What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for a Director of Cloud Alliances at Aqua?
We connected with Eli Scherr to find out!
Interested in learning more about Aqua? Make sure to check out their company page!
Where did you grow up? What did your parents do for work?
I grew up in southern Maine in a small coastal town called Yarmouth. My mom was a special ed teacher in a neighboring public school, and my father worked on the waterfront in Portland from selling, building & maintaining boats to running a full-service marina.
Where did you go to college? What did you study and what were some of your initial jobs out of school?
I went to Hobart College in Western NY. Taking full advantage of the liberal arts opportunity, I started in economics but later re-aligned, and I finished with a major in Psychology with minors in education & social justice. Following college, I had an unpaid internship with a four-person start-up in NYC. Then after a road trip to Colorado (where I became hooked on the outdoor activities, culture, and pace of life), I ended up sticking around. I spent four years there working for Maxim Healthcare in HR, Operations, Sales, and then Dish Network in HR & Field operations.
What has attributed to your success thus far and has helped propel you to the position you have now?
I believe that hard work will always be a foundational component of anyone’s success and growth. Beyond that, I believe that accountability and delivery have helped form key relationships with my colleagues. In my opinion, no matter where you sit in an organization the relationships you build are key to establishing yourself.
I started my career at Aqua in a different department but then transitioned into business development and cloud alliances. This career shift was possible because of the relationships I built and the trust I established. I have been lucky enough to work with leaders at Aqua who are open to creative paths for me to demonstrate my potential and allow me to explore new skills. Leadership that is committed to mentorship and people development is a game changer.
Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as a Director of Cloud Alliances at Aqua?
At Aqua Security I am responsible for the strategy of our global alliances with the major Cloud Providers (AWS, Azure, GCP, RedHat, VMware, Alibaba Cloud) as well as with relevant technical eco-system partners that support a joint value in an aligned approach.
Any tips for someone considering a career in your field?
There is no one-size-fits-all for business development, but it is integral that you are comfortable with ambiguity and can build structure around some unknown.
Day in the Life
Coffee, tea, or nothing?
Coffee, coffee, coffee!
What time do you get into the office?
In a pre-COVID world, I was known to be in the office by 7:15 or 7:30 (I wanted to avoid losing hours in traffic, but it doesn’t hurt when I’m working with colleagues in Israel!). Since the pandemic, my “online” schedule shifted slightly where I sign on just before 8am each morning.
What are three things that motivate you in your role?
- My team and the broader Aqua team. We are a group that grows together. We learn from each other but also tackle new challenges together.
- The opportunity to have a direct impact on the success of Aqua Security as a whole – that’s the beauty of a hypergrowth startup!
- Working with our partners and building alliances together – I am able to really see the broader impact of Aqua’s technology.
Every day is different, but can you outline what a typical day looks like for you?
Each day is a mix of internal cross-functional meetings driving existing/upcoming initiatives and externally facing partner meetings with cloud providers and/or technical eco-system partners. Then there is ongoing chat and collaboration with my team via various communication mediums while simultaneously attending to the small fires that pop up more than I’d like to admit.
What time do you head out of the office?
It’s quite a range! 5:30-7:00 pm depending on the day, and if I am commuting from my office to living room or our physical office in Burlington, MA home to my home in Boston.
Do you log back in at night or do you shut it down completely?
With the pace of an exponentially growing global business at Aqua Security, there are times where I have to jump on odd hour calls for different regions around the world. I’m rarely unreachable unless on a planned vacation outside of cell coverage. With that said, I would say as a company, we have a culture of being mindful of time zones and respecting a balance of work/life. In the remote world, it becomes even more integral to trust our folks to deliver and not worry about the time you are actually sitting in a seat. It’s about finding the balance that works with your life!
Any productivity hacks?
Do less better. Simplify each day by focusing on accomplishing a few critical tasks instead of getting bogged down by the noise around you. It is very easy with a million ways to communicate to never be able to focus on something from start to finish, but I believe this is key. If the meeting you are on isn’t benefiting you to the point where you are paying attention, I might ask – “why are you on that meeting?”
What are the 3 apps that you can’t live without?
Zillow (not for practical purposes just exploration), [insert food delivery service app], and ESPN
What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?
The elbows in my career where I have moved from stable comfortable positions to take on a new challenge or rebuild something that is not working. These opportunities to make myself uncomfortable, without a clear map in front of me, but in the end come out successful are the most rewarding.
Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?
That would have to be my two older brothers alongside a manager of the past. These are the people that can be honest and upfront with me without any sugar-coating, which is just what I need having created my non-linear career path so far.