Published by Calendly - August 2, 2018

Discussing careers in tech with women at Calendly

We talk to some of the ladies about how they lead and contribute to one of the fastest growing SaaS companies.

Women at Calendly Discuss Careers in Tech

Calendly is fortunate to have so many amazing and brilliant women leading and contributing in every area of our work. We interviewed a handful of them to get their thoughts on taking charge of their careers, thriving in the male-dominated tech industry and staying positive and focused despite ongoing distractions and demands.

 

Radhika Solanki, QA/Product Analyst Lead

 

How did you get into your line of work?

I used to be a technical recruiter for IT staffing firms and found myself spending more time talking about new and exciting technology. I never thought about going the IT route, but interacting with people who are passionate about what they do was enticing. I decided to take a risk to switch careers and ended up falling in love with the role of QA. It was pretty tough working a full-time job, studying for my software testing certification (ISTQB) and freelancing in order for me to move from one path to the next, but I was very lucky to have the support of my family.

What does working in the tech industry, as a woman, mean to you?

Being a woman in the tech industry is extremely important to me because I want to show the world that we are highly capable of being successful and having it all. Diversity in the workplace is necessary because I’ve had way too many conversations with women about “Imposter Syndrome” and what it feels like to not be taken seriously. The more we do to expose women as fearless and competent leaders, the more we are able to change the world into a better place. I truly believe that.

What are words you try to live by? 

Be humble, and let your work speak for itself.

Why do you choose to work at Calendly?

I choose to work at Calendly because I see the potential for greatness and making a bigger impact on the whole application and to our users. I’m very lucky to have the responsibility of making sure that we deliver quality features, and I definitely don’t take it for granted. Knowing that I helped create an awesome product for our users is so satisfying. I get to work with some of the most passionate and talented people in the business. I continuously learn from them and am always in awe of their dedication, flair and expertise in their domain. It doesn’t get any better than this to be honest.  

Kiersten Chalhoub of Calendly

Kiersten Chalhoub, Product Analyst

 

What’s a typical day week like in your role at Calendly?

I’m a Product Analyst, specifically working on in-app localization. My typical week includes researching our current international customers and how scheduling and Calendly perception differs from culture to culture, proofreading our French and some Spanish translations and developing the voice and tone for Calendly in other languages.

Who is someone that inspires you?

Yotam Ottolenghi—but that’s just because I love cooking.

What’s your favorite slack emoji?

Dancing left shark

What do you think it takes to be successful at Calendly?

Passion and energy. It’s an environment that breeds and encourages that!

What advice would you give to someone applying to a job in your department?

Be curious. Know that your assumptions about your customers are wrong until you have the data.

Hannah McIntosh of Calendly

Hannah McIntosh, UX Researcher

 

What’s your role like at Calendly?

As a UX Researcher, I work across departments to help the product team better understand Calendly’s users. This includes managing our Idea Portal, organizing and conducting user calls and analyzing all forms of user feedback on their experience.

What are you most proud of with regards to your career?

I am proud to have been able to train so many of the original members of Calendly. To watch them grow and nurture their success has brought me such joy.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I am an illustrator/designer, a retired dancer (but I still have some good moves) and an impressive parallel parker.

What’s your favorite Atlanta neighborhood?

East Atlanta—it’s where I live, it’s walkable and the food is top notch. It reminds me of Philly at times which is comforting because I moved to Atlanta from there three years ago.

What does working in the tech industry, as a woman, mean to you?

To strongly represent myself and fellow women in a male-dominated field means never settling and always recognizing your worth. This means always learning and nurturing your curiosity. And it means supporting and advocating for your teammates to grow with you.

Isa Rosario of Calendly

Isa Rosario, Product Specialist

 

What are words you try to live by?

I live by giving to receive. In every aspect of my life, I like to give my best quality of work and effort because it will always come back!

What’s one thing you’ve had to overcome to get to where you are today?

It may be cliché, but the world does not owe me anything. On my own, I’ve had to master a foreign language and adapt to a different culture in America to create opportunities for myself and my family.

Do you have any hobbies or talents that you’d like to share with us?

I make skincare products and am an awesome online detective.

What brought you to Calendly?

Calendly has been on my radar for a while because I appreciate the purpose of the software. This led me to follow the company on social media where I fell in love with the culture. I love that Calendly does not limit creativity and individualism. Calendly embraces diversity and passion. Each day, I help people automate and monetize their time—one meeting at a time.

One weird thing about me that most people don’t know is…

I begged my parents to enroll me in a “Junior Chocolatier” class when I was nine and learned how to make some rookie-level chocolate creations.

Rachel Hobbs of Calendly

Rachel Hobbs, Head of Content

 

What’s a typical day in your life look like at Calendly?

As Head of Content at Calendly, my day consists of working with the marketing team on content strategy across a variety of channels (web, blog, campaigns, etc.), developing and editing content and managing relationships with Calendly’s marketing and content partners.

Who is someone that inspires you?

I’m most inspired by female leaders. Sara Blakely of Spanx and Whitney Wolfe of Bumble come to mind, along with my amazing female colleagues that I get to work with each day at Calendly!

What does working in the tech industry, as a woman, mean to you?

It’s empowering to work in the tech industry that’s now comprised of so many strong and powerful women making a difference together.

What do you think it takes to be successful at Calendly?

A willingness to pitch in on things that may be outside your daily responsibilities. We move fast and with that comes a lot of unexpected (but exciting) additions to your plate. You have to be willing to go above and beyond to succeed here. It also helps us build the culture that we have because we all have each others’ backs and are willing to take on new opportunities that help us grow.

What advice would you give to someone applying for a job in your department?
A big part of working at Calendly—in any role—is having empathy for our customers. Be prepared and eager to dive right in to learn more about our users. This helps us create marketing experiences that are focused on the needs of our customers and prospects.

Kelly McDonald of Calendly

Kelly McDonald, Head of Recruiting and People Operations

 

What are you most proud of with regards to your career?

I’m proud of being able to help find people their dream jobs and staying fulfilled with those jobs. It’s incredibly rewarding!                                                                                                                                

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?   

Come to the table with solutions, not just problems.

What does working in the tech industry, as a woman, mean to you?

I love this industry and all the focus recently on teaching girls at a young age that they are just as capable of having a career in this field.

What’s your favorite word?

At the moment, I like to use the word “meta” because I think it’s funny.

What do you think it takes to be successful at Calendly?

You have to be a self-starter and intrinsically motivated as well as someone who can move the needle and figure out how to get stuff done.

Rachel Arredondo of Calendly

Rachel Arredondo, Graphic Designer

 

What do you do at Calendly?

I work as a graphic designer for marketing projects at Calendly. A typical day at the office usually involves collaborating with people across different departments on a mix of projects and tasks ranging from redesigning complete website layouts to editing the lighting on a small batch of photos. I am usually working on several projects at once throughout the week, which helps keep every day feeling new. At the end of the week, I usually have a design rally (i.e. critique) with the other designers to go over progress on projects that week.

How did you get into your line of work?

All through middle and high school, I thought I wanted to be a marine biologist. Originally I went to university to be a marine biologist. I attended a science-focused high school, where we had to take over eight different science courses to graduate. So when I got to university, since I had spare credit hours, I started taking digital arts classes intending to get a minor. A minor turned into a major, and here we are now.

Who is someone that inspires you?

Well, the obvious choice is my mother. She came to the United States from a tiny ranch in Mexico when she was 18 years old. She didn’t know English and barely knew anyone here. She learned English, got her GED, put herself through nursing school, raised four children and saved up enough money to buy her own house. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or fearful, I put it in perspective when I think of the determination and courage my mother had to succeed. And it pushes me to try that little bit more to do better and be better. I feel truly lucky to have such an inspiring person as my mother.

What do you think it takes to be successful at Calendly?

I think success is a self-defined metric. There are no hard and fast rules on how to succeed that work for everyone. And at Calendly, I think the greatest thing that indicates success is internal happiness in your role: knowing you are in the right spot, doing the work you love.

What does working in the tech industry, as a woman, mean to you?

I think it means making sure to define your own role and goals for success in a system that was not designed for you. Otherwise, it can be easy to get lost in trying to achieve in a way that may not be natural to yourself. You don’t have to act like the cultural ideal of a man to succeed. Sometimes you have to create your own paths to success.

Joelle Waksman of Calendly

Joelle Waksman, Head of Customer Support

 

What is your role at Calendly?

I am the Head of Customer Support and my day consists mostly of coaching, mentoring and checking in on the customer experience team. It’s also sprinkled with department meetings, projects and more!

How did you get into your line of work?

After grad school, I moved to NYC (okay, New Jersey) to live with my sister and take care of my new niece! My plan was to move into Manhattan and get a job in the nonprofit sector. After a few months of hit and miss opportunities, I ended up in an incredibly cool, successful SaaS “start-up” on the customer training team. From there, my customer support life began!

What’s your favorite Atlanta neighborhood?

Virginia Highlands (VaHi)! It’s where I live, but also—in my opinion—the perfect mix of warm, cozy family neighborhood and fun, lively young adults. It’s also the home of The 10 High Club at Dark Horse with metalsome live band karaoke, which is honestly my happy place.

What are three of your favorite things?

  1. My nieces
  2. Watching television on a good couch with a big salad
  3. Driving with the windows down blasting my favorite music, and cucumbers, and African culture, and Guitar Hero, and music festival/live shows, and the BeltLine and—okay, I’ll stop but there is more.

What’s one interesting fact about Calendly that people might not know?

We’re a bunch of goofballs, and if there are doughnuts—we will eat them.

 

 


If you think Calendly is the right place to grow your career, check out our current openings on our jobs page.

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