Where did you grow up and how would you describe yourself as a child?
I grew up in Sudbury, MA which is a suburb about 20 miles West of Boston. I’m told that I was stubborn, strong-willed, and fiercely independent. I guess it’s true that some things never change :)
What did you study in college and what was your first job out of school?
I studied Marketing and my first job out of school was in sales.
Can you share the details on your career path and what were the critical moments that got you to where you are today?
I graduated in the height of the recession in 2009 so it was a challenging time, and I still didn’t have a clear picture of what I wanted to be when I grew up. There were several key moments that led me to where I am today. Shortly after graduating college, I took a job at Boston Children’s Hospital in the marketing department in order to move back to Boston and be closer to my parents after my Dad had a serious accident. The job was not at all what I expected and they dumped this thing in my lap called Salesforce.com. I had no idea what I was getting into, but quickly learned that I absolutely loved the platform and saw tons of career opportunities in the space. Fast forward a year or so later and I stumbled upon a job posting from AppNeta. I applied and got the job offer a week later. It has been such an incredible journey over the past nine years, and taking that job in 2013 changed my life in ways I never could have imagined. One other critical moment in my career was when I returned to work after maternity leave after having my first child. The support and flexibility I received was nothing short of incredible, and I’m not sure I would have made it through that transition without it. So many women end up leaving the workforce after having children because they don’t see a way to do both. As leaders, we need to recognize that we are losing out on so much talent and work to develop programs to support working parents.
What is your current role and responsibilities?
I am currently the VP of Business Operations and I oversee People, Business and Customer Operations.
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 turn down an opportunity, even if you think you might be getting in over your head. In my time at AppNeta I have taken on four different functional areas, each with their own set of challenges. It’s a scary feeling when you don’t know what you don’t know, but I have been fortunate enough to be able to build teams of people who are extremely talented in their respective areas and they have all helped me along the way. Joining a company with a culture that allows you to fail is key, because that’s how you learn.
What are the most important skills that you need to do your job well?
The two most important skills in my role are to be able to think and work in a cross functional capacity, and the ability to effectively communicate and earn buy-in from others.
What do you find most interesting/rewarding about your work? What’s the most challenging?
By far the most rewarding thing about my work is the relationships I’ve built along the way. I recently read something that said “You’ll spend a huge amount of your time between the age of 20 and 60 with the people you work with, so you have to make sure you work with people you love.” This really resonated with me, and I feel extremely fortunate to work with a group of people who have become like family over the years. The most challenging part of my role is that I’m responsible for multiple departments and I have to switch gears frequently throughout the day. One minute I’m working on our recruiting strategy, the next I’m discussing Salesforce.com requirements. I wouldn’t change it for anything, though, as no two days are the same and I learn something new every single day.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
My proudest professional accomplishment was coming back to work after having my second baby, managing a demanding career with an infant and a one year old at home. I have been extremely fortunate to work with such a supportive group of people. Mom will always be my most important job, and I could never manage it all without the support of my peers and my teams.
Are you involved with any professional organizations outside of the company? Volunteer work?
Not at the moment, but once my kids are a bit older I would love to join the board of a non-profit.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time? I have two boys, ages 2 and 1 so free time is hard to come by! We just relocated to the Atlanta area last year to be closer to family, and we really value the time we get to spend with them. Our favorite place is the beach and we are counting down the days until our next beach trip this summer! My husband and I just built our dream house last year and I have really enjoyed the decorating process. Transforming it into our forever home has become my new passion project.
How do you manage stress? I wish I could say practicing yoga or running 5 miles a day, but honestly at this stage of life it’s more like drinking red wine and watching trashy reality TV.
How many cups of coffee do you have in a day? I have my latte from Starbucks every morning. I think I have Gold Star status through 2030 at this point!
What's one of your favorite places in the Boston/New York area?
Anywhere with a view of the ocean! It’s the thing I miss the most after moving out of the area.
Any book or podcast recommendations? With two toddlers at home I rarely have the opportunity to read anything that doesn’t have pictures in it. Grumpy Monkey has been the recent crowd favorite and is read on repeat every night.
What advice do you have for recent college graduates?
Focus on the company and the culture you are joining, rather than the words in the job description. A big part of the journey is who you are on it with.