For this month's Meet the Team interview, we sat down with one of our Senior Customer Success Managers, Trudy, to discuss how she tackles the life of a professional and businesswoman. She gives insights into her career journey and her experience as a Woman of Color in the tech industry.
Sweet or savory?
T: Sweet. Specifically chocolate. I’m just obsessed with anything chocolate. My favorite dessert is chocolate cake.
T: Shrimp! Anything shrimp I will eat. I love a good fried shrimp basket.
Keep scrolling to learn more about Trudy 👇
What are you most excited about these days?
T: Summertime! The winter hasn’t been too bad, but I know I’m not the only person who has seasonal depression. It’s just so hard for me to do anything. So I’m looking forward to the summer and doing new things because I feel like last year we were still hesitant due to COVID. I want to head to Jamaica, where I’m from.
What’s your favorite time of the day?
T: Daytime. I tolerate the mornings but I’m not an early riser.
T: It’s a book called Legendborn, which is being adapted into a show on Hulu. It’s a modern-day retelling of King Arthur, and the main character is a black female.
Summer or Winter?
T: Summer – the Jamaican is running through my blood!
Song you can listen to on repeat?
T: Pretty much any Drake song. I have been a die-hard fan since middle school.
How would you define yourself in three words?
T: Passionate – which borders on obsessiveness. I believe this trait has driven all the success I’ve had in my career and personal life. Inquisitive – I’ve found beauty in being more curious. Driven – I believe this has to do with my background and origin. Coming from Jamaica and having the opportunities that I wouldn’t have if I were still there has fueled my drive.
On a professional note, who is Trudy? 👩💻
You started a business, what was the motivation behind it?
T: Yeah, we live in a world where TikTok is taking over, and I was one of those people who did not want to download the app. My best friend stumbled upon a community on the app called BookTok. BookTok is a community where people of all ages read, talk about books, and submit reviews.
In high school, I was a pretty big reader but whenever we traveled, my books would get ruined or crushed. It hurt because books are like my babies. Then, we stumbled upon something called a book sleeve, which helps protect your book. That sparked the idea to create a one-stop-shop for people who love to read. That’s where it all started. I’ve always wanted to start a business but felt like the market was oversaturated. I knew if I were to start a business it would be unique and the timing would have to be spot-on. It’s great to see how a community like BookTok has been able to take off in a way I’ve never seen before. The timing was finally right. For me, the reason why I started reading in the first place was to escape and I love sharing that with people.
What is something that you are immensely proud of?
T: I was born in Jamaica and lived in America undocumented until I was 19 years old. Growing up in the US, I didn’t have the same opportunities as most. Many people in my family don’t have the same opportunities as me. Luckily, my uncle and aunt adopted me, which changed my status. I became the first person in my family to graduate from a 4-year college. I know working in corporate America doesn’t define success for everyone, but I am also the first person in my family to have a corporate job. I’ve faced so many hurdles, and the fact that I’m here now is something that I’m truly proud of.
Tell us about your career trajectory. Why did you choose Customer Success?
T: I started in Sales. I worked with a recruiter and started in a role that wasn’t the best fit. I was young and out of college and didn’t know what I wanted to do. In my previous sales role, I did a lot of cold calling and hundreds of emails daily. However, when I closed a sale and had the chance to continue working with the client, I realized that I enjoyed the post-sale relationship aspect. To see the client succeed from start to finish because of the work I’ve done, I enjoyed that. I went back to the same recruiter, and he told me about this tech role in Customer Success at a company called Octoly. I had never heard of CS in my life, but it was an influencer marketing company and most of the clients were in fashion and beauty. I knew I wanted my next step to be in that industry. The opportunity landed in my lap and I didn’t want to miss out. I worked there for a while, and it was great, but I ended up leaving and knew I wanted to continue building a career in CS.
What qualities make a great CSM?
T: The number one thing is having empathy. To truly succeed as a CSM you have to care about the client. Next, you need organizational skills. Within a CS role, you’re juggling multiple clients. If you’re all over the place, it's difficult to succeed in your job. Lastly, understand what you should prioritize. You may not be able to get to every single item in a day, but understand what’s important.
What made you decide to join the company?
T: The team. Everyone I spoke with was great. During the interview, I recall a conversation with the CEO, Alex, where I could just tell he had this amazingly innovative mindset. He’s always thinking about the next best thing because the market is constantly changing and new challenges are arising. We can see that come to life with a new product or feature we’re working on. In my other roles, a lot of the leadership team wasn't as open-minded. Outside of the team, I enjoyed the thorough interview process. It meant a lot because it clearly shows that we take our time and are very intentional with new hires. We make sure they are a good fit for us, and we’re a good fit for them as well. I truly appreciated the process because most interviews feel rushed. It probably contributes to why I’m happier in this role than others.
What are you most passionate about in your position?
T: Helping people and being able to execute their goals.
What has your experience been like as a Woman of Color in the tech space?
T: It’s been interesting. I haven’t been around many other Women of Color in these places. I am typically the only one. DojoMojo is the most diverse company that I’ve worked at. I’ve had some weird experiences in previous roles. For the most part, I’ve always felt respected, but there have been instances of microaggressions. I know my experience has been different than most. I do wish there was more diversity in the tech space. I follow some forums about getting more black people into tech, and I know the number of black people in tech will increase.
How would you encourage Women of Color to enter the tech space? What advice would you give them?
T: Honestly, just take the leap. Initially, I didn't know I wanted to work in tech. However, I wanted to work with beauty and fashion brands, and the opportunity that I stumbled upon happened to be within tech. I didn't have any experience at the start, but I worked hard and got the job. I think that goes to show if you see a role, even if it’s not 100% the best fit in terms of your qualification, you don't have anything to lose by just trying. So, apply for it!