This channel leader loves to travel and spend time with her husband and daughter. She’s ambitious and enjoys learning new skills and embracing different cultures – fun fact, she can speak several languages fluently, one of them being sign language! Natalia never expected to work in the technology industry, but in her 20 years at Extreme, she has grown to become an excellent leader for our partner program. She´s been named one of the Top Women in the Channel by CRN for the past three consecutive years. See how Natalia advances with us!
Tell us about your journey at Extreme.
I had my Master of Business Administration and worked in the tourism industry back at the time when the former Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe approached me for a job at Extreme. Even though I had no technology background, I was very curious to learn something completely different, which is why I took on the role as Executive Assistant at Extreme. I’ve stayed at Extreme for two reasons – the people and the career opportunities. I love that I am surrounded by colleagues who are fun and enjoy what they do. I’ve always had career ambitions and Extreme has given me the opportunity to grow into my role as Global Director – which has been awesome!
What’s your favorite memory at Extreme?
Years ago, when I was invited to my first President’s Club, we got to go to Hawaii. The feelings of accomplishment from being awarded President’s Club was great and getting to go on the trip was huge.
Also, this past year, at our Global Partner Summit, I got to do my first main stage keynote presentation in front of 500+ people. I’m used to speaking in front of groups, but being on the big stage, with the giant screen behind me and all the lights was a new experience. I was preparing for weeks because I was nervous, but it was so much fun and an exciting career accomplishment for me!
What advice do you have for someone looking to get into the channel or a managerial role?
Appreciate all the roles you work and soak up as much knowledge as possible. What’s helped me in my current role is being able to understand what partners need since I was in the field and did Partner Account Management myself. Also, you have to keep the lines of communication open with partners since you are no longer in the field.
Another thing that has guided me throughout my career is my willingness to learn. When I came to Extreme, I was not a technical person – and I’m still not – but I understand the technology because I’m always listening, taking notes, asking questions, and learning. The only way you are going to advance is to continue to learn and show that you can grow and take on more responsibilities.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love nature and being outdoors. It’s great to go running and hiking with my family. I always try to do a digital detox when I’m outside too, which is great because I can appreciate my surroundings more. I also enjoy gathering with friends and good food.
Improvements have been made, but there are fewer women than men in the tech industry. How can companies continue to close the gender gap?
We have to keep the momentum going and continue to empower women and give them a voice. If there is room for shout outs, make sure that everyone is getting their fair share. Same for promotions – make sure women are being considered for new roles as fairly as men. I love that Extreme sponsors seats at the Women in Channel events because it helps women network in the industry and learn from great role models.
How important is diversity and inclusion in the workplace?
I’ve heard studies that the more diverse your company, the more successful it will be. I believe this to be true because with a diverse group you get different opinions, new solutions to problems, outside the box thinking, and more! If you just have one type of group of people, they will have one direction they want to go, but it may not be the right direction. If you have different opinions, and a diverse group of people, then you can put all of that together and get more collaboration and success out of your team.
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