Welcome to another edition of IntelePeer’s Tech Tuesday series. This week Donna Sue Mastalka, VP of Corporate Marketing, reminds us to be creative in business and seize the opportunities we have.
1. How did you end up in the Tech Industry?
I started in the tech industry straight out of college. It was clear to me that high-tech was going to be the new frontier for innovation (and job opportunities). There was something about the fast pace of product development and innovation that oozed an optimism that I was drawn to. Plus, talking about cutting-edge products and services made for lively conversations at parties.
I’ve found that people often join the tech field because they believe it’s possible to have an impact, and they want to leave a mark on the way people live their lives. Being around that all day is contagious, and people who are that passionate about their work are co-workers I want to have.
2. What technology do you use the most – whether in your personal or professional life?
Mobile apps. It feels like a guilty pleasure since there are gaming, texting, and social media apps I use all the time. Fortunately, I’ve realized that there are so many productivity, news, streaming, and educational apps that have changed the way I consume information and communicate.
They have also changed the way I spend my time and money. They help me find on-demand rides, have food delivered to my door, and I can even have a coached Zen-breathing moment if I need to re-center myself. I can stay on schedule and take video meetings from apps on my phone, as well. There are countless benefits and evergreen options to choose from which makes apps powerful, critical, and useful tools for me.
3. What was the most challenging aspect of your career, and how did you overcome it?
A big challenge I’ve faced in my career is making progress amidst chaos. It is so easy to get distracted and be pulled in so many directions when trying to maximize results, grow demand, and add creativity to the mix. High-growth companies like IntelePeer are fast-paced, which is exciting, but that means it’s essential to keep an eye on long-term goals.
There are so many ideas and innovations happening daily. It could easily take me off task if I wasn’t sure-footed. Taking the time to communicate constantly and engage my team in both the excitement of creation as well as the dedication to providing results ensures a sense of stability my organization needs.
4. Any advice for women who want to join the tech industry?
Whoever you are, success in the tech industry is going to come down to the same factors:
- Are you good at what you do?
- Are you flexible?
When you show up to a meeting, you should be prepared to speak on the topic and ask questions that help move the project forward. You should always think that you are all working towards a common goal. Then meetings become productive, and people solve problems. You will earn respect if you can work harmoniously and achieve results with your team.
And make sure to be yourself. Being authentic is much easier than trying to project an illusion of who you think the company or industry wants. If you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you can leverage those to improve yourself and grow your career.
5. What advice would you give your younger self who is just starting in the workforce?
The only advice I would give myself is that I should have taken that trip with my friends right after college. We were so eager to get a job and start the day after we graduated. I commend myself and my friends for having so much drive, but I failed to realize that I could have taken time to enjoy that one moment before jumping into a job.
Besides that, get help writing that first resume. You will use that writing skill – and that document – many times as you climb up the ladder to your own successful career.
Bonus: Who is your tech role model?
My business role model is Richard Branson. Business should be fun. It should be about creating something that doesn’t exist by bringing together people of various backgrounds to grow and progress with the idea itself. Whether it’s circumnavigating the globe in a hot air balloon or setting a new record for boating from the U.S. to England, the man knows how to have some fun. When I make decisions or even go back to the basics of why we do what we do, his experiences remind me that business is a creative process that should be filled with the love and cooperation of a multitude of talented individuals.