Below is an article originally written by PowerToFly Partner Spoiler Alert. Go to Spoiler Alert's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
Employee Spotlight: Jessica Janiuk
Start Date: I joined Spoiler Alert at the beginning of March 2017 and was recently promoted to Senior Software Engineer and Product Team Lead.
Hometown: I grew up in Delafield, Wisconsin, a Milwaukee suburb with about 8,600 residents, but I've been based in Greater Boston for two and a half years.
Education: In 2006, I graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire with a bachelor's in Communication and a minor in Web Development.
Role description: I wear a number of hats on the Product & Engineering team. At a high-level, I'm responsible for delivering on the product roadmap and product iterations, which entails writing code and building out platform infrastructure. I also mentor team members, and as a certified SCRUM Master/Developer, I help keep the team focused and on-schedule. Outside of my day-to-day, I'm active in the Greater Boston development community, an organizer of GDG Cambridge, and a master of pun delivery.
Why do like working at SA?: I like that we're a mission-driven company focused on solving food waste (and associated problems like climate change), and the team truly feels like a family.
Favorite "distressed inventory" recipe: Easy - making banana bread from aging bananas.
Fun fact! I have fenced for 18 years and recently had a custom sword forged that is inspired by Wonder Woman.
🌟 Three Top Tips to Thrive as a Woman of Color in Engineering 🌟
Welcome to a transformative journey for women of color in engineering! 🚀 Delve into invaluable advice that will help you thrive as a woman of color in the world of engineering. Crystal Thornton, an accomplished engineering manager for the Inventory Management team at CallRail, is here to inspire and guide you.
👩💼 Crystal knows what it takes to succeed as a woman of color in engineering, and she's sharing her wisdom to propel your career forward. This video is your key to unlocking success in a competitive field. Don't miss out! Watch until the end for insights that can reshape your journey in engineering. 🔑
In this video, Crystal touches on three vital tips for women of color in engineering:
🌟 Unleash Your Unique Brilliance: Embrace your individuality and let it shine. In a field where diversity fuels innovation, your uniqueness is your strength. Crystal guides you on aligning your passions and values with your career goals. 🚀
🌟 Mentorship Matters: Discover the power of mentorship from someone who's walked your path. Learn how to navigate challenges, set goals, and achieve your dreams with the help of a mentor who's got your back. 🤝
🌟 Be Your Own Advocate: Don't let your achievements go unnoticed. Crystal highlights the importance of self-advocacy. Learn how to keep track of your successes, share your accomplishments, and build valuable connections that elevate your career. 🗂️
Join us in celebrating the achievements of women of color in engineering. 🎉 Together, we're breaking barriers, and inspiring the next generation. Get ready to thrive as a woman of color in engineering – watch now! 💪🌈
Are you interested in joining CallRail? They have open positions! To learn more, click here.
CallRail is here to bring complete visibility to 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 a first priority for CallRail. They see the opportunities in surfacing and connecting data from calls, forms, and beyond—helping customers get better outcomes.
My career has been largely shaped by two things: my passion for computers and being born with partial blindness. Math was always my favorite class, and I discovered my love for computer science early on – inspiring me to study electrical engineering in college and pursue my Master’s degree in software systems.
Even as a young student in India, I dreamed of a career on the cutting edge of technology. But I faced a daunting question: how would my disability affect my capabilities? Two decades later, I’ve learned (much to my surprise) that it’s what drove me forward. My disability not only empowered my career path, but it helped me discover my strengths, my passions, and who I am.
I discovered where my strengths can take me in my career
After working at tech companies in the U.S. for several years, my vision continued deteriorating until I became 90% blind. I needed to find a new way to support my family and continue the work I loved. After reflecting on my skills, I realized my disability is a unique set of capabilities, not a barrier. Once people with disabilities discover our own way to do something, nothing can stop us – especially when we have a vision.
Deciding where I wanted to take my career was the next step. When my wife and I moved back to India, she encouraged me to use my strong presentation and communications skills to teach. I designed a corporate training course for statistical machine learning – which brought the opportunity to travel across India and do what I love – but I was also charting a new course. I hadn’t seen anyone with my disability achieve the career I wanted before. It was important to me to become the role model I didn’t have growing up.
Inspired to give back, my wife and I founded an educational trust called the Karka Nirka Trust, dedicated to providing scholarships to children in rural India and building school facilities, like libraries and toilets. I also founded another startup that crowd sourced AI models and made them available to small companies, including My Third Eye, a tool that helps blind children move through the world using computer vision.
“Once people with disabilities discover our own way to do something, nothing can stop us – especially when we have a vision.”
I realized support empowered me to follow my dreams
In 2021, I was working at a well-known telecom company and couldn’t imagine opening another chapter in my career – until a Google recruiter asked me to interview for a role. While I was inspired to continue pursuing my passion for AI, I had my concerns. I wanted to make sure the recruiters understood my vision is 90% impaired, but they assured me Google hires people for their skills and encouraged me to apply.
I heard Google is supportive, but I was blown away by how empowering the interview process was. The Google recruiters asked what accommodations I needed, and I immediately realized how much the interview process was designed to help me succeed. Recruiters offered to extend interview times and encouraged me to use a tablet and pen to write code because it’s easier than typing. I know we often hesitate in asking for accommodation but my experience with Google empowered me to give my best and I thought of sharing a short video here to demystify the candidate accommodations at Google.
“The culture at Google makes me feel comfortable and empowered – nothing holds me back.”
After the interviews, I talked to nearly 20 Googlers across multiple teams to determine which AI initiatives interested me most. Google also recruited a full-time support assistant for me, who helps by accompanying me to meetings and providing context as I navigate the Google campus. I was touched to receive help I didn’t have to ask for. I knew the company was different, and I wanted to experience what it meant to be a Googler.
I found new ways to bring my love for Gen AI to Cloud
Now as the AI lead on the Google Cloud team, I’m thrilled to be building the next generation of generative AI for Cloud and Workspace in India. When I joined the team a year ago, I saw how AI could help us reimagine customer experience – saving customers time while easing frustrations with a human experience. Today, our team is focused on innovating AI and ML solutions that will transform the Cloud customer experience. Our vision is to help as many people as possible by providing up-to-date information whenever they need it.
My team members care deeply about helping people, which extends to me as well. They accommodate my needs, like using black backgrounds for our presentations (which I can see more clearly!). Their thoughtfulness, along with a support assistant, has made it possible to tackle projects that inspire me every day.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to pursue my passion for gen AI at Google. It feels like something that was always meant to be.”
As my team and I chart new frontiers together, my approach to coaching and mentorship is closely tied to my personal experiences. I believe being transparent, vocalizing needs and finding new ways to use our strengths is the key to innovative thinking. That’s why Google is a great match for me. Every day I’m reminded that I have the support I need to further my career and be my authentic self – at work and beyond.
The customer and partner experience (CPX) team at Workiva is a place where you can thrive. Watch the video to the end to learn more about its day-to-day and how to join the company.
CPX encompasses every team involved in the customer and partner experience. It’s a team of teams! Margherita Schiavone, technical support engineer, Megan Van Der Linde, senior solutions architect, and Johanna Rickle, manager of client onboarding at Workiva, share everything you need to know about these areas and how they collaborate to achieve their goals.
The onboarding team is at the forefront of the customer and partner experience at Workiva. Right after the sales process concludes, the crew dives in to educate the customer on how to get the most out of Workiva's platform. They know everything there is to know about making customer documents look great and using the company’s platforms, tools, and features. The group interacts with multiple teams across the organization to ensure the customer has a positive onboarding experience.
The customer and partner experience team includes the solution architects team. Its members come from various countries and backgrounds and have different work experiences, which makes them a collaborative team. Everybody has different perspectives to offer. Members are encouraged to share some non-work things in the weekly team calls, which allows them to get to know and understand one another on a deeper level.
Join Workiva’s customer and partner experience team!
Does driving customer and partner experience in a dynamic, adaptable, and collaborative environment resonate with you? If you're a logical thinker, a fast learner, and a problem solver who enjoys balancing autonomy and teamwork, you're the perfect fit for the CPX team. Join a team that's all about collaboration, innovation, and growth!
Are you interested in joining Workiva? They have open positions. To learn more, click here.
Get to Know Margherita Schiavone, Megan Van Der Linde, and Johanna Rickle
If you are interested in a career at Workiva, you can connect with Margherita, Megan, and Johanna on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to mention this video!
More About Workiva
Workiva was founded to transform how people manage and report business data with various collaborators, data sources, documents, and spreadsheets. Today, people all over the world use their platform to seamlessly orchestrate data among their systems and applications for transparent and trusted connected reporting and compliance. At Workiva, they are innovative in everything they do — from building their software to serving their customers and treating their employees.