"My Experiences as a Senior Solutions Architect and a Mother on Parental Leave: Meet Veronica Tudor"
In this interview, you will meet Veronica Tudor, Senior Solutions Architect in Dublin. Veronica speaks about how this role compares to her previous ones, and she also opens up about her maternity leave, and how she's grown both personally and professionally at MongoDB.
Jess Katz: What made you originally decide to join MongoDB 2+ years ago?
Veronica Tudor: MongoDB is a high-growth company and we place a large focus on retaining our people and culture. I originally joined MongoDB for its technology. I have been passionate about databases since college and created a career for myself in that space. I worked at Oracle and IBM for several years around data-related technologies and I wanted a change in my career. I knew that MongoDB was one of the most loved data platforms among developers. I also knew that working at MongoDB would be a change for me since I wanted to step away from relational databases and work for a tech company with a strong and innovative technology.
While the original reason for why I joined MongoDB was because of its technology, over the 2+ years that I've been here, I discovered that the people are what also makes this an amazing place to work. In my role, I work closely with our Corporate Sales team — the team is very tech savvy and they want to understand all of the technical aspects of what we do, which I love about them. They aren't only focused on selling our technology, they actually believe in what they sell, which I really appreciate and admire. Everyone I have interacted with at MongoDB, across all teams, are extremely talented and kind. We keep the hiring bar very high.
JK: I know that you recently went on parental leave for the birth of your second child. What has that experience been like for you and how do you feel about coming back to work?
VT: I know my life back to work won't be the same after I return from my maternity leave. It will be a little bit different, but my husband who also works at MongoDB, will go on parental leave when I come back to work. For mothers and fathers to have 20 weeks of parental leave is rare in Ireland and we are lucky that both of us can take advantage of this company benefit. In Ireland, it is also difficult to find a trusted daycare for babies, so having the ability to take a paid parental leave to cover as much time as possible in our baby's first year is a huge benefit for us! (Editor's note: this is a global benefit for all MongoDB employees that can be completed at any point before a child's first birthday. In Ireland, MongoDB employees who are primary caregivers receive 26 weeks of paid parental leave, and secondary caregivers receive 20 weeks of paid parental leave).
I can tell you that with our first child, my husband didn't get parental leave and I felt that he didn't get a real chance to spend time with our son. It was probably when our son began speaking and walking that they got closer with one another, but if they had had one-on-one time earlier on, I believe that they would have been closer. I think it's healthier for a family in general if both parents have an equal amount of time to stay at home with the baby.
As different as it might be, I am very excited to get back to work at MongoDB! I love my role and I do miss my day-to-day experiences in the office.
JK: When comparing this role to your previous ones, how is being an SA different at MongoDB?
VT: Being a Solutions Architect (SA) at MongoDB is different than being an SA at another company because you get to work closer with our customers. In my experience, SAs at other companies tend to focus on back-office activities and don't interact with customers in-person or even over the phone that often. Here at MongoDB, I get to meet C-level executives and developers at various companies together with my sales peers, and I get to hear what their objectives are and what they struggle with first-hand. That kind of insight into our customers' needs is important for an SA because we get to understand our customers' challenges and come back to them with a solution that works best for them. It also gives us the chance to validate the information in real-time in order to make sure that we are approaching everything the right way.
At MongoDB, a lot of resources are made available to help address questions. For example, if I need to know something about MongoDB Atlas, our fully-managed cloud database, I can learn directly from the Product Manager or the developers who wrote the code. In big corporations, developers or Product Managers are usually behind a wall and SAs never get to interact with them. Having this accessibility to our engineering team is very important for my team.
JK: How have you grown both personally and professionally during your time here?
VT: In my role as an SA, I learn something new every day because I am constantly exposed to different cutting-edge technologies. By constantly being in touch with a variety of use cases and customers with different business models as an SA, you really need to keep up with the latest technology and changes in the industry. You not only have to be an expert in MongoDB technologies, but you also need to understand our competitors and the entire software ecosystem that gravitates around databases. As you evolve, so do they.
One of the things that I found difficult when I first joined MongoDB was being able to master context switching. In one day, I can have 4-5 different meetings with different customers who each have different use cases and sales cycles, and it can be challenging to do that constant context switch. Now, context switching has become second nature to me and it's something useful that I also apply to my personal life, especially as a mom. Without even realizing it, my brain is able to flip back and forth between different topics and projects.
MongoDB is truly an amazing place to work, especially as an SA. If you're interested in learning more about the team, please feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn.
Interested in pursuing a career in Pre-Sales at MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe, and would love for you to build your career with us!
At MongoDB, our employees get to make a huge impact and disrupt the database software industry every day. However, making a large impact isn't the only perk of working at MongoDB. We also provide our employees with the resources they need to thrive in many aspects of their lives. We're devoted to creating an open, innovative, and supportive environment for our team.
From mid-day meditation sessions and yoga classes, to fertility assistance and an amazing parental leave policy — the opportunity to make an impact at MongoDB is real and we want to support all of our employees in that journey.
Take a look at just some of the benefits we offer our employees (some of these benefits vary by location).
Family Support Programs
At MongoDB, we have several programs that support our employees' families, like a generous parental leave policy, and a back-up care program for family members.
In January 2018, we launched a revamped Global Parental Leave Policy to better serve the needs, wants, and interests of all new parents at MongoDB. We offer 20 weeks of fully paid parental leave for both mothers and fathers, as well as an additional four weeks of fully paid flexible work arrangements to assist with returning to work.
We offer additional programs for expecting parents as well, like parenting workshops, a parental buddy program, and Cleo, which provides employees with fully personalized and customizable counseling on their journey to parenthood.
Lead Software Engineer, Andrew Giannotti, was one of the first employees at MongoDB to utilize our new Parental Leave Policy. His daughter was born on February 8th, 2018 and this policy made a huge impact on his life as a new father.
Having this time off allowed my wife to recover and recuperate from the birth while I took on a lot of the parenting duties like getting up in the middle of the night and changing diapers. This time really allowed me to bond with our daughter. A lot of my male friends had to return back to work only one or two weeks and they hardly ever got to be involved in the fun moments when their babies were awake. I really got to experience all of the wonderful moments with my daughter and spend time with her. While on paternity leave, I was continuously told by my team not to come back to work too early, and to stay off of my work email. I am so grateful that that part of my life was completely stress-free so I could be present with my family.
In addition to our parental leave policy, we also offer a back-up care program. Through Bright Horizons, MongoDB is able to provide access to high-quality child or elder back-up care in-home or at a center when school or daycare is closed, someone is ill, the regular caregiver is unavailable, or whenever an extra hand is needed.
We are very excited to offer these programs that support the needs of our employees.
Our flexible PTO ethos is applied globally to ensure employees take time to refresh, relax, and unwind. This policy is based on mutual trust and communication between every employee and their manager.
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Alexandra Loh, went on a Babymoon vacation that she will never forget.
Over the holidays this past year, my manager and MongoDB made it possible for me to take time off to do something really important. My partner and I took an amazing trip to Patagonia as our "Babymoon" adventure. It was a special trip and, at 6.5 months pregnant at the time, the last one as just the two of us for the foreseeable future. I'm incredibly grateful for the flexibility and understanding to have such an opportunity.
MongoDB provides you with all of the tools you need to achieve a positive work-life blend.
Fertility and Adoption Assistance
We understand that starting a family can be challenging and we care about doing what we can to reduce the stress in our employees' lives. This includes coverage for all employees regardless of age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. We also recognize, that while some countries' national and private health insurance may cover fertility treatment for its citizens, coverage is much rarer in the U.S.
This is why we partner with Carrot in the U.S., which provides customized fertility benefits for the modern company. This includes IVF treatments, genetic testing, egg freezing, donor eggs, donor sperm surrogacy, adoption, and more.
All US MongoDB employees can sign up for Carrot, connect with a fertility expert, and find a clinic that is best for them. These services support every employee, whether they want to have an exploratory conversation, or are in the middle of receiving treatments.
The best part is that MongoDB reimburses 90% of covered costs, up to a $20,000 lifetime maximum, for employees who undergo a fertility treatment or adoption — and to protect privacy, Carrot handles the entire transaction.
Employee Affinity Groups
It's important for us to embody our values, especially when it comes to "Embracing the Power of Differences," one of our core company values. MongoDB affinity groups support our larger commitment to a diverse and inclusive community.
Our affinity groups include MongoDB Women & Trans Coders, Underrepresented People of Color Network (UPOC), MongoDB Veterans, MongoDB Women's Group, MongoDB Queeries, Ally Skills, and more. These groups provide a safe space for employees to create, ideate, mentor, and connect with one another through a common interest or identity. If you're an employee and you have an idea for a new group, we will provide you with the tools you need to build it.
At MongoDB, we recognize the importance of our employees' mental health and wellbeing. We want to break the stigma around mental health, and provide our employees with all of the support they need, especially at work. We are dedicated to providing our employees with valuable tools to face all of life's challenges.
We offer mental health programs to our employees where they can receive confidential assistance from qualified professionals.
With WorkLifeMatters, and Vhi, employees are provided guidance for any personal issues that they may be facing. This program provides a 24/7 hotline, three free sessions with local mental health counselors, and more.
We also offer Spring, which is a mental health service that uses technology and top providers to offer patients a more personalized approach to care. Employees interested in using Spring receive a mental health screening and support from a specialist when they need them, and more. At the moment, Spring is offered to our US-based employees in New York, New Jersey, Texas, and California.
In addition to Spring, we also offer Headspace, which is an app that provides hundreds of themed meditation sessions on everything from sleep to focus on reducing stress.
Wellness Events and Programs
We strive to offer an inclusive and holistic approach to health and wellbeing for our employees, their families, and the MongoDB community. In fact, we were recently named one of the healthiest employers in New York City by Sequoia Consulting Group, which is a great testament to our culture and commitment to wellness.
In select offices, we offer in-office yoga and bootcamp classes, meditation sessions, nutrition sessions, fitness challenges, chair massages, health check-ups, and more. In the past year, we hosted over 50 wellness events across the globe and scaled a wellness fair to a holistic global wellness program.
Throughout the year, we host wellness workshops for all of our employees around the world that cover topics like how to stay healthy while traveling, the ins and outs of holistic health, and how to improve your sleep habits.
In addition to our wellness programs, we also empower our employees to give back to their communities.
MongoDB is a global company with 40+ offices around the world! Each MongoDB employee has the opportunity to expand their personal and professional experiences and may have the option to relocate to another office depending on their role.
We foster a culture for internal mobility, where employees can transfer to different teams within the company. We care about our employees' individual growth and provide them with opportunities to apply for open roles within the company on other teams.
Mairéad Bennis started working on the Finance team at MongoDB in Dublin back in February, 2014. In 2017, she was offered a role in our Financial Planning & Analysis department at our HQ in New York City that she couldn't turn down.
It was a big decision to move for this role of course, but it was a very exciting opportunity for me. Today, I can definitely see that this move took my career to the next level. I've had many incredible opportunities since moving here and great exposure to the business from working within the FP&A team. I get to work with all of the stakeholders across the company. This role helped me focus and develop my career path and I have since been promoted to an FP&A Manager. On a personal level, it's been an amazing opportunity for me to get to know New York City, whilst also slightly scary since I grew up and lived my entire life in Dublin. It was definitely a big jump at first to get used to the New York way of life, but it has been worth it!
All of these benefits are in addition to our comprehensive medical, dental, and vision health care packages, as well as our Employee Stock Purchase Program. The above list of benefits is not intended to be a comprehensive description of each benefit or plan nor does it represent a guarantee of benefits to any employee. MongoDB reserves the right to cancel, revise or otherwise change benefits provided at any time.
Here, at MongoDB, you'll have the chance to work on our most core technology and programs and make a real impact at a fast-growing public tech company.
Interested in working with us? Check out our Careers page and join our team!