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New Relic

Starting a New Job During a Pandemic: How Solutions Engineer Lauren Chow Has Found Her Place at New Relic

Last December, Lauren Chow attended our networking event with cloud-based observability platform New Relic. And in late February, she joined New Relic's team as a Solutions Engineer — a mere three weeks before the company asked its employees to work from home because of COVID-19.

Under these uniquely stressful circumstances, it wouldn't have surprised me if Lauren's time at New Relic had started with her feeling overwhelmed and disconnected.

Instead, however, the same things that attracted Lauren to New Relic when she attended their in-person event proved to hold true even when working from home.

"When I met the women on New Relic's team in December, I was so impressed by the open and supportive space they created within that hour. It just felt like a very genuine, humble, and amazing group of women."

This sense of openness and support has carried over to New Relic's response to COVID-19. "There's a lot of kindness, resilience, humility, and compassion across all levels of the organization right now," Lauren explains.

We sat down with Lauren (virtually, of course) to better understand what led her to join the New Relic team and what sparked her interest in pre-sales.


From English to Engineering: Lauren's Career Trajectory

Lauren's career hasn't exactly been linear, but in spite of the apparent jump she made from English major to engineer, there is a common thread that has anchored her trajectory.

"I would argue that coding and writing are both strategic ways to use language," she says.

This interest in language led her to sample both computer science and poetry in college, before ultimately graduating with a degree in English in 2008.

Unfortunately, timing wasn't on her side. "I graduated into a recession with a degree in poetry," she explains, so she ended up in tech after graduation not by choice but by necessity.

"My first job in tech was the first job I could get. I worked as an Executive Assistant at a startup. It was a Jill-of-all-trades kind of role. I got to try on a lot of different hats supporting the non-technical side of the business in PR, events planning, account management, and business development."

While there, she started teaching herself SQL and Python and realized she wanted more technical challenges. "That prompted me to join another startup, where I ran global partnerships and business development — I ran all of our reports and user research using SQL."

This experience made her realize just how passionate she was about technical problem-solving, so she decided to do Hackbright to sharpen her skills and pivot fully to engineering.

Why Pre-Sales? How Lauren Became a Solutions Engineer at New Relic

After Hackbright, Lauren worked at a couple startups, one of which placed her in a post-sales role.

"I noticed that in post-sales, problems are more narrowly defined because customers are already onboard and excited about the product. In pre-sales, you encounter more dynamic sets of problems to solve," she explains.

Having run business development at two startups prior to attending Hackbright, she missed the strategic challenge of helping drive customers' success. "There are unique challenges that come up when you're finding ways to help a new customer, and I really enjoy that."

Her new role as a Solutions Engineer at New Relic lets her solve those challenges. In a sense, she's come full circle, leveraging her language skills to both deploy technical solutions and communicate with customers.

"I am a partner with both prospective customers and existing customers, helping them solve technical and business problems. My day-to-day involves meeting with customers to walk them through details and implementation of various New Relic products," she says.

On Overcoming Imposter Syndrome & Being Part of a Team

Although Lauren has been able to capitalize on her diverse set of skills and experiences to excel as an engineer, the transition wasn't without its challenges.

"Imposter syndrome is very real because it's not just generated from inside – it's also a logical response to larger structures. I had to learn to tune out the noise, both from within myself and from outside."

Ultimately, her success in overcoming imposter syndrome has come down to surrounding herself with good people. "Hackbright was a very supportive community, and I met people there that helped me understand I wasn't alone in how I was feeling. And it was actually when I was at Hackbright that I learned about New Relic, and the great reputation they have for their commitment to diversity and inclusion in the engineering and developer community."

That sense of community was echoed at the event Lauren attended in December, and has only been amplified since, as she's observed the company's response to the current crisis: "We're all remote and connecting through our screens, but we're all watching out for each other and supporting one another."


If New Relic's community sounds like one you'd like to join, be sure to check out their open roles here and leave your questions for Lauren in the comments!


How These Companies Are Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

According to a recent study, anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 150% since the pandemic started. But these acts of violence are not new — they are part of a much larger history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.

That makes celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (which was named a month-long celebration in May by Congress in 1992 "to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843 and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869") this year all the more important.


How Relativity’s Monika Wąż Conquered Fear to Find Her Dream Career

There's a phrase in her native Polish that Monika Wąż reminds herself of each day: "If you don't learn, you're just going backward."

The Associate Product Manager at legal and compliance technology company Relativity says she would believe in a growth-centered approach to work even if she wasn't in the tech field, but that it's especially important because she is.

Autodesk, Inc.

How Embracing What She Doesn’t Know Led Autodesk’s Arezoo Riahi to a Fulfilling Career in DEI

Arezoo Riahi isn't a big fan of the "fake it till you make it" approach. She'd rather ask for the help she needs and learn from it.

Autodesk's Director of Diversity and Belonging joined the design software company from the nonprofit world after a long career in connecting people from different cultures. While her work had been deeply rooted in DEI values, there were certain parts of the strategy-building aspects to her new role that she wasn't sure about.

"If you know it, show up like you know it. If you don't know it, you shouldn't fake it. And Autodesk didn't shame me for not knowing everything. They helped me, and the entire team, by providing the resources that we needed, bringing in outside expertise to help teach us when we were in new territory," says Arezoo, who has been at Autodesk for three years now, during which she's been promoted twice into her current role.

We sat down with Arezoo to hear more about her path into DEI work, what she thinks the future of that work must include, and what advice she has for women looking to build fulfilling careers, from knowing what you don't know and beyond.


Behind-the-Scenes: Sales Interview Process at LogMeIn

Get an inside look at the interview process for sales roles at LogMeIn, one of the largest SaaS companies providing remote work technology, from Michael Gagnon, Senior Manager of Corporate Account Executive Sales.

Procore Technologies Inc

How Being an Open Member of the LGBTQIA+ Community Has Helped Procore’s Alex Zinik Overcome Imposter Syndrome at Work

Alex Zinik wasn't surprised that she started her career in education—she decided she would become a teacher when she was just in third grade.

She was surprised while working as a paraeducator in the school system and preparing to become a special education teacher, she discovered that it didn't feel quite right. "I didn't know if that's what I really wanted to do," she recalls.

So a friend suggested she take a job during her off summers at construction software company Procore. She thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try out this new challenge, and if she needed to, she could go back to the school district once the summer was over.

"Five summers later, I'm still here!" she says, smiling. "And I see myself here for many more years. I just fell in love with the company, the culture, and with the career growth opportunities I was presented with."

As part of our Pride month celebrations, Alex, currently the Senior Executive Assistant to the CEO at Procore, sat down with us to share how a common fear—the fear of being found out—underlay the imposter syndrome she felt when pivoting to an industry in which she lacked experience, and the anxiety she often felt before coming out to her friends and family about her sexuality.

Read on for her insight on overcoming negative thought patterns, being yourself, and paying it forward.

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