my posture, my voice, or putting up walls and taking a defensive tone. It usually arises as a response to a need I feel to be seen as smart, strong, and capable. Luckily, Vecna Robotics has always been a workplace that encourages team members to be authentically who they are and one that encourages diversity, recognizing the role of different perspectives in furthering innovation. 

With that, I’ve been able to shed some of those stress responses over time (still working on it!). And what I’ve come to realize and appreciate over the years is the power of well-balanced feminine energy in the workplace. When we (who identify as feminine) soften into our feminine qualities, we can create an atmosphere where all feel welcome to speak up, it can open doors for hard conversations and make them less difficult, it can cast a sense of ease over problem-solving and turn up the volume on creativity, it brings lightness and humor, and fosters relationship building and a stronger team environment. I’ve learned that I can be strong, smart, capable, and feminine all at once. These qualities are harmonious. 


Q&A

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

My husband and I are avid rock climbers. If not climbing in the gym, we go to New Hampshire or New York on the weekends to adventure on new routes. Vacations usually take us further afield to international climbing destinations - which is always fun because we get to combine our love of travel with our love of adventuring outdoors.

I’m also an avid trail runner, and oil painter. I like to take my painting outdoors and do a lot of painting en plein air in parks and trails around Boston. When I’m home, I spend a lot of time playing with my two rowdy rescues, Max and Chief, my sweet cat Lilou la Fleur, and my ever-expanding collection of plants. 

How do you manage stress?

A daily workout routine is critical. I try to run every morning, rain/snow or shine and get in a post-work gym sweat sesh or yoga practice. Art and music is also a great way to destress.

How many cups of coffee do you have in a day?

One cup just to get going.

What's one of your favorite places in the Boston/New York area?

I love kayaking and canoeing on the waterways around Boston. The Ipswich and the Concord Rivers are so peaceful.

Any book or podcast recommendations?  

I love the All In podcast with Jason Calcanis, Chamath Palihapitiya, David Friedberg, and David Sacks. They’re a hilarious group of some of the biggest investors in tech and I listen to them religiously. I also listen to Bigger Pockets, Tony Robbins, and The Wall Street Journal Secrets of Wealthy Women. Listening to other women's stories is a great way to stay empowered and motivated to keep pressing forward. 

Two of the books that changed my life are Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, and Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith. The first is by a cantadora (storyteller) and psychologist who uses myth to unpack the female psyche. The second unveils the energetic body in great detail, drawing links between modern psychology to ancient body awareness. Both provide a guidebook to staying grounded.

What advice do you have for recent college graduates?

Let the journey unfold. It’s easy to hold tightly to old goals and identities. But don’t be afraid to let go of what beliefs and personas no longer serve you along the way; and similarly, don't be afraid to try on new ways of thinking and take new roads. Through doing this, you find that more opportunities open up for you, and can present you with more fulfilling and exciting endeavors. And if it doesn’t work out, it was a good story!

About the
Company

Vecna Robotics delivers Automated Material Handling, Hybrid Fulfillment, and Workflow Optimization solutions featuring self-driving vehicles operated by our learning Autonomy Stack.

View Company Page
Lead(H)er Profile - Debbie Umbach, VP of Corporate Marketing at Dynatrace banner image

Lead(H)er Profile - Debbie Umbach, VP of Corporate Marketing at Dynatrace

Open Jobs Company Page

Our Lead(H)er series features impressive women leaders in the tech industry. In this Q&A, we are featuring Debbie Umbach, VP of Corporate Marketing at Dynatrace


Where did you grow up and how would you describe yourself as a child?

I grew up in a sleepy suburb outside of Cleveland. I had a traditional family at that time: a working dad, stay-at-home mom, and a younger brother and a sister. As the eldest, I was always paving the way for my siblings -- I loved trying new things and finding adventure everywhere I could. I got into trouble sometimes but was usually able to talk my way out of it. Lots of stories can’t be told here :) 

I worked very hard and loved doing it in the middle of all the action so I wouldn’t miss a thing. (I’m an extreme extrovert). I would spread out my homework in the middle of the family room and everyone got used to walking by me carefully, so as not to step on any papers. I have very good concentration so could tune everyone out when working on a challenging problem. I was an avid reader and my mom always had to call me to dinner multiple times as I said, “Just one more page, please!” 

Debbie Umbach Dynatrace

What did you study in college and what was your first job out of school?

I always loved math and science and knew I wanted to study engineering fairly early on. However, I also wanted a lively social life and the option to transfer out of engineering if it turned out to not meet my expectations. Thus, I chose the University of Virginia and got a BS with Distinction in Systems Engineering and a minor in French.

I love variety and wanted to travel, so consulting was quite appealing to me. I chose IT consulting over management consulting because tech was also a passion. I got what I wished for in an internship with American Management Systems (AMS) (which was later bought by CGI). On my first day, they asked if I wanted to travel to the client site in Birmingham, AL the next day! It was trial by fire and I loved every minute of it. I was a sponge and learned as much as I could, getting promoted to a project manager and then expanding my portfolio to managing 2 projects in 2 different cities. 

Can you share the details on your career path and what were the critical moments that got you to where you are today?

Consulting was fun and I was exposed to all aspects of managing and implementing IT systems (I specifically worked on document imaging for healthcare systems). We implemented the custom software in hospital after hospital, and eventually realized we could productize it. This gave me my first taste of product management. 

It’s a hard leap to go from project management to product management, so I decided I needed to go to business school to accelerate the process. I was thrilled to get into my first choice: Harvard Business School, and I immersed myself in the full-time experience, working hard and playing hard. 

From there I worked at Akamai as a product manager and went to other start-ups, one in which I sat next to the marketer and would listen to her and see what she was doing. I decided to make the leap to product marketing and continued to move from start-up to start-up as they got bought out or folded. I had many different types of managers over the years, and I learned about what works well -- and what not to do. Eventually, I earned the opportunity to run all of marketing at BitSight, a cybersecurity company. I was so excited to take on this meaty role, and manage a growing team. 

I ask a lot of questions and try hard to listen closely in order to learn what’s needed to be successful in any role. Then I try things out and course correct along the way. I also network regularly with people outside my organization (currently I’m a part of a local Boston CMO group that regularly shares information via an old fashioned mailing list and gets together in person every so often). I also am on a CMO Coffee Talk group that gathers for a discussion via zoom every Friday and has a very active Slack group. I learn from them every day and can reach out to get best practices, advice, etc., at any time. I also make sure to share my insights whenever I can.

My curiosity, drive, collaboration skills, willingness to take risks, and a growth mindset have led to me where I am today: leading a team of 45 (with lots of open req’s - we’re hiring!) as VP of Corporate Marketing at Dynatrace.

What is your current role and responsibilities?

At Dynatrace as the VP of Corporate Marketing reporting to the CMO, I am responsible for 6 areas:

  • Brand & Experience
  • Social Media
  • Strategic Events
  • Digital Marketing
  • Marketing Analytics and Operations
  • Customer Marketing

Ultimately, my team and I are responsible for driving awareness of Dynatrace and building a strong, differentiated brand. We do this through developing crisp messaging, advertising (mostly digitally but also in print, video, and audio), engaging via social media, partnering with the field and campaign teams to run demand generation programs, and running programs to retain, upsell, cross-sell, and engage our customers to become strong advocates. 

Having strong directors in place for each function enables me to think strategically and plan ahead as we grow the organization. I believe in the “First Team” mentality where you spend a lot of time with your peers, exchanging information and supporting each other. This enables you to provide value to the people that report to you, as you’re aware of broader organizational priorities and where they fit in with the overarching business goals. I spend a lot of time with my team, ensuring they are happy, productive, and empowered. I also make sure to address my manager’s needs and keep him in the loop on everything he needs to do. My job is to ensure my team’s objectives and projects will drive Dynatrace’s growth -- and I ultimately want to lighten the load for our CMO so he can focus on his key initiatives.   

Looking back, is this where you thought you’d be professionally?  Was it always your goal to be in this position?

I was trained as an engineer and now I’m in marketing, somewhere I never envisioned myself. That said, I also thought I would end up in business. Given that marketing has become more and more analytical and data-driven, it meets my math criteria, and the creative side of me loves the artistic components. It is truly an art and a science and requires new and different thinking every day. I absolutely love my job and career and, while it took me a while to find my passion, I learned many things along the way that have proven invaluable to make me successful in my current role. 

For people who are looking to be in a similar position, what advice would you give to others in terms of helping them achieve their career goals?

Never be afraid to take on new challenges and ask a lot of questions. Embrace your mistakes and learn from them. 

What are the most important skills that you need to do your job well?

The most important skills are centered around 3 areas:

  • People: Hiring and developing a strong team, and maintaining a healthy culture where people feel empowered to do their jobs is essential for any leader. I also like to hire people who are smarter than I am. I help provide a framework from which to work, based on company goals and what’s important to my peers, and set the strategy (with my direct reports’ input and buy-in), and let them do what they do best. Early on in my career, I found it hard to not get stuck in the details and sometimes micro-managed, but as I’ve grown, I’ve found it easier to let go and know that things will get done, sometimes differently than how I would have done them -- but often better. I also believe in 360 degree feedback, both positive and constructive, in as near real-time as possible.

  • Process: Understanding how to get things done in your organization is critical to strong execution. You must learn to navigate the structure and figure out who to go to for what. Learning the “norms” is one of the first things I set out to do in a new job. 

  • Technology: Good marketing is grounded in not just strategy but also a solid tech stack that helps automate and ameliorate your team’s work. It’s not just about picking the best tools but perhaps even more important, operationalizing them so that you can use them optimally to suit your needs. I have found that many marketers love tools -- and there are thousands of them available -- and it’s easy to get excited about the next cool tool, but you need to put together a good business justification and articulate how they will fit with your processes and existing tools.

What do you find most interesting/rewarding about your work?  What’s the most challenging?

I love the variety. Every day is different, and I get to problem solve in various ways. The people piece of my job is the most challenging and rewarding.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

I am most proud of the team that I built in my first VP of Marketing role at BitSight, a Boston-based cybersecurity company. 

Debbie Umbach Dynatrace

Are you involved with any professional organizations outside of the company? Volunteer work?

I have served on a few non-profit Boards, which has given me the experience I can leverage when I go for my first for-profit Board position. When my children are out of college, I plan to seek a Board position in a local tech company so I can lend my expertise to others and continue to grow professionally.


Q&A

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I treasure time spent with my family, including our 2 dogs (a boxer and a German short-haired pointer). My children and husband and I eat dinner together most nights and always have interesting conversations. I also love exercising and reading (I’m in two different book clubs). I talk to my mom at least every other day while walking the dogs or commuting; she brings me a lot of joy.  

 How do you manage stress?

Managing stress is essential for everyone. I have learned great tips and put them into practice over time. It’s pretty basic, but sometimes it’s tempting to get off track. If I do, I reset the next day. Exercise, sleep and a healthy diet, in that order, keep me balanced. I love to run, swim and do yoga -- cross training is important to avoid injury. I need 8 hours of sleep, so I try to go to bed and read a bit before falling asleep around 9:30-10pm. And I eat a balanced diet. Pizza and ice cream are my favorite foods, but I eat them in moderation. Oh, and I love a good cocktail!

How many cups of coffee do you have in a day?

After I drink a large glass of water, I “reward” myself with 2 cups of coffee. I love to plan my day and get essential work done in the morning while I savor my Starbucks.

What's one of your favorite places in the Boston/New York area?

Stephanie’s on Newbury because they have the best brunch and seating outside (for great people watching). I also love my back porch, as we overlook wetlands and it’s very peaceful.

Any book or podcast recommendations? 

I love so many books, it’s impossible to pick a favorite. From mysteries to love stories to biographies to young adult books, I pick them to match my mood in the moment. The Good Earth is one of my favorite fiction books. For some reason, it gives me great comfort, and I have read it at least 4 times over the years. My favorite business books are “The First 90 Days” and “The Who Book: The A Method of Hiring.”

What advice do you have for recent college graduates?

It doesn’t really matter what your first job is out of school. Just do your best and don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions (and take notes so that you rarely have to ask the same question twice). Always think about making your manager’s life easier. If you do that, you will become invaluable. Be proactive in career planning discussions so that you can figure out what your next growth opportunity is, but don’t ask for a promotion. If you are providing value and take the time for some strategic thinking in addition to executing well, the promotions will come. 

About the
Company

The Dynatrace platform combines broad and deep observability and continuous runtime application security with advanced AIOps to deliver answers and intelligent automation from data. 

View Company Page
Lead(H)er Profile - Daria Marmer, VP of Product & Design at Alyce banner image

Lead(H)er Profile - Daria Marmer, VP of Product & Design at Alyce

Open Jobs Company Page

Our Lead(H)er series features impressive women leaders in the tech industry. In this Q&A, we are featuring Daria Marmer, VP of Product & Design at Alyce.


Where did you grow up and how would you describe yourself as a child?

I grew up in Massachusetts. I don’t know - how does anyone describe themselves as a child? Immature?:) 

What did you study in college and what was your first job out of school?

I studied Economics and Math and I was sure that I wanted to go into finance. I had two internships with Lehman Brothers and graduated with an offer to join them full time after graduation. Less than 6 months after I started, Lehman declared bankruptcy and I was laid off. 

Can you share the details on your career path and what were the critical moments that got you to where you are today?

I didn’t know what I wanted to do if it wasn’t finance -- and in early 2009 there weren’t many finance jobs still open. I applied to a variety of roles… I considered marketing, recruiting, sales, everything! I applied to a business role at eBay and one of my interviewers was a group product manager, Thad, with an opening on his team. At the end of the process, the folks asked me if I preferred the business or the product role. I had absolutely no idea what product management was and I asked Thad which one he thought I’d be better suited for. He said that I’d be a great product manager and I decided to jump for it. Thad is one of my mentors to this day!

Daria Marmer Alyce

What is your current role and responsibilities?

I’m the VP of Product and Design at Alyce. We are a fast growing startup, so a lot of my time I’m setting the vision and culture for the product and clearing any roadblocks for my team. 

Looking back, is this where you thought you’d be professionally?  Was it always your goal to be in this product leadership?

Certainly not! When I was a sophomore in college, I wrote myself an email to be delivered 5 years later where I wrote something like, “by this point, you will probably be in business school after 2 years in an investment bank.” When I got it, I was in product and I never ended up going to business school. 

For people who are looking to be in a similar position, what advice would you give to others in terms of helping them achieve their career goals?

Seek out other people’s feedback, but make space between the feedback and your self worth.  

Feedback is a gift, but it's often wrapped up in stinky old newsprint instead of a cute bow. Being able to discard the wrapping but still keep the gift will help you grow and bounce back from adversity faster. 

What are the most important skills that you need to do your job well?

Listening. Building software isn’t brain surgery, all of the answers are available if we’re able to listen for them from our customers, team members, and data. Two ears, one mouth and all that!

What do you find most interesting/rewarding about your work?  What’s the most challenging?

Probably the toughest thing is to manage my own emotions (ugh. Is that too touchy feely?) Being really honest, as a leader, the “easy” problems are solved by my team. Once they reach me, they’re the difficult ones. I can’t let my brain fall into any one rabbit hole of a problem and bring that negative energy back to the team when I’m trying to advise on the next problem. Creating that space is something that I work on regularly. 

Every Friday, I leave the week on a good note by publishing the “good stuff” that happened that week. When I sit down to write it, I’m still thinking of all the challenges and hard situations that we’re in the middle of solving. Once I start writing though, my mood improves dramatically -- looking back at all of the amazing challenges we solve, that retrospection is the most rewarding. 

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

Building my team at Alyce is definitely the best thing I’ve done. I am blown away regularly by the insights that they bring to our conversations and having a great team makes going to work not feel like work. 

Are you involved with any professional organizations outside of the company? Volunteer work?

Right now no, but once my kids get a little older I look forward to it!


Q&A

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

When I’m not running after my 2 kiddos, I’m playing guitar (poorly), running or rowing (not that long), or cooking (actually pretty good at that one). 

How do you manage stress?

Finding time for myself is really important for me. I made a new years resolution that every day I will either row 1k meters or walk/run 1 mile and so far I’ve done it every day but 1! I need a goal to keep myself accountable, and being physically active really helps me stay grounded.

How many cups of coffee do you have in a day?

0.001 - I never really got into the coffee habit, but I’ll have one if I’m out at a coffee shop with someone else. 

What's one of your favorite places in the Boston area?

Does my bedroom count? Just kidding. I went to college at Wellesley and the trail around the lake is definitely my happy spot. 

Any book or podcast recommendations? 

How much time do you have? I switch off reading business books and fun books and I’m in the middle of Ben Mezrich’s Once Upon A Time in Russia and it’s very good. Basically anything he writes is great! I’m not big into podcasts though. 

What advice do you have for recent college graduates hoping to find a career in Product?

Find some way to build a software product -- it can be as a side hustle, a team project, a small web app, really anything that can show an employer that you’ve gone through the steps of Discovery / Development / Delivery before and have the battle scars to prove it.  

About the
Company

Alyce is creating personal connections at scale - transforming how businesses grow & engage people through our AI powered platform. 

View Company Page
Lead(H)er Profile - Suzanne Glick Gilfix, General Counsel & VP at Applause banner image

Lead(H)er Profile - Suzanne Glick Gilfix, General Counsel & VP at Applause

Open Jobs Company Page

Our Lead(H)er series features impressive women leaders in the tech industry. In this Q&A, we are featuring Suzanne Glick Gilfix, General Counsel & VP at Applause.


Suzanne Glick Gilfix ApplauseWhere did you grow up and how would you describe yourself as a child?

I grew up in Central Massachusetts to a family of 3 generations on my street. I was high energy, climbing trees, doing gymnastics and keeping up with my older brothers.

What did you study in college and what was your first job out of school?

I studied government (political science) in college. I had some good summer jobs, first in high school at the local car dealership where I learned the value of customer service and in later years at the Attorney General’s office, and in DC for a lobbying group, both of which helped direct my law school career. My first job after law school was at a large law firm in Boston. 

Can you share the details on your career path and what were the critical moments that got you to where you are today?

After two years at the firm, I sought more direct experience in court and with my clients. I also cared deeply about the public interest given extensive volunteer work I was engaged in during the mid-90s around civil rights in Boston. Becoming Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division (Massachusetts AG’s office) was a defining moment in my career trajectory. There (among outstanding colleagues), I helped to enforce the state’s civil rights laws and the fair housing and employment laws. Representing the public interest was meaningful and rewarding and led to my becoming a diversity consultant and launching an anti-bullying training effort in area schools in the early 2000s. I remain grateful to the AG’s office for being a flexible employer enabling me to work part-time while I had my 3 children. Being able to grow my family and career at the same time stands out as a critical time in my life. I am fortunate to have a true partner in my husband who has supported these aspirations and career shifts.

I then joined my first in-house counsel role for a sports franchise start-up and realized I enjoyed the diverse work in-house work brought me: employee issues, contracts, compliance. I didn’t purposefully choose tech, but it chose me at EMC (now Dell) where the legal department hired me to fill in for a team member’s maternity leave. The rest was history as it was a natural fit. With my energy and enthusiasm for learning, I asked for various projects and grew my in-house tech career. One opportunity led to another and when EMC launched a new company, Pivotal Software, and I was fortunate to take on a global management position which really accelerated my career and my passion for managing a team. All of these diverse roles best prepared me for my current executive role.

Suzanne Glick Gilfix Applause

What is your current role and responsibilities?

I am General Counsel & Vice President at Applause, the worldwide leader in enabling digital quality. As part of our executive team (where I get to partner with so many innovative and strong leaders), I manage the company’s worldwide legal process, including ensuring compliance with laws, creating and enforcing policies for all employees and personnel, protecting our IP and handling risk mitigation alongside general corporate matters throughout our global offices. My role also includes cross-functional initiatives to improve ESG (environment, sustainability and governance). I enjoy how varied and challenging each day is and the opportunity to tackle important strategic business initiatives along in addition to legal compliance. 

Looking back, is this where you thought you’d be professionally?  Was it always your goal to be in this position?

I can’t say that it was always my goal to be a General Counsel. But as the years progressed, following my entry into tech, I realized it was an aspiration to aim for. I had been a leader when I was younger (whether on sports teams or in the community organizations in which I was involved), so it was certainly something I sought to attain.

I had great influences early on in my life that helped to establish and nurture my interests in the fields of law and business. My grandfather was an attorney and my dad ran a car dealership, so I was able to see how both could make an impact in people’s lives. From them, I learned the values of fairness and equity, and the importance of customer retention and employee loyalty. These early influences helped to shape my interests and goals of becoming a tech lawyer.

For people who are looking to be in a similar position, what advice would you give to others in terms of helping them achieve their career goals?

Tactically, I think the sooner you can join an in-house team of lawyers, the better. Some say that law firm is necessary to advance your career in-house, but I don’t think it’s necessarily linear nor mandated. Find a way, even if it’s project-based or summer work, to spend some time in a law firm to learn the discipline, rigor, and training it provides. Then, find mentors in-house or through network associations where you can gain a perspective of what a company does and how it operates. Then go for it.

Once you land an in-house role, get to know the product or service the company sells inside out and meet key stakeholders and leaders. Surround yourself with people who share your values. 

Match your actions and your words to your intentions and be prepared. There’s a sports adage – success is 9/10ths preparation. If you put in the hard work and focus on the details your career can build on small initial successes and continue to accelerate. I devote ample time to study up and get ready for big presentations or negotiations or court appearances. Some say I made it look easy but that’s because they didn’t see all the hard work I put into my preparation. 

Along your career path, find mentors and ask them questions; be curious and chart your own path. I strongly believe that direct sponsorship and mentorship is the best way to advance the professional development for women in tech and business. But don’t be surprised if your path is not linear. Mine wasn’t a straight line and where I wavered, I grew. Volunteer in organizations or companies where you think you may want to work. I have always been engaged in the community and there are so many benefits by being active. When you reach a place where you can help others, become a mentor to inspire others.

Are you involved with any professional organizations outside of the company? Volunteer work?

On the professional side, I’ve been involved in the New England Corporate Counsel Association and look forward to serving on their board.

Because I have had some influential mentors who shaped my professional development earlier on in my career I’ve become involved in the Global Good Fund, where I’ve been able to pay it forward and mentor younger attorneys and professionals. 

I’ve also been involved in several non-profit organizations (mostly related to civil rights work) over the last 25 years. One of the most impactful is co-founding and leading a non-profit called the Tyler Foundation, where we partner with Children’s Hospital of Boston to provide financial assistance to families (who have non-covered costs) impacted by neurological disorders such as severe epilepsy. 

What are the most important skills that you need to do your job well?

In law school, you’re taught to question everything in order to understand the facts and apply the law consistently and fairly when analyzing a situation. Being inquisitive is key to this role, but it’s important to inquire with thoughtful attention to elicit the facts and not dissuade people from surfacing issues. In that regard, it’s necessary to be a trusted advisor, and an excellent verbal and written communicator, to understand the core business of your clients, and build trust and empathy with key stakeholders in all parts of the business to ensure that people will be held accountable on general compliance and doing the right thing. I think building those relationships internally has helped me succeed over the years and land at a company like Applause that places such a high premium on doing the right thing and ensuring our executive team leads by example. Finally, I’d say a love of learning is a necessary ingredient as the law and technology continue to evolve and it’s important to stay curious and dig in to do the research to ensure the company is complying with applicable law. 

What do you find most interesting/rewarding about your work?  What’s the most challenging?

I love how broad my role is: from IP protection and enforcement to complex commercial negotiations, to HR issues to data privacy, no two days are alike. The most challenging aspect is knowing I’m valued as a generalist but that I wish I were an expert at all. I also love tackling large global initiatives to streamline efficiencies in our offerings and make our processes more efficient. Getting into the weeds on the business side and bringing value to our customers is also very rewarding as is seeing our growth and positive feedback from our customers.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

Other than landing this awesome opportunity at Applause, I was very proud to be on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in April of 2019 as part of a small team that helped take Pivotal Software public. It was very exciting to be part of the launch of a new company in 2013, and then play an important role in our growth, IPO, and ultimate acquisition, especially alongside dear friends and colleagues.


Q&A

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I enjoy yoga, meditation, reading good books, hiking, tennis, pickleball, spending time with family and friends in the mountains or the beach, or a live music event, and as time permits, engaging in community work.

How do you manage stress?

Yoga and meditation.

How many cups of coffee do you have in a day?

1-2 cups of Decaf. I am pretty high energy so Decaf works for me.

What's one of your favorite places in the Boston area?

I love any view of the Lenny Zakim Bridge in Boston. I collaborated with the great civil rights leader for whom the bridge is named (in his memory) and it brings me back to what really matters – building bridges of understanding among diverse communities. I also love Fenway Park and the North End, for their respective storied histories.

Any book or podcast recommendations?  

Recent books I’ve enjoyed include: All the Light We Cannot See, Untamed, Becoming, American Dirt, The Mandible, Rules of Civility, Mountains Beyond Mountains.

What advice do you have for recent college graduates?

Appreciate that your first job is likely not your dream job, but figure out if it helps you shape what you like and don’t like about the role, company, or field of interest. How can it help develop skills that will best direct you to where you do want to go next? What do you care about? Take those passions and combine them with your career path – then you’ll ensure you’re not “working”!

Don’t worry if you haven’t figured it out as of yet. Find good people to learn from either in your job or outside of it and ask lots of questions of how people got to where they are. As noted above, find mentors that do what you think you strive to achieve and then figure out how they got there. 

About the
Company

Today, Applause is the only partner that can provide brands like you with authentic, real-world insight on how your digital assets perform.

View Company Page
Lead(H)er Profile - Jennifer Armstrong, VP of Engineering at Duck Creek Technologies banner image

Lead(H)er Profile - Jennifer Armstrong, VP of Engineering at Duck Creek Technologies

Open Jobs Company Page

Our Lead(H)er series features impressive women leaders in the tech industry. In this Q&A, we are featuring Jennifer Armstrong, VP of Engineering at Duck Creek Technologies.


Where did you grow up and how would you describe yourself as a child?

I grew up in Lake Zurich, Illinois and I would describe myself as a quiet tomboy. I had two older brothers and a younger sister (who was 8 years younger), so I pretty much grew up with boys at a young age. I would play different sports or was running around outside until it got dark. I thought if my older brothers could do it I could as well. Which lead to a few injuries but also a fundamental belief that nothing could stop me if I wanted to do something.

What did you study in college and what was your first job out of school?

When I was growing up, I was always interested in the STEM classes. I knew I would eventually be focused on something in that space. When I started at DePaul University in Chicago, IL, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to study math or computer science, but I eventually settled on computer science, but took a lot of math classes for fun. I eventually graduated with a bachelor and master’s from DePaul in computer science. 

My first job out of college was as a consultant at a boutique consulting company where I worked for a few different insurance carriers over 6 years. This started my long journey in the insurance space. I always like to say that my soul is technology, but I grew up in insurance.

Can you share the details on your career path and what were the critical moments that got you to where you are today?

The first critical moment was when I decided to take a leap of faith in my abilities as a technologist and move from a role where I felt comfortable, I knew well, and I was an individual contributor with minimal responsibility. To a role that was in a space that was functionally and technically new to me. In addition, I would be leading a team of eight people. The project was an overhaul of a critical system purchased from a vendor that then could be customized for our company. Our job was to learn as much as we could from this vendor to become the experts but also lead this software design going forward. It was a lot of hard work, long hours, but I learned more in one year not only about this software but, more importantly, what I was capable of. I learned that I really enjoyed and was good at understanding the bigger business problem and coming up with the solutions for this problem. It allowed me to grow in mentoring or helping other engineers to guide them in their journeys.

Jennifer Armstrong Duck CreekThe second critical moment of my career was assessing my work life balance and realizing that I couldn’t sustain 70+ hour work weeks and attain the goals that I had both at work and in my personal life. I decided to leave a company that I loved, had great co-workers, and was advancing in my career, to an environment that I was able to truly balance my career and my personal life. After this change, I was able to focus on me, and I got married and now have three wonderful children who are my heart. My family has taught me a lot of good life lessons on compromise, patience, and most of all that you just need to roll with whatever comes your way.  The career change also allowed me to move to a company where I was able to leverage my strong core principles but grow significantly in my overall engineering leadership skills, influence without authority, and customer communication and presentation skills.  

What is your current role and responsibilities?

As VP of engineering at Duck Creek Technologies, I lead teams of over 120 engineers for some of our core products. I am engaged in all aspects of delivering product releases and service ownership of the products.

Looking back, is this where you thought you’d be professionally?  Was it always your goal to be in this position? 

This simple answer is no. When I finished my masters, I had fully intended to finish my PhD in computer science and be a professor. I loved being in the academic world. If I didn’t go into academics, I figured I would be a coder for my career. I was and still am an introvert, so being in a position where I had to interact with people constantly was a very uncomfortable concept. I learned that just because I am an introvert doesn’t mean I have to limit what I am capable of. I always mentor people to take a risk on yourself and don’t limit yourself on your or others’ preconceived notions of what you can do.

For people who are looking to be in a similar position, what advice would you give to others in terms of helping them achieve their career goals?

First, define your brand. Who and what do you stand for as a professional? Whether it is technology, the ability to communicate well, the ability to see the bigger picture, negotiation, etc.  Your brand will change over the course of your career as new interests are found or new talents are honed. Your brand will help you in any career path you take as it is the foundation that you can fall back on and lean on.

Second, find a good mentor(s) that you trust to help you on your career journey. A mentor doesn’t always have to be someone you have a direct mentorship relationship with. I have had people that I would consider mentors that I just watched how they interacted with people or handled situations. Everyone in your life/career can be a mentor informally. It is also important to find advocates for you outside of your direct management chain.

What are the most important skills that you need to do your job well?

The skill that helps me the most is asking questions. Most of the time people will tell you what they want and not necessarily what they need.  I had someone tell me early in my career to ask the 5 whys. If you ask why 5 times, it will get to what someone truly needs versus what they want or think they need. Asking questions allows me to fully understand a situation where I can make the most educated decision I can.

What do you find most interesting/rewarding about your work?  What’s the most challenging?

The most rewarding thing about my work is seeing an idea come to fruition. Watching a simple idea get designed and built out and users start to use it. In insurance, knowing that things I am involved in have a direct impact on companies that their job is to return a person/company life back to normal after an event.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

One of my proudest moments was when we were able to successfully roll out the overhaul of a major critical software at the company I was working at. It changed everyone’s ability to service our customers. The other moment was being involved in building out a program to foster and encourage innovation. In technology, innovation is critical to continuous improvement. This problem was a catalyst to change the innovation culture.


Q&A

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Spending time with my family, Friday night pizza and movie nights, cooking, reading, traveling, and girls’ nights out with friends.

Jennifer Armstrong Duck Creek

How do you manage stress?

I don’t stress a lot, but when I do, laughter helps. So, I will do something that just makes me happy and laugh and I can usually manage my stress levels.

How many cups of coffee do you have in a day?

Probably around three, but nothing past noon otherwise I won’t sleep.

What advice do you have for recent college graduates?

Find what you enjoy doing. You will spend a decent amount of time doing it and if you really enjoy what you are doing in your career, opportunities will become available to advance in whatever ways you want. The second piece of advice I would say is believe in yourself and it is OK to take a risk or leap of faith. If something doesn’t work out, there are always other options.

About the
Company

Duck Creek Technologies gives P&C insurers a genuine path to the future.

View Company Page
Lead(H)er Profile - Shital Whitmore, SVP of Finance at SmartBear banner image

Lead(H)er Profile - Shital Whitmore, SVP of Finance at SmartBear

Open Jobs Company Page

Our Lead(H)er series features impressive women leaders in the tech industry. In this Q&A, we are featuring Shital Whitmore, SVP of Finance at SmartBear.


Where did you grow up and how would you describe yourself as a child?

I was raised in Methuen, Massachusetts as a first generation Indian-American. My parents immigrated here from Ahmedabad shortly before my birth along with most of my family. Because they had not yet established themselves in the community here, the family stayed close together, so I was constantly surrounded by loved ones, including dozens of cousins around my age. My family taught me the virtues of hard work, so I can remember my nose being always buried in a book. 

What did you study in college and what was your first job out of school?

I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance with a minor in International Studies/International Finance from Bentley University,  as well as an MBA from Babson College.  

My first job out of school was quite interesting. I was an accounting and finance rep for a small company of about 80 people. As anyone who has worked at a small startup knows, you often have to wear multiple hats, but by doing so, you get the chance to learn so much. 

My role allowed me to work on accounts payable, accounts receivable, and financial planning and analysis, but they also needed me to be the front desk clerk and to collect and deliver the mail!  

During the four or five years that I worked there, there were times I would work until midnight, or even overnight due to how busy things were and because I just wanted to crush it! I’m sure that my husband of 20 years is thrilled that I no longer have any desire to work overnight shifts anymore. That said, my first job experience helped make me into who I am today. 

Can you share the details on your career path and what were the critical moments that got you to where you are today?

I think being at a small company from a young age gave me the opportunity and experience of working directly with a lot of executives right away. To this day, and continuing throughout my career, I don't get intimidated by titles. I’ve always just treated people like people, and I think that’s one thing that has made my job easier.  

When people aren’t nervous about being around a CEO, a CFO, a Vice President, or a Director, whatever the title may be, it makes everyone’s job easier. 

What is your current role and responsibilities?

At SmartBear, I am currently the SVP of Finance. I oversee and manage the finance and accounting team, as well as the company’s licensing team. 

My day-to-day responsibilities are honestly different each day. Those responsibilities include managing our company’s budget, forecasting financials, and helping strategize how we can become more efficient and effective as an organization. I always want to point out that while these might be “my” responsibilities, they would be impossible without my team. I would not be able to do the work I do without them.  

My days include a lot of working directly with our executive team and others here to make sure SmartBear, as an organization, is always in a good place financially. This involves a lot of meetings and collaboration with a lot of different people to decide where our growth should come from, where we should spend, or not spend.  

Without my team, I would not be where I am. I tell them that all the time. I always try to hire smarter than myself. I think that you should never have a fear of hiring smarter than yourself because it only betters yourself, your team, and your organization as a whole.  

Looking back, is this where you thought you’d be professionally?  Was it always your goal to be in this position?

Yes. My goal has been to consistently highly perform in this position and to reach the title of Chief Financial Officer. 

I have always laid out career goals for myself. I typically keep the goals to myself and my husband .  Goals of where I wanted to be career-wise at 25, 30, and 35-years-old. Believing in myself and working very hard has gotten me to where I am today. I’ve worked in a number of different roles and in many industries over the years and can say that I absolutely love working for SmartBear. My whole team is excited to be here, which is awesome to be a part of. 

For people who are looking to be in a similar position, what advice would you give to others in terms of helping them achieve their career goals?

Learn as much as you can but know your boundaries. If you do not know something, it’s OK to say that! It’s not even just “OK,” people will generally respect and appreciate you letting them know. Hopefully, they’ll also then offer to teach you. When you start your first career, you really don’t know what you are getting into. I didn’t actually know what finance even meant; I had only read about it in a book. But trying your hardest, and making sure you work for someone you respect—and that they also respect you—is critically important. 

Treat people the way you want to be treated. Titles don’t matter. People are people. Work with people. They will help you, and you will help them.  

I would also recommend stepping outside of your comfort zone and absorbing as much as you can whenever you get the chance. You can often take on more at the beginning stages of your career but try and maintain that same mindset and a strong interest in continuing to learn throughout your career. 

Lastly, I‘ve also gotten to where I am today by having amazing bosses, which I’m so fortunate to have had. Not surprisingly, especially in finance, they’ve all been men, as there are still very few women in leadership positions in this field, but my bosses have all been a big part of helping me achieve my career growth. 

What are the most important skills that you need to do your job well?

A big part of my job is not just running numbers. We do that, but it is more about building relationships. 

I am in finance, but I must acknowledge and always be supportive of the people around me. My team is like a family to me. I know their spouses' names, their kids' names, and I genuinely care about them. To me, the most important parts of my job are caring about this team, bringing them along, and making sure they are always excelling. If I am helping them, it helps us all, and it helps our business to grow. 

So, yes, you’ll need the analytical side, but also make sure to stay customer-centric and genuinely care about your people. Having the business acumen to build strong internal and external relationships will only aid in your organization’s success.  

What do you find most interesting/rewarding about your work?  What’s the most challenging?

The most rewarding part for me is when people on my team, or people around me, are succeeding. I love to see them grow and climb to the next level.  

It’s also really rewarding when we’re able to come up with different ideas or ways to help the company financially enhance themselves. Our team loves continuing to grow in new and different ways as the result of our own new ideas. Getting that little bit of extra margin is exciting! 

I also don’t just want to be in finance; I want to be a business partner. Not “just” running numbers, but really understanding the business. We can practically run numbers in our sleep. It’s about learning the business, helping the business grow, understanding our marketplace and our customers. How can we change our strategy to continue to enhance ourselves?  

As for challenges, there are all different kinds, and it really just depends on the situation, but whenever there is a challenge, we figure out how to overcome it. 

One common challenge for some women in positions of leadership is around oftentimes being in a board room of only men. I am a very vocal person, and, fortunately, don’t really struggle with that. I just don’t tend to look at people as “man…woman…title…or color.” A person is a person to me.  

At SmartBear, our female leadership is growing, which is great! We continue to diversify our organization and love seeing any and all backgrounds and demographics achieve big things here. 

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

To date, I would say that my proudest professional accomplishment was when I became a director at a large public organization and managed a $2B budget by the time I was 27. As a young female in the world of business, moving into that level of responsibility was a big moment for me. 

I was learning so much by being a director at a large public organization, reporting directly to the CFO, and managing a budget on my own. During my six years there, I grew personally and professionally each and every day.  

Every time I have moved to a new company, I have not left for a boss. A lot of people leave bosses, but I have left for an opportunity, a different career opportunity. I make sure that if I am leaving, I am checking boxes for my resume and to enhance my personal and professional growth. I recognize every time I have made a change in my career as a significant personal accomplishment. 

Coming to SmartBear, managing all of finance and working for an organization that is growing so quickly has been a huge personal accomplishment. I am extremely proud of all we have done. In the 2 years I have been here, we have tripled our valuation! That and being a part of all the growth, as well as the acquisitions that we have made, are just a few things that are major highlights for me. 

Are you involved with any professional organizations outside of the company? Volunteer work?

My “volunteering” these days largely consists of constantly running after my two children. My four- and six-year-old boys are my life. 


Q&A

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Being raised in an Indian family, I did not ski or do a lot of sports—I actually hated sports! I would try every sport and I would quit. Having two young boys, I am now learning how to ski at 38 years old. I don’t love it, but I am learning. They do black diamonds, and I am still on the green trails by myself and freaking out.  

I now work out a lot and do so many activities with my two boys. Hiking, skiing, and even though I’m not very good at it, I’d also love to be an artist. I do think I’ll stick to my day job, but for some reason, I’ve always wanted to be an artist (I don’t know why)!  

Oh, and I also love shopping. If I could find a way to shop every day, I would do so. 

How do you manage stress?

I actually tend to work much better under pressure. However, my team can tell when I am stressed out because my voice becomes slow and very calm, which may or may not be calming to them. They know what is happening— I am getting stressed out.  

To manage stress, I take a deep breath in…and take things a step at a time. I get more organized. When I know we are under pressure or there is a lot of stress coming, we’re working around the clock, I just get organized, put a list together and I also make sure I rally my team. If I am feeling stressed, they are likely feeling it too.  

For me, taking that deep breath, getting organized, maybe getting in a workout or doing something for myself—even if for just 30 minutes, it helps me a lot.  

About the
Company

Smartbear's tools are built to streamline your DevOps processes while seamlessly working with the products you use – and will use

View Company Page

Pages