Laïla von Alvensleben of MURAL: “Time boxing is everything”
Below is an article originally published on April 2, 2021 and written by Tyler Gallagher, CEO and Founder of Regal Assets. Go to Mural's company page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
Build your team and agree on how you'll communicate remotely, how often you'll meet, a decision-making framework and the milestones you aim to reach before the event. If you don't do this at the beginning, project management will very likely get messy later, so it's worth spending more time in the beginning to sort those things out.
As a part of our series about "5 Things You Need To Know To Successfully Run a Live Virtual Event", I had the pleasure of interviewing Laïla von Alvensleben, Head of Culture and Collaboration at MURAL, a digital workspace for visual collaboration. She manages a distributed team of 350+ people across multiple continents and time zones and is a champion for the remote-first and hybrid-remote approach to team collaboration, empowering MURAL's rapidly growing team to successfully work from anywhere. Laïla's background is in UX design, having worked on digital product design at Hanno and educational workshops at Hyper Island. She helped create the Remote Starter Kit and is a member of the Remote Work Association, a network that organizes online events to promote location-independent jobs.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a bit about your "childhood backstory"?
As a child raised in an expat family, I grew up in many different countries across South America, Europe and Africa. Moving from place to place every few years, changing schools, meeting new people and learning languages was normal for me. In hindsight, I realize how those early experiences shaped my future choices in the lifestyle I wanted to lead. I couldn't see myself in one place for too long, so I did everything I could to continue being able to choose where I wanted to live (and work from).
Can you tell us the story of what led you to this particular career path?
My background is in design. I went from interior architecture to graphic design and then UX design. In 2013, after working as a graphic and UI designer for a few years, I wanted to study again and earned a Master of Arts in Digital Media Management at Hyper Island. At about the same time, I also decided I wanted to find a remote job so I could travel and work from anywhere. To support that ambition, I wrote my thesis on Remote Design Thinking and was hired as a UX designer in a fully remote product design company. Six years later, I'm still working remotely. I joined MURAL, first as an online facilitator and remote work coach, then as Head of People Operations, and now as Head of Culture and Collaboration.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
During my first months of working remotely, I was exploring the digital nomad lifestyle while travelling in Brazil. I was staying with a friend in Rio de Janeiro who was also a Judo teacher. His classes were in his living room and I was working in a hallway leading to the kitchen. One day, I was on a call with my boss and the team when suddenly a group of bare-chested guys started walking behind me. Through the webcam it looked like there were naked men strolling around since you couldn't see their legs. I was so embarrassed but luckily my team had a laugh and it became a recurring joke for a while.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
The book Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux was really inspiring to read. It explores the evolution of how companies are structured and organized, and showcases several large companies (with at least 400 employees) that were working in a completely novel way. For example, some of them applied the holacracy model, in which there's almost no hierarchy and employees choose their own roles and work together in pods and work very autonomously. Some also had flexible working hours and a human-centric company culture with an emphasis on making decisions together, creating rituals based on empathy and constructive team feedback. At the time I read this I was working at Hanno, a fully distributed digital product design company that was a pioneer in many ways. We didn't have an office, we chose our own salaries (they were also transparent), we didn't have hierarchy, we had unlimited paid time off and we made decisions together using an advisory process similar to the one in the book. It was hugely influential in how we worked together and I'm convinced that our traditional way of working will eventually evolve to the models described in the book.
Can you please give us your favorite "Life Lesson Quote"? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
There's a quote by the author Maya Angelou: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." I've seen it play out between friends, relatives, colleagues and romantic partners. There are times when I've had to redefine how I wanted to stay connected with someone based on the interactions we had and filter out people whose words and actions didn't add value to my sense of self. I've learned to distance myself from those who diminish or disrespect me, and instead surround myself with people who bring a more positive and constructive energy into our relationship.
Ok, thank you for that. Let's now jump to the primary focus of our interview. For the benefit of our readers, can you tell us a bit about your experience organizing events in general?
When I was a university student in Geneva, Switzerland, I worked at a lot of corporate and VIP events, luxury trade fairs and conferences to make some extra cash. I'd also volunteer at music and film festivals so I could attend cultural events for free. This gave me a lot of insight on how big events were organized. I was studying interior architecture at the time so one of the first events I helped organize was the scenography for a film launch. Years later I attended a lot of workshops delivered by expert facilitators and that planted the seed on learning how I could run my own workshops. I eventually discovered the digital format and built my skills in online facilitation. In parallel, I experimented with online and in-person events at my first remote job, which led me to help plan a surf and yoga retreat in Sri Lanka for about 10 people. A few years later at MURAL I organized a bigger company retreat for 100+ people in Argentina that included team building workshops and social events.
Can you tell us a bit about your experience organizing live virtual events? Can you share any interesting stories about them?
I organize many online events at MURAL: our All Hands meetings for 400 employees across 17 countries, remote workshops for our customers, webinars and conferences, team building sessions, and more recently, virtual company retreats. When COVID-19 forced countries worldwide into lockdown, I celebrated my birthday online with friends from around the world. Instead of doing the usual Zoom meeting where people hang around, I created a virtual house party using Zoom and MURAL with multiple activities happening simultaneously in different Zoom rooms. It gave me tons of ideas on how to create a similar experience on a much larger scale for MURAL's team. I put those ideas in action last summer with a virtual company retreat for 250+ employees. The theme was a MURAL World Tour that happened entirely online, complete with an airplane ticket invitation, pilots and flight attendants, an itinerary flying from snowy mountains to tropical beaches to outer space, in-flight entertainment and many gifts sprinkled throughout the journey.
In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job creating live virtual events? What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?
The virtual event that impressed me the most last year was the virtual version of Burning Man. This yearly event usually takes place in the desert in Nevada with 70,000 people co-creating a temporary city. When they had to cancel the event, the community came together to build the Multiverse, an infinitely expanding virtual world that included many of the iconic Burning Man elements like the playa, the Temple and the effigy of the man that burns. I couldn't take part in all the activities during the week-long event, but the creativity of what I saw online blew me away, especially knowing how little time they had to build it. To replicate an event of that magnitude and originality, you'd need a mindset of endless possibilities and a group of people who care more about experimenting and pushing boundaries than about doing what is 'expected' at an online event.
What are the common mistakes you have seen people make when they try to run a live virtual event? What can be done to avoid those errors?
I think people limit themselves too much. They think of an online event as something boring that can't be as engaging or fun as an in-person event. My advice is to assume there's always an alternative for everything — it may not be exactly the same as what would happen during an in-person event, but there are other aspects of being online that can be leveraged to make it a better experience for everyone. I believe online events are also more inclusive because everyone can go through the experience in the same way and choose how present they want to be. For instance, it can be a much more comfortable experience for introverted people who don't like big crowds. If they're properly facilitated, it can give everyone a chance to have a voice, whether that be during a video call or on a messaging platform.
Which virtual platform have you found to be most effective to be able to bring everyone together virtually?
Of course I'm biased, but none of the events we do would be possible without MURAL! Using our platform alongside other tools like Zoom and Slack can create a successful virtual event. They cover the three basic components of an online event: the visual aspect (Zoom to see each other and MURAL to visualize what we're doing), the interactive aspect (MURAL to engage with others in real time), and the conversational aspect (Slack to send messages).
Are there any essential tools or software that you think an event organizer needs to know about?
There's a lot of planning going into these events, so a project management tool like Asana or Trello is helpful. Using spreadsheets in Excel or Google Sheets is also useful when creating budgets or gathering data about your participants. I've seen polls and live Q&As being used effectively with tools like Mentimeter or Slido. After an event I also like to send out a survey for feedback in Google Forms, but you could also use a tool like SurveyMonkey or Typeform. And let's not forget Spotify to set a mood! It's incredible how music and sound can change the atmosphere in an instant.
Ok. Thank you for all that. Here is the main question of our discussion. An in-person event can have a certain electric energy. How do you create an engaging and memorable event when everyone is separated and in their own homes? What are the "Five Things You Need To Know To Successfully Run a Live Virtual Event" and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Planning an event takes at least 2–3x the amount of time than the actual event. If you're organizing a one-hour event, it will take you approximately 2–3 hours to prepare it. Of course, the more events you plan, the better you become at creating them and the less time you'll need.
- Decide early on why you're doing the event. If you're doing it for an entire company (e.g. like a virtual retreat), ask your leadership team what success looks like for them. Then create a story around it and make sure everything that is being communicated and experienced is consistent with your story. It will make the event more memorable and help the event designer have a few restrictions that help foster creativity.
- Build your team and agree on how you'll communicate remotely, how often you'll meet, a decision-making framework and the milestones you aim to reach before the event. If you don't do this at the beginning, project management will very likely get messy later, so it's worth spending more time in the beginning to sort those things out.
- Rehearse! Go through the entire event journey or script with your speakers and facilitators at least once. Test things out: make sure your equipment is working properly and that the instructions are clear at every stage of the event. You will always find things to iterate that you wouldn't have found if you hadn't tested it. Ask speakers to practice giving their talk and find ways for the participants to interact with them so that it doesn't sound like a webinar.
- Time boxing is everything. The trick to making an activity exciting is to set a dedicated amount of time (use a timer — MURAL has one in the product!). The time pressure will keep people engaged because they know it won't last too long and it helps facilitators stay on track too.
Let's imagine that someone reading this interview has an idea for a live virtual event that they would like to develop. What are the first few steps that you would recommend that they take?
The first step would be to figure out why you should have the event, what your budget is, and how much time you have to prepare it. All three will greatly define your experience but once you know what you have as a foundation, you can start planning accordingly.
Super. We are nearly done. Here are our final questions. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I'd create a movement around personal development and mental health. Admitting that you have mental health issues has definitely improved over the years, but it's still not spoken about widely enough. We're all humans with our own set of experiences and baggage, and it would make a huge difference on an individual and societal level if we were more open about our struggles without feeling shame. There are more and more professionals and platforms out there that can provide support, which is great. Yet, mental health is still something that is mainly spoken about with a therapist and not necessarily at home or in the workplace where we spend the majority of our time. I can imagine a lot of other issues would be resolved if we took the time to listen and understand how people felt in order to support each other better.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
I'd love to meet Brené Brown. Her talks on vulnerability and shame struck a chord with so many people, including organizations that invited her to speak to their leaders and employees. It's about time that we become intentional about having these kinds of conversations with each other. I've listened to her podcast too and aside from being a nerd (I'm all for that) she seems to be a warm, friendly and genuine person. We need more of that!
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.
January is National Mentorship Month— the perfect time to focus on growing and building important relationships with mentors that will positively affect your professional career.
Research shows that mentorship greatly improves career outcomes by providing professional guidance, skill development, and support through major work and life transitions.
We asked some of our partner companies to tell us about the mentorship opportunities they offer. If you’re ready to unleash your full potential by joining an impactful mentoring program, keep reading to hear what they said. (Plus, they’re all hiring—check out their open jobs under each entry!)
“Clarus Commerce has been running a mentorship program for the last 9 years. Here is how it works:
- Senior leaders nominate mentors within their department.
- The program lasts for about 6 months.
- Those who are interested in being mentored provide 6 topics that they’d like to discuss in mentoring meetings, which help us pair people up. Mentoring topics should focus on topics such as: leadership, how to manage up, presentation skills, communication, work life balance, etc.
- We leverage our Insights and Discovery profiles that each employee has to help better understand each other’s communication styles and help facilitate great discussions.”
Learn more about Clarus Commerce here.
“PwC professionals are provided learning opportunities, supportive career growth and unique mentoring opportunities to help them to fulfill their potential. The firm has several programs that include intentional mentorship and focus on building representation, inclusion and development of their people. For example, the firm launched Enrich, an experience designed to support the development and leadership skills of high-potential female and racially and ethnically diverse senior managers and directors. There is also Thrive, an innovative two-year experience for Black and Latinx entry-level new joiners that helps lay the foundation for a successful career through culture workshops, networking, connectivity and leadership engagement.”
Learn more about PwC here.
“At CallRail we have a program called Connection Point where individual contributors are paired with members of the Senior Leadership Team. Each pair is together for a full quarter and are given topics for their meetings, topics range from; career stories, situational advice and feedback, etc. At the conclusion of the quarter the individual contributors that have been in the program have a round table lunch with the CEO. This has been a great way to foster deeper connections within the organization, demystify senior leadership and help individuals see a path forward.”
Learn more about CallRail here.
“Automattic’s Design Mentoring program is a mutually beneficial partnership providing development opportunities for all. Mentees pick up new skills or get guidance with a project. Mentors practice communication, leadership, and knowledge sharing. The organization benefits from more engaged, productive employees, who have increased job satisfaction because mentorship encourages meaningful work that aligns personal and professional goals. In our distributed work environment, mentoring provides a human connection and a trusted space to grow. Tapping into all of the design experience and skill that our organization has is a powerful way to grow individually … and collectively."
Learn more about Automattic here.
“Relativity Women of the Workplace (RelWoW) Mentorship Circles is a group mentoring program that brings together women at varying stages in their careers and from every department at Relativity. The program sessions are curated by our team and include materials, talking points and action items to help create open dialogue, build connections and develop skills for personal and professional development. The program runs around six months, and includes a kickoff, mid-point event exclusive to program members, and a closing celebration. Relativity also plans to pilot a new mentoring program with broader reach across the company in 2022.”
—Yvonne Frazier – Executive Assistant
Learn more about Relativity here.
“CDW Business Resource Groups are a key source for networking and mentoring opportunities. In 2019, our BeU BRG launched a formal mentoring program through their Project IMPACT initiative aimed at recruiting, retaining and promoting Black coworkers. It has been a successful program that has brought coworkers together across departments and roles, sharing new experiences and perspectives for both mentors and mentees.”
Learn more about CDW here.
“BRIDGE is Kinesso's reverse mentoring program bringing together senior leaders and future leaders globally. Our program pairs employees with Kinesso's Senior Leadership Team, but rather than leadership mentoring employees, our employees mentor our senior leaders!
Through mentorship programs like Bridge, Kinesso's brings together employees across generations, cultures, territories, and job levels. Giving our future leaders the opportunity to share fresh perspectives and innovative ideas allows our current leaders to look at inclusion, capabilities, collaboration, and connectivity from a completely different lens.
"(Bridge) is immensely important for many reasons, but most of all, it shows that no matter where you are in your career, you should never stop learning and growing."
—Arun Kumar, CEO at Kinesso and Global Chief Data & Marketing Technology Officer at IPG”
For more information on Kinesso, please visit Kinesso.com/careers.
Learn more about Kinesso here.
"At SoundCloud, one of our core behaviors is to embrace the challenge- but that doesn’t mean that you go at it alone. We encourage SoundClouders to ask for help and to give help to those who it need along the way. Over the past few years we have offered a mentorship program that connects rising SoundClouders with under-represented identities (gender/race/ethnicity) with more senior level employees around topics of professional branding and career growth, influencing and emotional intelligence, and strategic thinking. In 2022, we aim to launch 2 cohorts of mentorship/coaching targeting different ranks of women of color."
Learn more about SoundCloud here.
“BlackRock has nine employee networks and four professional networks – all of which offer mentorship programs or opportunities.
Our employee networks: Mosaic; Ability & Allies Network; Asian, Middle Eastern & Allies Professional Network; Black Professionals & Allies Network; Families & Allies Network; Out & Allies Network; SOMOS Latinx & Allies Network; and Women's Initiative & Allies Network.
Our professional networks: Analyst Alley, Associates Arena, Global Administrative Initiative Network, and VP Village.”
Learn more about BlackRock here.
“Having both formal and informal mentors is crucial to elevate any career. At Lockheed Martin, mentoring is the development of meaningful relationships to transfer valuable knowledge and understanding from one person to another. It is a personal enhancement strategy through which one person willingly facilitates the development of another by sharing known resources, expertise, values, skills, perspectives, attitudes, and proficiencies. Our mentoring program is tailored to the individual employee to give them the right tools, the right resources, at the right time.”
Learn more about Lockheed Martin here.
“Autodesk is a place where you can shape your future and help others do the same. The Autodesk Mentorship Program empowers employees to take ownership of their careers and build on a mindset of learning from each other by offering mentorship opportunities for professional and personal development, peer-to-peer learning, and focused networking. The program helps you identify your goals and recommends matches for a mentor or mentee to help you accomplish them. Through the Autodesk Mentorship Program, employees can make connections, grow their skills, explore opportunities and build their career paths.”
Learn more about Autodesk here.
“Cummins Women’s Empowerment Network (WEN) focuses on a mission to create the right environment by advocating for equal representation, empowering women, and fostering inclusion for every employee in all work assignments at all levels.
As part of the work to achieve such a mission, WEN focuses on mentoring and development initiatives designed to foster mentoring relationships, broaden employee networks, and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth. Initiatives include Speed Mentoring Sessions, Personal Development & Networking Events and WEN Mentoring Circles Program. This annual Mentoring Circles Program provides a monthly opportunity for exempt employees to participate in a forum for open discussion, explore new perspectives and learn from peers and leaders.
Within the Europe region we also have the Cummins Business Services mentoring program which is open to all employees at all levels.”
Learn more about Cummins here.
“Meet a pairing in Millennium’s Mentorship Program: Cari Smalley, Co-Head HR Business Partners, Americas, and Jasmin Zirino, Operations Specialist. They say, "The mentorship program is a fantastic experience for anyone who wishes to join. It allows you to meet someone you do not directly work with and grow your network. It is invaluable to have the ability to work through solutions to problems, use one another as sounding boards, and occasionally just blow off steam in a supportive space."”
Learn more about Millennium Management here.
“Mentorship is about stepping out of our comfort zone, taking charge and acting upon our ambitions, opening doors for others and learning more about the skills that make our own success.
Expedia Group has a volunteer-led program allowing every employee to have an equal chance to grow and succeed. The program has brought together a group of 1,700 Expedians from all over the world who believe in skills development and the power to elevate others while creating Inclusion at Expedia Group. Through a self-service marketplace platform and organized meetup sessions, EG’s Mentoring Program enables all employees to ask for help and embrace their own identity while belonging to a community that thrives through diversity.”
Learn more about Expedia Group here.
“At Equinix, our employee connection networks (EECNs) play an important role in bringing together communities for learning and growth opportunities, including mentoring. While mentees gain much from mentors, we often find that mentors also discover growth opportunities.
By asking these questions, we instill best practices for a successful mentorship:
What does each party want from this experience? How often to meet? Confidentiality: What’s shareable and what isn’t?
Feedback: What are the expectations around giving and receiving feedback?
And remember, a mentoring relationship is like any other relationship—it takes time to develop. Build trust by getting to know one another.”
Learn more about Equinix here.
"At Unstoppable, it is our commitment to having a crypto forward culture. Every new team member is matched with a Crypto Buddy who acts as their first point of contact outside of their direct team, guides them down the crypto rabbit hole, and welcomes them into Unstoppable’s culture. As a fully remote company, making cross-team collaboration a key part of onboarding strengthens our community. This is also an opportunity for the buddy to hone their mentoring and teaching skills. When the new hire has been with the company for six months, they will then become a mentor themselves, driving a continuous cycle of mentorship."
Learn more about Unstoppable Domains here.
“Mentoring@Uber connects employees who are passionate about helping and up-skilling others with those who are seeking guidance and development. It is a way of connecting and sharing challenges on a mutual and reliable relationship —and trying to get another perspective from an unbiased source. It’s also an opportunity to learn from the experiences of others, or collaborate together to come up with a solution to professional problems that arise. People with mentors perform better, advance in their careers faster, and even maintain more work-life balance. And mentors benefit, too.”
Learn more about Uber here.
“MongoDB has offered two pilot mentorship programs to support underrepresented groups. One program focused on promising first-line managers and ICs from underrepresented groups and the other focused on providing executive mentorship to women & nonbinary leaders at the director level and up. In both programs, participants were matched with a mentor with who they regularly met to discuss career planning and personal development. Feedback from both pilots was hugely positive with participants indicating that they received helpful support from their mentors. Members from our ERGs have also served as mentors to our summer class of interns.”
Learn more about MongoDB here.
“Our Black and Latinx ERG, Array, offers a mentorship program pairing individual contributors within Array to C-Suite and VP level mentors, including PagerDuty CEO Jennifer Tejada. Dedicated to leveling the playing field for Black and Latinx employees, the program is structured so everyone can learn from each other. Mentees are paired with mentors from within or outside their department for a nine-month term, which includes check-ins, themed discussions, and monthly one-on-ones. Bri Solorzano, an Array mentee, explained that this mentorship program allows her to build bonds with higher level executives, and share her personal experiences as a Latinx employee and individual contributor at PagerDuty.”
Learn more about PagerDuty here.
T. Rowe Price
“Due to the highly collaborative culture at T. Rowe Price, the firm understands the value of relationships and the opportunities strong mentorship can provide. It is committed to not only developing talent within its walls but developing the next generation of talent within communities.
The firm will launch a new global mentorship program in 2022, which will offer associates the opportunity to connect with colleagues, agnostic of location or business unit. T. Rowe Price also provides leadership development to youth in the community through strategic partnerships such as the Baltimore Ravens Leadership Institute, a program aimed at high school students.”
Learn more about T. Rowe Price here.
“At Pluralsight, we take growth seriously. Which is why we offer a six-month long mentorship program for all of our employees. Our mentorship program is facilitated bi-annually by Women@Pluralsight, one of our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and aims to empower participants to recognize their full potential. We intentionally pair mentors and mentees to create connections that encourage the development of skills crucial to success, and foster personal and professional growth. In our most recent cycle we paired nearly 200 participants and have plans to continue growing that number. Because at Pluralsight, your growth is our growth, and vice versa.”
Learn more about Pluralsight here.
“At Yelp, we value and actively foster an environment focused on learning and development. There are a variety of mentorship opportunities available, such as:
- New Hire Mentors — new employees are paired with a team mentor to help them onboard and get settled in.
- Engineering Mentorship Program — any IC engineer can sign up to become or get a mentor within Yelp Engineering.
- Manager Mentorship Program — new engineering managers or proto-managers can get support from experienced managers at Yelp.
- Awesome Women in Engineering — This employee resource group’s mentorship program helps AWE members find mentors or mentee within the group.”
Learn more about Yelp here.
“At Turo, we help each other. We collaborate. We challenge each other. And we create the tools to succeed independently and as a team.
When you join Turo engineering, you’re assigned a mentor, a reliable, single point-of-contact to help you set up your environment, navigate the codebase, and acclimate to Turo’s culture and workplace. Mentors have a great responsibility to ensure new Turists feel welcome, offer encouragement, and provide advice and guidance on complex matters of systems and architecture. Engineers who demonstrate our core values of efficiency, pioneering, and being down-to-earth and supportive have an opportunity to mentor new engineers. Mentoring engineers is a great way to build the skills necessary to further your career at Turo.”
“Mentoring has allowed me to deepen my technical understanding and team connections.”
– Lauren Kroner, Senior Software Engineer
Learn more about Turo here.
“In the US, Moody’s has an intergenerational mentoring program, our Pride BRG members coach youth in the Queer Coders program. Our Women’s, Veterans, and Multicultural BRGs have a variety of mentoring programs, including summer intern mentorship, our Asian Leadership Initiative and our ConectaMos Hispanic/Latinx 1:1 mentoring program. Our Women’s Group Mentoring Program just celebrated its 10th anniversary with over 800 mentor-mentee participants over 10 years. In EMEA, Moody’s offers Power to Act reverse mentoring, mentoring through the Women’s and Pride BRGs, and a parental leave mentoring scheme. In APAC, Moody’s has various cross-BRG and cross-department mentoring programs.”
Learn more about Moody’s here.
“At Condé Nast, we are focused on providing positive career development opportunities. We recently launched a Global Mentorship Program as an option for employees to connect and learn from one another. For six months, employees participate as a mentor and/or mentee to develop their careers, grow their skills and guide one another. The structured framework creates and sustains an inclusive experience that empowers everyone’s growth.
The MentorcliQ platform we use lets us create mentoring pairs based on their interests, experiences and personality compatibility. To date we have had 473 active mentorship pairs.”
Learn more about Condé Nast here.
“Thornburg Small Group Mentor Program was created to bring employees of various tenures and experience levels together in order to cultivate organic relationships and opportunities for influence in a low-pressure environment.
The program consists of six small groups comprised of one mentor and three to six mentees. These groups meet for one hour every month for six months. The series concludes with a virtual event where all participants from every group can meet and share takeaways from their experiences.
- Small group format (not one-on-one)
- Low cost, low maintenance, light structure
- Flexibility for mentors to lead through individual style"
Learn more about Thornburg here.
“Women@Okta’s upcoming mentorship program:
W@Okta’s vision for the year is to empower, develop and support women-identified employees in order to ultimately improve gender diversity at Okta. One of our key methods is to empower the next generation of female leadership by providing a platform for women to connect and learn from one another through group and 1:1 mentorship opportunities. Our Professional Development branch is launching a pilot mentorship program with an initial cohort of 32 mentors and mentees.
Goals: Career, personal and organizational
Share your needs, desires, goals, and challenges; career choice and mobility.
Explore people, resources, information, expertise you need – but don’t have – to speed up, enhance, and ensure your results.”
—Professional Development Lead Christina Gallagher (Senior Sales Development Representative) & Partnerships Co-Lead Sarah Schiff (Senior Manager, Customer First Recruiting)
Learn more about Okta here.
Cloud computing has seen huge advancements in the last couple of years as the pandemic has forced companies to keep up with productivity, reduce costs, and stay connected. Instead of using in-house servers and computing power, “the cloud” offers the flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness that companies need.
So it’s no surprise that cloud computing has been rated as one of the most sought-after tech skills by LinkedIn and Indeed this year. With ever-changing technology, the demand for certified cloud computing professionals has soared. The shortage of qualified professionals in this domain presents a golden opportunity for those who are willing to learn the necessary cloud computing skills.
And that’s why we’re excited to announce that PowerToFly is collaborating with the Microsoft U.S. Developer team to bring you FREE Cloud Skills Challenges all year long. Participants can develop new, highly-sought after skills by enrolling in three new challenges every quarter and get the chance to earn a Microsoft Cloud Computing Certification once the challenge has been completed. Those who take the challenge through PowerToFly have the opportunity to take the exam for free!
Cloud Skills Challenge
The challenges consist of completing a series of modules on Microsoft’s learning platform and benchmarking progress against other participants. After completing the challenge, participants can take an exam to earn an official Microsoft certification (paid for by PowerToFly!).
PowerToFly hosted our first Cloud Skills challenge in December 2021, where over 1,200 participants completed a Microsoft certified online course focused on Microsoft Azure and DevOps-related cloud computing skills.
We were blown away by the quality of students who participated in the challenge and walked away with new, marketable skills and an official certificate. It went so well that we are pleased to announce that we will be offering more Microsoft challenges exclusively for the PowerToFly community.
We are currently offering the following challenges:
Learn to design and implement strategies for collaboration, code, infrastructure, source control, security, compliance, continuous integration, testing, delivery, monitoring, and feedback.
Azure AI Engineer Associate
Learn to analyze solution requirements; design solutions; integrate AI models into solutions; and deploy and manage solutions.
Azure Data Scientist Associate
Learn to manage Azure resources for machine learning; run experiments and train models; deploy and operationalize machine learning solutions; and implement responsible machine learning.
These courses have been hand-picked by PowerToFly’s Customer Success team because they cover some of the most in-demand, high-paying skills companies are looking for this year.
PowerToFly will reimburse the first 50 people who successfully complete the challenge coursework and the certification exam!
Don’t miss your opportunity to level up your tech career! Click here to earn a FREE Microsoft Certification exam.
💎 Looking for some tips and tricks to prepare for your job interview with CallRail? You’ve come to the right place! Make sure to watch the video until the end for some valuable insights.
📼 Watch this video to get some tips that will help you prepare for your interview with CallRail. In this video, you’ll meet Kristin Marsicano, Director of Engineering, and Jon Cyprian, Talent Acquisition Manager at CallRail, who will tell you about the application process and give you some tips and tricks to crush the interview!
📼 Tip #1 for your interview with CallRail: Based on Jon's personal experience as a recruiter, he shares there isn't a "moment" when he knows the candidate is perfect for the job. That said, some vivid indicators naturally give recruiters a better feeling about a candidate, including the research they've done and just their genuine honesty! Transparency about skillsets and what you are looking for in your career journey matters!
📼 Tip #2 for your interview with CallRail: Kristin reveals, “One of the most common hiring misconceptions is that you have to meet all of the criteria in order to even consider applying." That is not true! Being on the other side of engineering hiring for the past seven years, Kristin has seen so many scenarios where the company extended an offer to somebody, even if they didn't meet every single one of the criteria. She recommends that you directly call out how your existing experience matches the job requirements when you apply. Then, if and when you get through to the interview, be prepared to note specific examples that match your experience to the role's needs. Kristin is looking to hire people who can adapt, who have the self-awareness to know what it takes to learn on the job.
Resume Tips for your Interview with CallRail
Jon says there are really only two things to keep in mind when it comes to resume tips. First, a resume over two pages can be too much. But if you still want to present that extra information, Jon recommends doing two submission formats: a short-form and a long-form. The second thing Jon suggests is to submit your resume in a simple form, using either PDF or Microsoft Word. That's because many applicant tracking systems that recruiters use do not accept additional formats.
🧑💼 Are you interested in joining CallRail? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
Get To Know Kristin and Jon
Kristin is an experienced technical leader, people manager, educator, and mentor with 20 years in the software development industry, including authoring Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide. She excels at project and team leadership, and is effective at communicating with technical team members across disciplines and skill levels, as well as non-technical team members and stakeholders. She has experience seeing projects through from inception to implementation. Kristin builds buy-in with internal team members and stakeholders through transparency, collaborative ownership, and consistent practices.
Jon has been with CallRail for more than three years now, first as an Internal Recruiter and currently as a Talent Acquisition Manager. If you are interested in a career at CallRail, you can connect with Kristin and Jon on LinkedIn!
More About CallRail
CallRail is here to bring complete visibility to the marketers who rely on quality inbound leads to measure success. Their customers live in a results-driven world, and giving them a clear view of their digital marketing efforts is the first priority for CallRail. They see the opportunities in surfacing and connecting data from calls, forms, and beyond—helping their customers get better outcomes. CallRail has appeared on best places to work lists and are ranked #1 on G2, but they’re not done. They need savvy, innovative people like you to help their customers scale and grow. Are you game?
💎 Get some top tips before your technical interview with Uber! Don’t miss the valuable advice from a company recruiter. And get to the end of the video for the most important tip!
📼 Play this video to get three top tips that will help you ace your technical interview with Uber. You'll hear from Kelly Hay, Senior Technical Recruiter at Uber, who shares everything you need to know if you’re aiming for a technical role with the company.
📼 Tip #1: Communication Is Key. The first tip to nail your technical interview with Uber: You must articulate your approach to the various problems the interviewer will put in front of you. Also, you should demonstrate that you have the knowledge and the skills necessary to thrive in the role. So, think out loud and explain your thought process as you code! This helps fully communicate your solution and allows your interviewer to correct any misconceptions and offer high-level guidance.
📼 Tip #2: Share Your Experience. The second tip for a technical interview with Uber: Clearly illustrate your current role and projects to convey your efforts and accomplishments. Be able to describe how you've been managing various aspects of a project, from planning to completion, and how you've used your problem-solving skills to guarantee project success! Make sure that you focus on projects that had the biggest impact on the organization, where you’ve had a pretty large scope. Share all the details, including the budget timeline and why certain decisions were made. It's all about building and telling the story from the beginning of the project to the end: Why and how you got specific requirements, how you translated those requirements into engineering terms, what types of challenges you faced, and how you solved those challenges.
Tips for a Technical Interview with Uber: Be Prepared!
Take the time to read the interview prep that the recruiter provides. Also, focus on revisiting fundamentals. While it's great to impress the team at Uber with your in-depth knowledge, it's just as important to nail the basics! It may sound obvious, but Kelly highlights that recalling things you haven't revisited for a while can be incredibly tricky.
📨 Are you interested in joining Uber? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
More About Uber
We are Uber. The go-getters. The kind of people who are relentless about our mission to help people go anywhere and get anything. Movement is what we do. It’s our lifeblood. It runs through our veins. It’s what gets us out of bed each morning. It pushes us to constantly reimagine how we can move better. For you. For all the places you want to go. For all the things you want to get. For all the ways you want to earn. Across the entire world. In real-time. At the incredible speed of now. We welcome people from all backgrounds who seek the opportunity to help build a future where everyone and everything can move independently. If you have the curiosity, passion, and collaborative spirit, work with us, and let’s move the world forward together.