A strong community can promote new ideas and ensure accountability. It can also act as motivation, support, and even provide a little friendly competition. The power of community is undeniable and the Okanagan tech community is no exception.
Our community is strong and growing with record speed and maintaining a connection through a period of growth like this can be a challenge. Nobody panic, we’ve got a plan.
Introducing, We are #OKGNtech. A showcase of Okanagan tech entrepreneurs, partners, supporters, and cheerleaders designed to fuel more connection, more growth, and more excitement. Follow along on the blog and on Instagram @OKGNtech to learn more about our growing community and what makes them awesome.
What do you enjoy most about your role at Bananatag?
Before becoming the Vice President of Operations, I was one of the first employees at Bananatag. I built out and managed the Sales and Customer Experience departments. What I like about where I am now is that I don’t focus on just one thing. I can have my hands in different departments and be involved in a lot of initiatives happening around the company.
How did you get into this kind of work?
I have a teaching degree and taught for a couple of years before transferring into radio sales. From there, I got a job in tech doing sales and business development. I knew I wanted to grow at Bananatag but didn’t necessarily know which direction. VP of Operations was something that opened up and, with my experience in the company, felt like the right next step.
What advice would you give to someone interested in a job like yours?
Start applying and get experience in entry-level roles with companies that are growing. There’s a lot of opportunity to expand your responsibilities. People I used to teach with have asked me how I made the jump into tech. The advice I would give them is to talk to people who have the career that you want. Connect with leaders or founders in the companies that you’re trying to work for. They’re pretty willing to have coffee with you and tell you about their business.
How did you first get involved in tech?
I got into tech through a friend who was in business development. I realized that I had a lot of transferable skills that would be applicable to that kind of work. My friend encouraged me to apply for a position that had opened at Vineyard Networks, where she was working. That was my first job in tech, through a connection I had made.
How do you like to get involved in the tech community?
I try to be a part of any opportunities for promoting women in tech. For a little while, I helped to organize a LeanIn circle for Kelowna. I also enjoy speaking to young women, specifically, about how I started in sales—which is a great career that isn’t always considered. During OKGNtech Live, I spoke to a group of high school students about my role and how I transitioned into it. I like to share my experience, since it’s a rather unorthodox path, to show that there isn’t one direct career path in tech.
What’s the best piece of advice you like to share?
Being right is not always the most important thing. I’ve been in a lot of situations where I have a pretty strong opinion about what is right, and I try to get that across at all costs. However, I’ve learned that there are timing and circumstances where it’s not always ideal to try to push those opinions through.
What would you like to see more of in our community?
I think there is more opportunity to bring employees and leaders together from companies who aren’t founders but are early-stage employees like me. Now that there are more growth-stage companies, there is an opportunity to bring more of those individuals together.
Who inspires you?
The people who I’m inspired by are those who are successful but still have a good balance between work and home life—they aren’t sacrificing in either direction. They feel confident in their life and what they’ve chosen to do. I always want to ask successful people if they’re happy, but you don’t get to know that answer until you get to know them.