Diversity & Inclusion

22 results

Honoring Latine Heritage Month at MongoDB

Heritage and culture sits at the centerfold of human interaction. With a population of more than 650 million people, speaking over 400 different languages, and spanning a geographic area from the tip of Patagonia to the Caribbean, the people of Latin America and the culture of their 33 countries are difficult to condense into one identity. In celebration of Latine Heritage Month, we asked a few Latine MongoDB employees to reflect on their heritage and ultimately how that shapes their work. Tayrin S Riojas , Head of Government Relations and Public Policy I was born in Los Angeles and moved to Mexico City before my third birthday. In my junior year of high school, my family moved back to the United States and ended up in Dallas. I feel so incredibly fortunate to have experienced living in both countries for extended periods of time. I remember high school in the United States feeling like I was in a Hollywood movie — there were big lockers, cheerleaders, and sports teams. However, I felt my friends in Mexico City had a wider variety of social activities compared to the friends I made in the United States. As Mexicans, and in many Latino cultures, we are passionate and socially driven with our families, extended families, and friendships. This is what I personally love most about my culture. We have great traditions and share in them together, from posadas, piñatas, soccer games, and even mourning. This is something that transcends our location, and I feel honored to have been raised with these values. Throughout my career, I have worked in telecommunications, film post-production, healthcare, and the government and held roles such as lobbyist, Senate Committee Consultant, and International Relations Advisor. Tech is at the core of every single one of these opportunities. I am certainly not an engineer, nor can I code anything functional, but I do have a passion for learning about technology. After having my second “COVID baby” and being on parental leave, I decided I wanted to get back into tech. A relative recommended MongoDB, and soon after, I started as a Cloud Account Executive for the Latin America market. I loved talking to our customers, and it taught me so much about the power and versatility of our tech. It was a great role, but I had spent so much time working with the government that I honestly missed it. I truly believe that to excel at what you do, you must have your heart in it. MongoDB is growing fast, and we are encouraged to build our own careers here. When I realized we had no Government Affairs department, I decided to propose it. I wrote a paper on why Government Affairs, why now, and the incredible value and ROI this could have for us (especially with our partnerships). I sent my proposal to leadership for their consideration. From ideation to leadership approving the department and role, I had amazing mentors, guidance, and support from other women at MongoDB and employee resource groups like Sell Like a Girl and The Underrepresented People of Color. I am now the Head of Government Relations and Public Policy at MongoDB. As a Latina woman, having a company of MongoDB’s size make room for your ideas and contributions has been an incredibly fulfilling journey. There is still much work to be done to build our Government Affairs department, but I am incredibly blessed to work for people I admire and contribute to the company through a role I am passionate about. If you are looking for a great career in tech, I urge you to consider MongoDB. Adriano Fratelli , Customer Success Manager My family’s history in Brazil began with my grandparents who migrated from Calabria, Italy to São Paulo in the mid-1960s. My grandfather had received a job opportunity in the largest and most modern port in Latin America, Santos. Growing up in São Paulo, my childhood was rich with Brazilian culture. I was surrounded by family, music, dancing, great food, festivals (like Brazilian Carnival ), and sports. My journey into technology began with my father. He worked for 40 years as a technology product manager in the retail industry and inspired me to pursue a career in tech. I finished my degree in Information Systems in 2014 and started my professional career at IBM as a Field Technical Sales Specialist. I then worked at Lenovo and Oracle before looking for a new career opportunity. My decision to start a new journey at MongoDB was due to the great perspective that customers have regarding our products and services, along with MongoDB’s inclusive culture. The world of technology has opened up many opportunities in my personal life by helping me improve my English language skills and giving me exposure to different countries and cultures around the world. MongoDB is growing exponentially in the Latin American region and, as part of the Customer Success team, I enjoy that I’m able to help our customers onboard and adopt MongoDB’s services. One thing that makes working at MongoDB stand out is knowing that employee’s differences are embraced and our ideas are heard. As part of a global team, it’s great to know that I have the space and support to share my ideas and am valued for the unique perspective I bring. Read more stories from Hispanic and Latine employees at MongoDB . We’re embracing differences every day at MongoDB. Join us to make an impact and transform your career.

October 6, 2022

Hear From the MongoDB World 2022 Diversity Scholars

The MongoDB Diversity Scholarship program is an initiative to elevate and support members of underrepresented groups in technology across the globe. Scholars receive complimentary access to the MongoDB World developer conference in New York, on-demand access to MongoDB University to prepare for free MongoDB certification, and mentorship via an exclusive discussion group. This year at MongoDB World, our newest cohort of scholars got the opportunity to interact with company leadership at a luncheon and also got a chance to share their experience in a public panel discussion at the Community Café. Hear from some of the 2022 scholars, in their own words. Rebecca Hayes, System Analyst at Alliance for Safety and Justice I did an internal transition from managing Grants/Contracts to IT and just finished a data science certificate (Python, Unix/Linux, SQL) through my community college. My inspiration for pursuing STEM was wanting to understand how reality is represented in systems and how data science can be used to change the world. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? Most impactful were the conversations I had with other attendees at the conference. I talked to people from all sectors who were extremely knowledgeable and passionate about shaping the future of databases. The opportunity to hear from MongoDB leaders and then understand how the vision behind the product was being implemented made me feel inspired for my future in STEM. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? MongoDB World inspired me to understand the real world applications of databases. I left knowing what's possible with a product like MongoDB and the limits of SQL and traditional databases. After the conference, I wrote this article on Medium reflecting on what I learned at the conference. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? Embrace what makes you unique. Just because things take time doesn't mean they won't happen. When learning programming and data science, think about how your work relates to the real world and share those thoughts with others. Seek out new perspectives, stay true to yourself, and keep an open mind. Delphine Nyaboke, Junior Software Engineer at Sendy I am passionate about energy in general. My final year project was on solar mini-grid design and interconnection. I have a mission of being at the intersection of energy and AI What inspired me to get into tech is the ability to solve societal problems without necessarily waiting for someone else to do it for you. This can be either in energy or by code. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? My most impactful experience, apart from attending and listening in on the keynotes, was to attend the breakout sessions. They had lovely topics full of learnings and inspiration, including Engineering Culture at MongoDB; Be a Community Leader; Principles of Data Modeling for MongoDB; and Be Nice, But Not Too Nice just to mention but a few. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? MongoDB World has inspired me to keep on upskilling and being competitive in handling databases, which is a key skill in a backend engineer like myself. I will continue taking advantage of the MongoDB University courses and on-demand courses available thanks to the scholarship. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? STEM is a challenging yet fun field. If you’re tenacious enough, the rewards will trickle in soon enough. Get a community to be around, discuss what you’re going through together, be a mentor, get a mentor, and keep pushing forward. We need like-minded individuals in our society even in this fourth industrial revolution, and we are not leaving anyone behind. Video: Watch the panel in its entirety Raja Adil, Student at Cal Poly SLO Currently, I am a software engineer intern at Salesforce. I started self-teaching myself software development when I was a junior in high school during the COVID-19 pandemic, and from there I started doing projects and gaining as much technical experience as I could through internships. Before the pandemic I took my first computer science class, which was taught in C#. At first, I hated it as it looked complex. Slowly, I started to enjoy it more and more, and during the pandemic I started learning Python on my own. I feel blessed to have found my path early in my career. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? My most impactful experience was the network and friends I made throughout the four days I was in New York for MongoDB World. I also learned a lot about the power of MongoDB, as opposed to relational databases, which I often use in my projects. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? The MongoDB World conference was amazing and has inspired me a ton in my learning path. I definitely want to learn even more about MongoDB as a database, and in terms of a career path, I would love to intern at MongoDB as a software engineer down the line. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? My advice would be to network as much as you can and simply make cool projects that others can use. Evans Asuboah, Stetson University I am an international student from Ghana. I was born and raised by my dad, who is a cocoa farmer, and my mum, who is a teacher. I got into tech miraculously, because my country's educational system matches majors to students according to their final high school grades. Initially, I wanted to do medicine, but I was offered computer science. I realized that computer science could actually be the tool to help my community and also use the knowledge to help my dad on the farm. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? The breakout room sessions. As scholars, we had the chance to talk to MongoDB employees, and the knowledge and experiences changed my thoughts and increased my desire to persevere. I have learned never to stop learning and not to give up. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? Meeting these amazing people, connecting with the scholars, being at the workshops, and talking to the startups at the booths has made me realize the sky is the limit. I dare to dream and believe until I see the results. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? 1. Explore MongoDB; 2. You are the only one between you and your dream; 3. Take the initiative and meet people; 4. Never stop learning. Daniel Erbynn, Drexel University I love traveling and exploring new places. I am originally from Ghana, and I got the opportunity to participate in a summer program after high school called Project ISWEST, which introduced me to coding and computer science through building a pong game and building an Arduino circuit to program traffic lights. This made me excited about programming and the possibilities of solving problems in the tech space. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? My most impactful experience was meeting with other students and professionals in the industry, learning from them, making lifelong connections, and getting the opportunity to learn about MongoDB through the MongoDB University courses. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? This conference has inspired me to learn more about MongoDB and seek more knowledge about cloud technology. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you want to learn from, and create projects you are passionate about. Build your skills with MongoDB University's free courses and certifications . Join our developer community to stay up-to-date with the latest information and announcements.

August 12, 2022

How These MongoDB Employees Celebrated Juneteenth

On June 19, 1865, soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, announcing that the more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in the state were free by executive decree. This was more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Today, June 19 is celebrated as Juneteenth, a day of hope despite present-day uncertainty. It reminds us that at the end of every struggle there comes a time for a change if we persist and do not give up. Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States, and MongoDB recognizes this by providing employees with the day off to celebrate and reflect. Members of MongoDB’s affinity group the Underrepresented People of Color share what they did to celebrate. Supporting Black Businesses Kayla Warner , Internal Communications Manager Some of the delicious food and the hands that prepared it, Chef Will Coleman (@chefwillcoleman). Every year, I have to get soul food on Juneteenth. It makes me feel the most connected to my culture (and it’s always great to support small Black businesses). I spent this Juneteenth at a friend’s restaurant pop-up. Being from the Southern United States, it’s not often that I get to have the comfort foods of home in New York. His pop-up had fried fish po’boys, smoked watermelon feta salad, crab deviled eggs, strawberry shortcake biscuits, and sweet tea (that was actually sweet). These dishes and flavors brought me back to backyard cookouts and fish fries all while in the middle of Bed-Stuy. Showing up for folks in my community and building community with them is deeply important to me. Some of my favorite memories in life are connected to food and fellowship, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to create another memory with friends. Juneteenth for me is a time for the Black community to come together in corporal celebration. A day of pure celebration, to honor those who came before us, to reflect on our past and hold one another close as we face the future together. Moreover, I recognize that Juneteenth has recently come into the national conversation as a holiday. The history and importance of this celebration is still being learned by many across the country, and people are still navigating how to participate and acknowledge this day. While it may seem small, it means a lot to me that MongoDB not only held space for employees to share their Junteenth traditions and experiences but also a reminder that my whole self, including my Blackness and my Southern-ness, has a place and is respected and welcomed at MongoDB. Nia Brown , Workplace Coordinator My partner and I are enjoying our meal at Simone’s, Black-woman-owned Caribbean Restaurant in New York. This Juneteenth, while my partner and I were in Toronto, we looked up Black-owned restaurants to support. I was pleased to find there were many options. We support Black-owned businesses year round, but doing it on Juneteenth made it that much more poignant, knowing the Black dollar only lasts six hours in the Black community compared to 28 days in Asian communities, 19 days in Jewish communities, and 17 days in white communities. It’s important we educate ourselves and one another to help build up the Black community, especially on Juneteenth. Knowing the history of this holiday makes me now, more than ever, want to spread knowledge so that we are never left in the dark again. Spending Time With Family Lakuan Smith , Manager of Inclusion This Juneteenth weekend a few of my family members and I rented a house so that we could spend time together and share knowledge on the things we are doing in our lives to improve our physical, mental, and financial wellness. I chose to participate in these activities because one of my takeaways from Juneteenth is the importance of spreading knowledge and information to improve lives. I think about the news that was shared on June 19, 1865, and how important it was for those African Americans to receive the knowledge of freedom. I am also fortunate enough to spread knowledge beyond Juneteenth weekend as a manager of inclusion at MongoDB. My day-to-day consists of expanding perspectives and creating initiatives that improve the professional lives of under-represented communities. At MongoDB, I don't have to do it alone. With the help of company leadership and our affinity groups, things are changing for the better. Members of my family and I gathered together for a weekend get away and graduation party. Bryan Spears , Senior Technical Recruiter Posing with my dad, best friend, and his father after playing a round at Hanover Golf Course in NJ To celebrate Juneteenth, I hit the golf course with some family and friends. At a very young age, my dad got me into golf with my own set of clubs. As he has gotten older, it is becoming less frequent that my pops gets on the course with me, and it had been over five years since his last time swinging a club. To my surprise, but probably not his, my dad was still hitting the ball better than me at the age of 79. He might not swing the club with the same speed, but more often than not, he was hitting clean shots straight down the course! Overall, I really enjoyed being able to spend time with family and friends to celebrate Juneteenth. Thinking about all the things I was able to do with my loved ones really makes me grateful for the sacrifices made by our ancestors so that we could live in a more equal society. My dad was in his late teens and early 20s during the Civil Rights movement; he married my mom in 1969, just two years after the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which struck down all anti-miscegenation (racial segregation at the level of marriage and intimate relationships) laws the remaining in 16 U.S. states. Just being around him is like walking with history, and while I appreciate the freedom that we have today, there is still a lot of work to do in order to combat systemic racism and oppression in the U.S. and worldwide. My hope is that while we all enjoy these holidays with loved ones or use the day off to relax and rejuvenate, we also take some time to reflect and educate ourselves so we can continue to take action. Educating and Reflecting Courtney Turner , Campus Recruiter My Juneteenth weekend was spent reflecting on the past, embracing the present, and encouraging others to have a better understanding of the holiday and the injustices that we are still faced with today. I spoke virtually to a group of young African Americans about the struggle and process of getting to what we now call Juneteenth. I also spent time with my friends at an annual Juneteenth festival, enjoying their company and reflecting on what our community has accomplished and the work still ahead of us all. Spending time with friends and speaking to youth gave me the opportunity to appreciate my culture, enjoy fellowship with other African Americans, and most importantly, do my job educating others on black culture. My desire is that, as we educate ourselves about Juneteenth, we realize that being “free” or “equal” goes beyond signing an order or taking the day off. We can’t celebrate Juneteenth but not teach the history of it in our classes; we can’t celebrate but not encourage justice and equality for all. My desire is that we celebrate with a new understanding and purpose for the holiday. MongoDB is committed to building a culture of inclusion where employees of different origins, backgrounds, and experiences feel valued and heard. Learn more about Diversity & Inclusion at MongoDB .

June 28, 2022

Celebrating Pride at MongoDB

For Pride 2022, members of MongoDB’s affinity group the Queer Collective shared sentiments about what this month means to them, why Pride is important, how they’re celebrating, and what the future holds for LGBTQIA+ visibility and acceptance. Why does Pride matter? Ryan Francis , VP of Worldwide Field Marketing “While I love the parades, the parties, and the color palette, they all serve Pride’s primary objective, which is to create visibility. That visibility has a ripple effect: It emboldens a young kid in Indiana to come out to his family and friends. And, as research has shown, knowing a queer person tends to be the driving factor toward greater acceptance of queer people generally. And then that kid lives their life proudly, which emboldens future kids to come out, and acceptance grows. But we’re under no illusion that it’s a straight line toward progress, so it is more important than ever to be proud.” Angie Byron , Principal Community Manager “Pride helps folks who are struggling to exist or who lack a sense of belonging in the world to instead find a welcoming new home among others who truly get them. Pride is embracing and respecting the differences between us and our experiences, but coming together as our whole, authentic selves in celebration.” Seán Carroll , Senior Marketing Operations Manager “Visibility and representation matter. Pride is the most visible time for people of the LGBTQIA+ community as it provides an opportunity for us to show our pride and express who we are unashamedly. People view Pride as a party, but it’s more than that. It is a time to remember the origins of Pride, which was a protest, and provide hope for a more honest and open future where we can all live in a free and equal society.” What does Pride mean to you? Shane O’Brien , Senior Manager of Regional Employee Experience, EMEA “Pride to me is not contained in one day or month. It’s a living, breathing, and evolving experience. It’s our past, our present, and our future. It’s a reminder of where we came from and where we are going. Pride is living every day without fear. Pride is knowing when to call someone in and not out. Pride is holding someone’s hand and not thinking twice. Pride is the critical relationship we have with ourselves that is not based on shame.” Robyn Anderson , Senior Director, International Finance “Pride is being myself, defying expectations. It’s about showing love for humanity. It’s about having representation. It’s building a community that respects each other and shouts loudly when there’s injustice. It’s about taking my wife’s hand in public and feeling safe, just like everyone else. Pride is allyship, growing, and embracing. It’s taking responsibility for tomorrow.” Tiffany Green , Executive Assistant “Pride means authenticity. It means standing in your truth, fully embracing who you are, and choosing authenticity each and every time. For many years, I tried to limit who I was in fear of rejection. It wasn’t until I decided to lean into my truth that I really started living.” How do you celebrate Pride? Eddie Aramburo , Team Lead, Corporate Account Strategy “I celebrate Pride every day for giving me and others in our community an unintended strength and euphoria when we let our colors burst. You know that feeling when you listen to Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’? Yeah, that’s the feeling!” Cara Silverman , Manager, Executive Support “When I celebrate, I’m not doing it just for myself. I’m waving my flag high for those who can’t anymore, for those who fought (and continue to fight) for the freedom for our community to exist and be celebrated. I fight so that younger folks questioning their identity can feel empowered to step into their own light, because living authentically is Pride.” What does the future hold for Pride? Paul Sokolson , Senior Program Manager, GTM & Product Commercialization “I look forward to continuing to raise awareness that as humans, we share more similarities than differences. I look forward to continuing the fight for equality for the generations of LGTBQ youth that come after me.” Ashley Brown , Lead Technical Writer, Server “The fight isn’t over yet, and this Pride, I’ll be supporting not only my queer community, but also people of color, women, people with disabilities, and all members of marginalized communities who are working to secure the same rights as the historically privileged.” Tara Hernandez , VP of Developer Productivity “Acceptance starts within! Pride is more than just a month celebrated each year. For many of us, it’s celebrated every day. While things today are not perfect, seeing how far we have come despite the challenges we’ve faced gives me hope for the future.” At MongoDB, we celebrate Pride all year round. Join us in embracing the power of differences!

June 16, 2022

Honoring Black History Month

As Black History Month comes to an end, we reflect on and honor the history, legacies, achievements, and contributions of the Black community in the United States. Hear from three members of MongoDB’s affinity group TUPOC (the Underrepresented People of Color) to learn more about what this month means to them, and how they are honoring Black history all year round. Bryant McCombs , Manager, Customer Success I manage the Customer Success team for New England, Eastern Canada, & the Mid-Atlantic. My team is responsible for making sure that our customers have all of the resources they need to be successful in leveraging MongoDB. I’ve had a very non-linear path to tech, starting my professional career as a performance coach at an athletic training facility. I then decided to transition into financial sales consulting, but quickly realized that it was not the career path for me. So, I decided to drop everything I was doing and move to rural Australia. There, I began working as an irrigation manager on a farm the size of Manhattan. After my brief stint as a farmer, I decided to get back into coaching and landed a role as volunteer assistant track coach at the University of Pennsylvania. During my time in Philly, I also held a number of part-time jobs and began attending my first tech meetups. It was when I attended Philly Tech Week that I finally realized tech was the place for me. Several months later, I landed my first role at a startup software development consultancy as an operations manager. I was the second employee and I knew next to nothing about software development. Over the course of two years, I helped grow the team to over 60 employees while managing everything from the company accounting, human resources, account management, and more. Those two years were probably the most valuable years of my professional career in tech, and I haven’t looked back since. When I was being recruited to work at MongoDB, the values that prioritized intellectual honesty and psychological safety were very enticing to me, and I’ve found them to be embodied values throughout my tenure. MongoDB has had a huge impact on my career within a very short amount of time. In the year and ten months that I’ve been here, I’ve been promoted twice: first as an individual contributor and then to a manager role. I enjoy working at MongoDB because we are solving some pretty huge challenges every day and are in a period of consistent and rapid growth. In college, I was a history major with a focus on the African Diaspora. I remember being amazed the first time I learned about the impact various African traditions had on the culture of a wide range of places such as Brazil, the Bahamas, and the U.S. When I think about the middle passage and the incredibly harsh conditions that my ancestors endured reaching America, I can’t help but think that it’s a miracle I am even here today. Learning anything about the lives of my enslaved ancestors has never been an easy task, with no equivalent of Ellis or Angel Island and poorly maintained slave papers. However, after extensive research, I found some of the names and photos of my ancestors that were enslaved in Mississippi and North Carolina. This process helped me reclaim some of my family’s history and feel more connected to my lineage. When a lot of people think of Black history they think of slavery or black and white footage of Martin Luther King Jr. marching on the capital. However, to me, it’s a lot more than that. My parents were teenagers before the Civil Rights Act was passed and adults by the time it was widely adopted. They experienced most of their childhood and a significant part of their adulthood without basic human rights. They struggled with racist institutions and setbacks based purely on the color of their skin, and as an unintended consequence of their experience, they became stronger and more resilient individuals. I like to think that they’ve passed that strength and resilience down to me, and as I begin to start my own family, I hope that I can pass it down to my children. When I think of what Black History Month means to me, I think that Black history is unable to be contained by a month and that Black history is being made and should be celebrated every day. Kayla Warner , Internal Communications Manager As a child in Alabama, Black History month was recognized and celebrated wherever I went– school, church, and especially at home. From rote memorization of Black History facts like Madame C.J. Walker being the first female millionaire, or memorizing lines for the latest Black History month play at church, I was fully bought into celebrating the achievements of Black people. However, I never gave much thought to why it was important to recognize these achievements. As I got older, I learned about the atrocities of slavery and segregation; met people who protested and participated in the Civil Rights Movement; and realized that my father was born two weeks after Bloody Sunday. It was now clear to me that Black History doesn’t live in the past– it affects us now and shapes our future. Kayla and her father As I came of age, racial identity and consciousness became more and more important to me. But to be honest, it was less by choice and exploration– but by necessity. The deaths of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, and Michael Brown made a seismic impact on my life because they were all my age. Race became the biggest conversation in my life. I had to interrogate my held beliefs and values, and define what being Black in America meant to me– when so much of Blackness in America was becoming synonymous with pain and strife. I had to forge my own identity, so I decided to do something radical. I chose joy. My definition of Blackness became one of light, celebration, laughter, and most importantly, hope. Black History Month has become a time to celebrate customs and traditions, to rejoice with levity and laughter, and to embrace my community. That communal aspect is key, especially within the Black community and other communities of color across the country. That is why I am so thankful that there is space for community at MongoDB through affinity groups like TUPOC. Onboarding as a remote employee is never an easy feat, but having a resource like TUPOC made me feel less alone and reminded me of the importance of fellowship. Beyond TUPOC, the Corporate Communications team has made me feel at home and respected as a member of the team. MongoDB’s value “embrace the power of difference” made me want to join and seeing it in action from the executive team to my peers has confirmed that I made the right choice. Courtney Turner , Campus Recruiter Black History Month is not just 28 or 29 days to reflect on the countless contributions of African American culture to society, nor is it a month to make a one-time purchase from Black businesses. Black History Month is truly a lifestyle for me. Growing up in a small town in North Carolina, I can remember my family teaching me about prominent figures in Black history like Medgar Evers, Dr. Shirley Jackson, and Carter G. Woodson. They also taught me about the harsh realities of Black history like the tragic murder of Emmett Till, the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, and the lynching of Joe Code. As a child, my mother and late aunt encouraged me to be active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, where I hosted annual Freedom banquets, sang the Negro National Anthem, and was even recognized for my contributions to the community and the state. Understanding that Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) were created when admission wasn't granted to African Americans, I knew it was imperative that I attend an HBCU. Starting my college journey at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and completing my collegiate experience at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, I was surrounded by black excellence and unity, but most importantly I saw the hard work HBCU students put forth to excel even when not given the same opportunities and funding as other students. This is where my passion for inclusion and advocacy arises from, leading to my passion for starting a career in recruiting. Despite the stereotypes and labels placed on African American males, my mother always reminded my two brothers and me that we were kings. This led me to run and serve in the role of Mister Black North Carolina. My platform was Reconstructing the Black Male Image, and after serving as Mister Black North Carolina, I decided to launch my own mentoring program “Dapper Distinguished Men Society”. Courtney and his mother Today, we reflect not only on Black history but all parts of the Black experience. Black history represents the tears that slaves shed in the stillness of the night while working to escape into what they thought would be freedom. Black history contains the fear that Black families felt driving through sundown towns while using Green Books for guidance, it's the feeling of not being equal, not being heard, not being appreciated, and not feeling safe enough to jog in your neighborhood, visit the local store, and relax in the comfort of your own home. It is the realization that we have progressed but have so far to go to truly be counted equal. As we reflect on Black history and glimpse into our Black future, we recognize that no matter how many times we are knocked down, we are never knocked out. Interested in joining MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!

February 28, 2022

The Power of Embracing Differences: My Journey to MongoDB

September 14th, 2021 marked my first full year at MongoDB, and what a year it’s been. A bit about me Hi, I’m Cara! I’m a Team Lead, Executive Assistant, specifically for Tech & Product. I’m based out of our NYC office and live in Jersey City with my girlfriend and our three cats. At MongoDB, I support our amazing Chief Product Officer and also lead a team of awesome Administrative Assistants (AAs) and Executive Assistants (EAs) within Tech & Product. We are hiring like crazy, too, and I can’t say enough great things about our team. Beyond my already rewarding and challenging role as a Team Lead, I also get to work on other meaningful projects while growing my core career. I’m incredibly grateful and humbled to be a Global Lead for two of MongoDB’s affinity groups (known as employee resource groups at some companies) alongside some of the best, most passionate people I’ve ever met: Queeries - A closed group and safe space for people who personally identify within the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. The Queer Collective - An open group for the LGBTQIA+ community as well as our amazing allies (all are welcome!) to exchange thoughts, ideas, and learn and grow from each other. As we like to say, the future is inclusive! Finding my voice and professional purpose The funny thing is, I didn’t know what an “affinity group” or “employee resource group” was for most of my career. I used to work in a more conservative corporate environment and spent over a decade in the food/hospitality industry with people whose views were wildly different from mine. One of my bosses always asked me if I had a boyfriend or when I was going to settle down with a nice guy. It was awkward and uncomfortable, but it was a discomfort I got used to. How sad is that? The crazy thing was, it didn’t feel sad or weird or anything at the time. I just thought I had to stay hidden at work. That’s what you did. It wasn’t “professional” to be gay. The first time I saw a queer coworker was when I had my first real introduction to the tech start-up environment. He was so vibrantly open about who he was, and I was in awe of him. I stayed quiet for my first few months there and studied people’s reactions, interactions, and how they responded when he would say things that I never thought could be said in an office. They weren’t bad things by any means, but they were topics about being queer that I watched everyone embrace. Then, it slipped out during lunch one day. I thought maybe I could casually mention going on a date so it would be less weird, but everyone was super surprised. I get told I “look straight” a lot, which I’ve always found irritating. What does that even mean? Do I need to be masculine-presenting to be gay? Me (right) and my girlfriend From there, I moved on to work at Zocdoc, which truly opened my eyes to affinity groups, workplace queer communities, and how far they expand. It was the first place I worked that even had an affinity group. I befriended two amazing humans there who were the founders of ZocPride, which represented Zocdoc’s queer community. We got to talking and they told me they only planned something for Pride month. They’re not planners, they actually hate planning, but they didn’t want the group to die. So I said, “Good news. Hi, I’m Cara. I’m super queer and I love to plan things!” We chuckled and then I immediately started planning and researching what I could do with this awesome gift I was just given. Since we had no D&I team and a very limited budget, I worked to find other companies to partner with as well as vendors who would be open to sponsoring events for us. Before I knew it, we were partnering with Out in Tech to host an external panel discussion about queer access to healthcare. We hosted it on Coming Out Day and had about 300 guests. From there, things really took off. We did a “spread the love” campaign for Valentine’s Day, had hugely successful fundraisers for NYC’s AIDS Walk, and then, you guessed it, went crazy for Pride. I proudly introduced the art of drag to Zocdoc and started their annual Drag Bingo Pride event. We also sponsored and had a booth at the Lesbians Who Tech Summit the year that Hilary Clinton came to speak. It was unbelievable. My MongoDB journey After receiving incredible offers to work at a few more companies, unexpectedly experiencing workplace discrimination, and reflecting on what I want and need to be happy and thrive in a work environment, I found myself at MongoDB. One of my amazing colleagues from Zocdoc was working here and we were catching up. I heard the details about the Company and role and thought it sounded like a great fit! I love working in tech, but specifically with Product & Tech teams. They’re brilliant, passionate, quirky personalities that vibe well with mine and in my experience, are hyper-focused on having fun and building a positive culture. Because of my previous experiences, I knew exactly what I was looking for. I asked questions that could be uncomfortable to some, as far as the company’s commitment to Diversity & Inclusion, what it means to them personally, and how they practice what they preach. I didn’t want any more wooden nickels. The interview process was amazing. Everyone was super responsive, informative, and helpful and didn’t hesitate to answer any of my hard-hitting questions. Interviews are a two-way street, and I was immediately put at ease when I realized that MongoDB was the place for me. My recruiter started telling me about our growing D&I team, our affinity groups, and how involved and supportive the leadership team is. Then I got to interview with my manager, our Chief Product Officer, who I clicked with instantly. I knew right away that I wanted to work with him. In my experience, I haven't always been lucky with great bosses. I’ve been ignored, lied to, dismissed, looked over, and simply not appreciated. I don’t feel that way here. I feel heard and respected, and that speaks volumes in itself. I’m often encouraged to take time for myself. I had some personal health issues at the beginning of the year. I was anxious to take time off because I was still so new, but the outpour of support and understanding I received blew my mind. That’s when I knew I had really found my new home. When I joined MongoDB last year, The Queer Collective was still a new group, only three months old at that point, and I was able to join at a very exciting time when there was lots of opportunity and momentum. We officially launched the group alongside the communication of launching our first-ever celebration of (inter)national Coming Out Day . We celebrated again this year and have decided that it will be a company-wide annual tradition. Last year, four of our leads (myself included) shared their coming out stories, and we didn’t realize how much of an impact it made until feedback started to trickle in. We were told that some employees joined MongoDB after reading our stories and some even felt comfortable coming out of the closet and stepping into their own light. If that’s not rewarding, I don’t know what is. This year, more employees shared their stories , and we partnered with our Benefits team to host an internal panel discussion. October is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we thought it would be the perfect time to talk through and bring awareness to the mental health journey that comes along with coming out and embracing your true, authentic self. We will also be planning a full week of impactful programming for Trans Awareness Week so that we can continue to amplify the voices in the Trans Community while encouraging continued education. This past July, I also spoke at MongoDB.live (formerly known as MongoDB World) with my Queer Collective co-lead and dear friend Seán Carroll about Allyship and how to upgrade to an active accomplice. It explored what accountability and support look like and how we can all improve our support of the LGBTQIA+ community. The feedback was amazing, and I can’t wait to evolve our topic and content and hopefully speak in person next year! I also have the pleasure of working closely with our incredible D&I team on impactful initiatives, such as helping with large external events and partnerships like the Lesbians Who Tech Summit, where we secured a top-tier sponsorship at the largest queer tech event in the world! I’ve also been part of meaningful conversations, such as expanding gender and identity options and helping to evolve and plan for benefits that help and impact the Queer community. The list goes on, really. I frequently sync with our D&I team and I’m so grateful to work somewhere that truly invests in fostering an inclusive and equitable work environment. Why MongoDB is the place for me I’ve worked in a lot of different industries, with people from every level and walk of life, and now I feel as though I’m where I was meant to be. MongoDB’s values truly align with my own, and this is the first company that I’ve seen make an actual effort to align their company objectives and goals with their values. Here’s how I live some of our MongoDB values every day: I proudly embrace the power of everyone’s differences (mine included). We evolve and move forward with a magical combination of varied backgrounds, interests, and ideas. Why bother doing anything if you don’t plan to make it matter ? I stand behind everything I work on and am proud of the meaningful projects and impacts I’ve seen first-hand so far. I’ve always been a big idea kind of human - Think Big, Go Far - I thrive on creativity, ambition, and being a relentless dreamer. When I joined, I received a postcard from our CEO. Part of it said, “We want your time here to become a real inflection point in your professional career”, and I can wholeheartedly say after just my first year, it already is. I’m constantly learning and growing at MongoDB. From management training to webinars to endless learning and development resources, and beyond. These were things I had been requesting, asking, and looking for at previous companies. They were things promised to me “eventually”, but they never came. Here I was in my first week at MongoDB, given them without asking. This is a company that truly cares about its employees’ development and success. I’ve hired (and am growing) an awesome team of amazing humans who I’m so proud to work alongside every day. Any job can be great, but the people make it extra special. The EA team at MongoDB is like no other, and I can’t wait to see its continued growth and evolution. Helping to build and evolve a world-class EA org is incredibly exciting and rewarding, and I love being a part of it. I love that I can be fully myself at work and am given the opportunity to make an impact in so many ways. I can’t wait to see what the future will bring. It’s been an unbelievable experience and journey so far! Interested in joining MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!

November 23, 2021

MongoDB Employees Share Their Coming Out Stories: (Inter)National Coming Out Day 2021

National Coming Out Day is celebrated annually on October 11 and is widely recognized in the United States. MongoDB proudly supports and embraces the LGBTQIA+ community across the globe, so we’ve reimagined this celebration as (Inter)National Coming Out Day. In our yearly tradition of honoring (Inter)National Coming Out Day, we asked employees who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community to share their coming out experiences. These are their stories. Jamie Ivanov , Escalation Manager For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to play with dolls and felt closer to my female cousins. This was rather difficult for someone who is a male at birth being brought up in a fairly conservative family. At a young age, I knew that I was different but lacked a way to describe it. I certainly didn't have the support I needed, so I was brought up as a male. My father went out of his way to “make a man out of me” and toughen me up in ways that weren't exactly the most productive. Going through school, I still knew that I was different because I kept feeling attracted to both genders, but I was too afraid to admit to it. I found a youth group for LGBT teenagers that gave me a safe place to be myself and admit to people who I really was. Outside of that group was still pretty scary; I knew that I had to be straight or I would risk being beaten up or harassed, so I tried to push my queerness aside. In my 30s, after going through the Army and having three children, I realized that I couldn't keep pretending anymore -- who I was wasn't the true me. I started telling people that I was bisexual and hoping that they wouldn't see me as less of a person. Most of the responses I received were "yeah, we kinda figured.” Having that weight off of my shoulders was immensely relieving but something still wasn't quite right; while admitting that helped explain who I was interested in, it still didn't explain who I was. Through a series of fortunate unfortunate events, a lot of the facade I had built up for so many years came down, and I realized that who I was didn't match the body that I was given. It was terrifying to talk to anyone about how I was feeling or who I was, but I finally told people that I am a transgender woman. It was one of the scariest things that I have ever done. Some people didn't understand, and I did lose some family over it, but most people accepted me for who I am with open arms! Since being true to myself, more weight has been lifted off of me, and my only regret is not having the resources and courage to admit who I really was years and years ago. Since I've come out as bi/pansexual and a transgender woman, I've built stronger relationships and felt much more comfortable with myself, even to the point of liking photos of myself (which is something I've always hated and realized it was because it wasn't the real me). When a MongoDB recruiter reached out to me, I asked him the same question I asked other recruiters: "How LGBT friendly is MongoDB (with an emphasis on the transgender part)?" The response I got back from my technical recruiter Bryan Spears was the best response I had received from ANY recruiter, or company, and was the deciding factor in why I chose to work at MongoDB. Here’s what he said: “MongoDB is a company that truly does its best to follow our values like embracing the power of differences; we have many employees who identify as LGBTQ+ or are allies of the LGBTQ+ community. We also have two ERGs, MongoDB Queeries and UGT (Underrepresented Genders in Tech), which both aim to create and maintain a safe environment for those identifying as LGBTQ+ or questioning. From a benefits standpoint, we have expanded the amount of WPATH Standards of Care services available for people who identify as Transgender, Gender Nonconforming, or Transsexual through Cigna. While I know none of the information I have shared tells you what life is like at MongoDB, I hope that it shows we are doing our best to make sure that everyone feels respected and welcome here.” I didn't always have the support I needed to be myself at some previous jobs but MongoDB has raised the bar to a level that is hard to compete with. I'm happy to finally find a place that truly accepts me for who I am. Ryan Francis , VP of Global Demand Generation & Field Marketing Growing up in the 90s in what I used to call “the buckle of the Bible Belt,” I did not believe coming out was in the cards. In fact, I would sit up at night to devise my grand escape to New York City after being disowned (how I planned on paying for said escape remains unknown). I was, however, out to my best friend, Maha. During the summer between my Sophomore and Junior years of high school, I spent time with her family in Egypt. On the return trip, I bought a copy of The Advocate to learn about the big gay life that awaited me after my great escape. Later that month, my mother stumbled upon that magazine when she was cleaning the house. She waited six months to bring it up, but one day in January sat me down in the living and asked, “Are you gay?” I paused for a moment and said… “yup.” She started crying and thanked me for being honest with her. A month later, she picked up a rainbow coffee mug at a yard sale and has been Mrs. PFLAG ever since, organizing pride rallies in our little Indiana hometown and sitting on the Episcopal church vestry this year in order to push through our parish’s blessing of same-sex marriage. Needless to say, I didn’t have to escape. My father was also unequivocally accepting. This is a good thing because my sister Lindsay is a Lesbian, so they sure would have had a tough time given 100% of their kids turned out gay. Lindsay is the real hero here who stayed in our homeland to raise her children with her wife, changing minds every day so that, hopefully, there will be fewer and fewer kids who actually have to make that great escape. Angie Byron , Principal Community Manager Growing up in the Midwest in the 80s and 90s, I was always a “tomboy;” as a young kid, I gravitated to toys like Transformers and He-Man and refused to wear pink or dresses. Since we tended to have a lot in common, most of my best friends growing up were boys; I tended to feel awkward and shy around girls and didn’t really understand why at the time. I was also raised both Catholic and Bahá’í, which led to a very interesting mix of perspectives. While both religions have vastly different belief and value systems, the one thing they could agree on was that homosexuality was wrong (“intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law” in the case of Catholicism, and “an affliction that should be overcome” in the case of Bahá’í). Additionally, being “out” as queer at that time in that part of the United States would generally get you made fun of, if not the everlasting crap kicked out of you, so finding other queer people felt nearly impossible. As a result, I was in strong denial about who I was for most of my childhood and gave several valiant but ultimately failed attempts at the whole “trying to date guys” thing as a teenager (I liked guys just fine as friends, but when it came to kissing and stuff it was just, er… no.). In the end, I came to the reluctant realization that I must be a lesbian. I knew no other queer people in my life, and so was grappling with this reality alone, feeling very isolated and depressed. So, I threw myself into music and started to find progressively more and more feminist/queer punk bands whose songs resonated with my experiences and what I was feeling: Bikini Kill, Team Dresch, The Need, Sleater-Kinney, and so on. I came out to my parents toward the end of junior high, quite by accident. Even though I had no concrete plan for doing so, I always figured Mom would be the more accepting one, given that she was Bahá’i (a religion whose basic premise is the unity of religions and equality of humanity), and I’d have to work on Dad for a bit, since he was raised Catholic and came from a family with more conservative values from an even smaller town in the midwest. Imagine my surprise when one day, Mom and I were watching Ricky Lake or Sally Jesse Raphael or one of those daytime talk shows. The topic was something like “HELP! I think my son might be gay!” My mom said something off-handed like “Wow, I don’t know what I would do if one of you came out to me as gay...” And, in true 15-year old angsty fashion, I said, “Oh YEAH? Well you better FIGURE IT OUT because I AM!” and ran into my room and slammed the door. I remember Mom being devastated, wondering what she did wrong as a parent, and so on. I told her, truly, nothing. My parents were both great parents; home was my sanctuary from bullying at school, and my siblings and I were otherwise accepted exactly as we were, tomboys or otherwise. After we’d finished talking, she told me that I had better go tell my father, so I begrudgingly went downstairs. “Dad… I’m gay.” Instead of a lecture or expressing disdain, he just said, “Oh really? I run a gay support group at your Junior High!” and I was totally mind blown. Bizarro world. He was the social worker at my school, so this makes sense, but it was the exact opposite reaction that I was expecting. An important life lesson in not prejudging people. When I moved onto high school, we got… drumroll ... the Internet. Here things take a much happier turn. Through my music, I was able to find a small community of fellow queers (known as Chainsaw), including a ton of us from various places in the Midwest. I was able to learn that I was NOT a freak, I was NOT alone, there were SO many other folks who felt the exact same way, and they were all super rad! We would have long talks into the night, support each other through hardships, and more than a few of us met each other in person and hung out in “real life.” Finding that community truly saved my life, and the lives of so many others. (Side-note: This is also how I got into tech because the chat room was essentially one gaping XSS vulnerability, and I taught myself HTML by typing various tags in and seeing how they rendered.) I never explicitly came out to anyone in my hometown. I was too scared to lose important relationships (it turns out I chose my friends well, and they were all completely fine with it, but the prospect of further isolating myself as a teenager was too terrifying at the time). Because of that, when I moved to a whole new country (Canada) and went to college, the very first thing I did on my first day was introduce myself as “Hi, I’m Angie. I’ve been building websites for fun for a couple of years. Also, I’m queer, so if you’re gonna have a problem with that, it’s probably best we get it out of the way now so we don’t waste each others’ time.” Flash forward to today, my Mom is my biggest supporter, has rainbow stickers all over her car, and has gone to dozens of Pride events. Hacking together HTML snippets in a chat room led to a full-blown career in tech. I gleaned a bit more specificity around my identity and now identify as a homoromantic asexual . Many of those folks I met online as a teenager have become life-long friends. And, I work for a company that embraces people for who they are and celebrates our differences. Life is good. Learn more about Diversity & Inclusion at MongoDB Interested in joining MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!

October 11, 2021

Honoring Hispanic Heritage Month

We’re honoring Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) in a few ways here at MongoDB! First, hear from three MongoDB employees about their own experiences and what this month means to them. Then, keep scrolling for a Spotify playlist, reading list, and movie list curated by members of our affinity group the Underrepresented People of Color Network (TUPOC). Alicia Raymond , Director, HR Business Partner (Core & Cloud), New York City At 18 years old, and without knowing a word of English, my mother left behind her entire family in Chile to come to the United States. This was in 1973, shortly before the dictator Augusto Pinochet came into power. The following years in Chile were tumultuous and my mother, who was now married to a U.S. military member, relocated frequently. Over time, she lost contact with her family in Chile. Years later, I was a college student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a Morehead-Cain scholarship. The scholarship allowed me to take part in various summer activities, including a summer of studying abroad. Chile was on the list of countries where I could study, so I jumped at the opportunity to go there and find my family. As soon as the plane touched down, I began searching for traces of my family members. This was before the prevalence of social media, so I spent a lot of time sifting through phone books. Finally, I was able to locate a phone number for my mother’s younger sister, Esther, but I didn’t call her right away. I was anxious about how I would fit in with my Chilean relatives. My identity as Latina had always felt a bit nebulous — a common feeling among multiracial, multicultural people and second-generation immigrants. I was Spanglish-speaking and white-passing, and I had not grown up among a Latinx community in the U.S. At the time, I struggled to feel like part of the Latinx community, but I also felt a deep obligation not to abandon the complex mix of identities I inherited from my mother — a mix we are still learning about today. Until recently, she didn’t know she was almost half Indigenous American — a detail her parents hid to improve their chances of integrating into the middle class of Chilean society. Alicia with her mother and aunts from Chile in New York City Eventually, I worked up the courage to make the call. After a few rings of the phone, someone picked up on the other end. I confirmed that it was Esther and then, in broken Spanish, I explained who I was and that I was in Chile. Esther’s excitement melted away all of my concerns. We scheduled a time to meet in person that week, and we have remained in contact ever since. After re-establishing and maintaining contact with my Chilean family, my bonds with my Chilean heritage strengthened. Although my cultural identity still feels complicated, within that complexity lies an incredible blessing. It has given me the opportunity to navigate multiple worlds and be shaped by varied perspectives and communities. That’s not to imply that those identities always meshed in a frictionless way — my father’s parents almost disowned him for marrying my Latina mother — but even that friction helped expand my view of the world. In a career context, this has allowed me to be highly adaptable to new circumstances, adept at perspective-taking, and flexible enough in my own beliefs to understand others’ viewpoints. Those skills are essential for my role as an HR Business Partner, where the issues I face often involve multiple stakeholders, rarely have one right answer, and require a big dollop of creative problem-solving. I am eternally grateful for the multifaceted lens my cultural background has provided me. Alicia's mother as a child, outside the house she grew up in Gustavo Chavez , Senior Solutions Architect, Austin Hispanic Heritage Month is not just a month, it’s a lifestyle! I’m originally from a small town in Mexico and was raised all over the state of Chihuahua. Growing up, I was always fascinated by airplanes and technology, and when I reached high school I had the opportunity to start learning computer programming. My friend’s father owned a payroll-processing company, and he started teaching RPG and COBOL on an IBM System 34 (yeah, I know, I’m dating myself) during the afternoons, so I would go there two or three times a week. This is where my passion for computers and technology really grew and led me to pursue a degree in computer science. After graduating, I began working at a local startup doing offshore work for a mainframe application performance-monitoring company located in Santa Monica, California. The company, Candle Corp, then offered me the opportunity to work for them in the U.S., so my wife and I packed our things in a U-Haul and drove 900 miles west to Los Angeles! IBM acquired Candle Corp in the mid-2000s, which led me to Austin, Texas. After a few years, I had the opportunity to join MongoDB. Diversity is celebrated here, and we all work together toward a common goal while having fun along the way. In my role as a Senior Solutions Architect, I support the LATAM Corporate Sales organization and help align MongoDB technology with customer needs and business goals. My children were born in Los Angeles, where, as an immigrant, I started thinking about my role as a parent in preserving Hispanic language and culture for the next generation. Luckily, it wasn’t too difficult given our location. The shared history between Mexico and the U.S. provides the perfect canvas to paint a picture of blended colors and influences from other places. This is apparent all across Texas and the southwest of our country. The food, architecture, names, battles, and social struggle through the years help build the foundation of what it means to be of Hispanic descent in the United States. We are embedded in the fabric of the region and country, and that is what we aim to share with everybody — our common bonds instead of our differences. Today, as the proud father of two young adults attending university, I can honestly say the job is not done. We still have other generations to share our culture and heritage with. I hope we can ensure that future generations are proud of being Hispanic and proud of the contributions made by members of the Hispanic community to the United States. Gustavo and his family Camilo Velez-Gordon , Field Marketing Specialist, New York City In 2003, my mom and I hopped on a one-way flight from Colombia to Newark International Airport with four suitcases and a lot of unknowns. As a 7-year-old with minimal knowledge of the English language, I had no idea what it meant for me or my future, and I was terrified. My family and I quickly settled in northern New Jersey, and I learned English in less than a year thanks to cartoons and shows such as Rocket Power and Drake and Josh. Throughout my upbringing, I learned that two things will always be true: Family is and always will be an important part of my life, and in the United States you are in control of your destiny, which may not be the case elsewhere. The older I get, the more significance Hispanic Heritage Month has in my life. This may be due to a deeper understanding of the importance of culture and my background. The month is a great opportunity to reflect on my journey to where I am today, and also a good time to educate the people around me about what it is like to be Latino in today’s America. The tech industry has always been fascinating to me, but, while in school, a career in tech always seemed like a far-fetched goal. Through my network, I was fortunate enough to secure a marketing internship for an ad-tech firm while finishing my senior year as a business student at Montclair State University. Once I got my foot in the door, I was determined to take full advantage of the opportunity. To this day, my main takeaway from the process of getting into tech is that mastering the skill of networking will open many doors in your career. As I approach my two-year anniversary at MongoDB, I frequently look back on my journey to where I am today, and I can’t help but smile. The terrified 7-year-old from 17 years ago came a long way. At MongoDB, I continue to grow, evolve, and learn. During my tenure, I have met incredible people, achieved many milestones, and launched multiple global programs that have had a positive impact on the business. I am so proud of how far my family and I have come, and I could not be more excited for what is to come for MongoDB. Camilo and his family Celebrate the Hispanic and Latinx community's contributions to music, literature, and film Spotify Reading list Title Author The House on Mango Street Sandra Cisneros I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter Erika L. Sanchez The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Diaz Dominicana: A Novel Angie Cruz War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America's Colony Nelson A. Denis Latinx Superheroes in Mainstream Comics Frederick Luis Aldama Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism Greg Grandin Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza Gloria Anzaldúa The Borders of Dominicanidad Lorgia Garcia-Peña The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes on the Disaster Capitalists Naomi Klein The Arawak: The History and Legacy of the Indigenous Natives in South America and the Caribbean Charles River Editors The Indian Chronicles José Barreiro Eva Luna Isabel Allende The Bronx Evelyn Gonzalez Barrio Dreams: Puerto Ricans, Latinos, and the Neoliberal City Arlene Dávila Bodega Dreams Ernesto Quiñonez The Eagle's Throne Carlos Fuentes The Poet X Elizabeth Acevedo When I Was Puerto Rican: A Memoir

October 4, 2021

The Future is Inclusive: Meet The Queer Collective, MongoDB's Affinity Group for the LGBTQIA+ Community & Allies

MongoDB affinity groups are employee-led resource groups that bring together employees with similar backgrounds, interests, or goals. They play an important role in our company and culture. Our affinity groups build community and connections, help us raise awareness of issues unique to members’ experiences, and offer networking and professional development opportunities. I sat down with some of the leaders of The Queer Collective to learn more about their initiatives, impact, and plans for the future. What is The Queer Collective? The Queer Collective is a member-based group working towards equality in the workplace and beyond. We envision a workplace atmosphere in which everyone feels comfortable bringing their full selves to work, regardless of gender identity, gender expression, race, religion, age, or sexual preference. We aim to champion LGBTQIA+ rights in the workplace, provide a space for queer people and allies to meet, encourage an open exchange of thoughts, organize impactful events, and provide education and networking opportunities to individuals who would like to learn more. The Queer Collective is open to LGBTQIA+ and allies and complements our closed employee affinity group, Queeries, which provides a safe space for queer-identifying employees. The Queer Collective is open to all MongoDB employees who would like to join. How did The Queer Collective get started, and how has the group grown? In early 2020, the Dublin Workplace team decided to organize activities for a virtual Pride celebration throughout the month of June. This was an ambitious idea that required a collective of people, so a call for volunteers was sent out. By the end of May of 2020, seven people offered help, and in the end, it became a huge success. The same seven volunteers decided to keep working on evolving these initiatives, and that's when The Queer Collective was officially born. We realized that raising awareness and sharing knowledge with the community (both the LGBTQIA+ and ally communities) couldn’t be accomplished in just one month, and so The Queer Collective formed into an ongoing initiative. The most fun part of forming any group is naming it. There were multiple ideas, but the one that stuck the most was a pun of sorts. It combines both the collection of documents in a database and the LGBTQIA + community: The Queer Collective. We are now almost 200 members globally and can't believe how much we've grown in just a year. As we continue to grow, we hope to start regional chapters so that our planning and programming can evolve on a global scale. What types of initiatives does The Queer Collective organize? We organize a range of social, educational, and awareness events. Over the past year, these have included (Inter)national Coming Out Day , Transgender Awareness Week, Pride Month programming, Zero-Discrimination Day in partnership with MDBWomen, and smaller events such as happy hours and Drag Bingo. This year and for the first time ever, we are a top-tier sponsor for the Lesbians Who Tech Summit, the largest & most diverse tech event in the world! As we continue to grow and diversify, we have partnered with MongoDB’s Learning and Development team to develop training on managing and supporting LGBTQIA+ employees and colleagues. We’ve also begun developing programs on intersectional thinking to help leaders, managers, and other colleagues understand the importance of intersectionality in the workplace. How has participating in The Queer Collective impacted some of our employees? The Queer Collective has provided visibility to members of the LGBTQIA+ community and the amazing allies that support us. Some of The Queer Collective’s leads have been approached for advice and support by members of the LGBTQIA+ community who are coming to terms with their own sexuality or gender expression, as well as colleagues looking for a supportive corporate structure in which to be themselves. Awareness initiatives have impacted how many people view the LGBTQIA+ community, providing an opportunity for people from different backgrounds and cultures to learn about the lived experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals by listening to their stories. Hear from one of our members to learn more about the impact The Queer Collective has had on our allies. The Joy of Being an Ally in The Queer Collective Community Diana Balaci (She/Her), Workplace Manager, Paris “I am the Workplace Manager for MongoDB’s Southern European offices and a very proud ally of the LQBTQIA+ community. Allies help to support, uplift, and amplify the voices of others, and I humbly feel that I learn something new every day alongside the wonderful humans that are part of The Queer Collective.” “To understand my activism is to know my story. I come from Romania, an ex-communist country. I was born in Bucharest and lived in a big industrial and university city in the southwest of the country until I was 24 years old. In my family, I was taught values like tolerance and supporting differences early on. All the while we were still living under very conservative, traditional society patterns. My upbringing, combined with my choice of attire and value for art, culture, and universality made me pivot towards the extremely few and timid queer people in my hometown. In a time when the word ‘gay’ was not even spoken publicly, I witnessed the bullying and ignorant labeling of my best friend. Defending him started a wave of questions and pointing of fingers, questions that I am honest to say I did not know how to respond to. I promised myself then and there that I would continuously do my best in growing and learning more about the LQBTQIA+ community. Fast forward to now, my friend is happily engaged and in a loving, fulfilling relationship with the man of his dreams in a more open-minded Bucharest. As for me, I’m still educating myself and those around me.” “I am thankful for the opportunity to meet amazing people through The Queer Collective who have such complex personalities that truly value inclusivity and diversity. They embraced the weird, loud, outspoken person that I am. I am in awe when I see the efforts they make to give a voice to everyone, and I am humbled and touched when I see them sparing their time to make sure that events are safe, accessible, and welcoming to every identity. I am honored to be in this community.” What has been The Queer Collective's biggest highlight so far? We launched an incredibly ambitious program for Pride 2021, including both fun and educational events organized by our members all across the world. The schedule included educational training, voguing workshops, drag events, a trans experience fireside chat, a U.S. benefits webinar discussing fertility and family-forming, virtual happy hours, and more. Pride 2021 kick-off drag event with Cissy Walken Our biggest hope is that our Pride programming advocates for inclusivity, educates about respect, and celebrates the wonderful complexity of the human experience. We believe this is the best spotlight so far as it includes multiple events over the month of June. Some past events that have also been impactful are (Inter)national Coming Out Day 2020 and the Trans Awareness Panels hosted the same year. The first emphasized the life experiences of LGBTQIA+ members in The Queer Collective, and the latter focused on the trans color in the LGBTQIA+ rainbow: educating participants to see the transgender identity, to understand it and, most importantly, to respect it. Respect is highly cherished by all members of The Queer Collective and is the foundation of all our actions. From gender pronoun forums, to book club discussions, to learning and development training, our goal is to support and educate others about all identities. “I see you and I respect who you are” may be easily said on paper, but it takes real effort to turn it into actions in your everyday life. What are Queer Collective's goals and plans for the future? We are delighted to announce that we have partnered with Ryan Francis , Vice President of Worldwide Demand Generation & Field Marketing, to be our executive sponsor. Ryan’s support will help us grow, amplify our message, and enable our voices to be heard in spaces we don’t have access to. While it is a commitment, we are excited to see where this partnership will take us. Ryan had this to say: “I accepted the invitation to be the executive sponsor for The Queer Collective to do more for my community here at MongoDB. It's easy to forget in the rush of Zoom calls, deadlines, and fire drills that I'm incredibly lucky to be in the position I'm in, and it's because of the people who have done the work before me that I am. It's the least I can do to create visibility for my community and support them to the fullest extent.” The next step for us is to foster intersectional cooperation with other MongoDB affinity groups. We have worked quite closely with Queeries, the closed group for queer folks at MongoDB. We admire the work of MDBWomen , The Underrepresented People of Color Network, MongoDB Veterans, and Underrepresented Genders in Tech, and we recognize that true inclusion, equality, and equity is only achieved through intersectionality. We intend to partner closely with these groups and any emerging affinity groups. Everyone exists at the intersection of multiple identities and labels, and we need to be mindful that The Queer Collective member identities are multi-faceted and complex. We also hope to collaborate with other teams and departments at MongoDB with a focus on working together to solve for equity across the business. What do we mean by that? There are nuances in ways of working across teams. The Sales team works in a very different way and has a different set of priorities than, for example, the Product or Engineering teams. We want everyone at MongoDB to benefit from an inclusive culture and welcoming environment. No matter your role, you should feel safe, welcome, and supported in bringing your full self to work at MongoDB. Finally, we’re working on developing partnerships externally so that the work we do extends beyond MongoDB. This began with our sponsorship of the 2021 Lesbians Who Tech Summit and we also have an upcoming talk at MongoDB .Live on allyship which will be given by two of our leads. We hope to continue sponsoring more conferences, speaking at more events, and lending our knowledge to other groups. Meet our current Queer Collective leads Interested in pursuing a career at MongoDB and joining The Queer Collective? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!

June 29, 2021

Meet Some of MongoDB’s Influential Women Leaders in 2021

Each year, MongoDB highlights some of our most influential leaders in celebration of International Women’s Day. These women are making a huge impact on their teams and the company, have grown their careers at MongoDB as managers, and inspire us every day. Kathrin Schmitt , Manager, Corporate Sales - DACH, Dublin, Ireland Change is the only constant in our life. Embracing it and continually searching for opportunities to grow is my secret to finding success. When I got my master’s degree in finance, it did not occur to me that I would switch gears and change fields entirely in my early 30s. My family and many friends thought I was crazy for abandoning an industry that I worked hard to be a part of and successfully started to build a career in. However, I saw how technology is changing the world, and I wanted to be part of something that is growing and disruptive. When I got the opportunity to join MongoDB in early 2016, I left all my friends and family behind and embraced the challenge of moving to a new country and industry at the same time. Five years later, I don’t regret a single day. I am leading our DACH and French Corporate Sales Teams at MongoDB, and personal and professional development are still key to my success as well as the success of my team. My team is building the market from the ground up, and this requires courage, innovation, knowledge, and trust. Our technology is disrupting the database market, but few people know that our Sales Team is outstanding and disruptive too. I rely on the entrepreneurial spirit of my team to understand how we can not only find new customers but also build scalable processes that will exponentially grow the customer base in these regions. Learning, developing, and innovating is deeply ingrained in our team culture. This is crucial, because it allows us to try new things and fail until we eventually succeed. I truly trust that my team knows what is best for the market and their customers, and I wholeheartedly support them in their own development. MongoDB has a very open, inclusive, and collaborative culture—one that I have felt completely confident in and supported by. I feel as if I can be myself at work, and that’s something I try to pass on as well. Our jobs take up most of our lives, so it’s important that we feel fulfilled, safe, productive, and in a position where we are not afraid to fail and can share our opinions without feeling judged. I want to inspire and encourage my team to build together and to be the best version of themselves. I love helping my team grow and succeed, and I hope I can share my passion for MongoDB and our product with them. The database market is the largest in software sales, and we serve customers who are truly changing the world. I’m surrounded by compassionate and supportive women at MongoDB every day, and as I expand my team, I’m focusing on bringing more women into our sales organization and providing them with the resources they need to advance their careers. As a leader, it’s really important to make sure you’re there for your team. When you take care of your people, they will take care of others. Lungowe (Lulu) Andala , Global Payroll Manager, New York, NY I was born and raised in Zambia and at the age of 16 migrated to Australia to study. Once I graduated from university, I kind of stumbled into a payroll coordinator role while looking for a job in my field of study. I had never done payroll before, but I’ve always loved working with numbers so I interviewed for the role. The company saw my enthusiasm and willingness to learn, and I got the job! After a few years, my partner and I moved to the United States, where I worked for a professional employment organization (PEO) before joining MongoDB. When I think back, all my prior roles pushed me toward a management position, even if I didn’t necessarily know that at the time. One thing I always enjoyed was training and sharing the knowledge I had with peers. This naturally led to me being the person who trained new team members. As I honed this skill, I noticed that people got more value from “guidance,” which facilitated a better understanding of concepts, as compared to a more traditional step-by-step training method. I never thought I’d be a manager, but when I was presented with the opportunity to build a team here at MongoDB, one of the things I was most excited about was how I’d contribute to the growth and development of the team. My manager has been a strong role model who continues to help me grow by pushing me beyond my comfort levels, while still offering the same guidance and coaching I strive to provide in my own management style. When I became a manager for the first time, I was worried that I wouldn’t get it right and that this would impact my team’s motivation and performance. If I could go back and talk to myself back then, I’d say “Stop being in your own head too much.” You may stumble a few times, but you’ll realize that if you give your team opportunities to grow and develop, they will stay motivated. If you provide clear and achievable objectives for your team, they’ll understand what value they are bringing, not only to the team but to the company. They’ll feel as if they are working toward something tangible and that their work is making a difference (which it is). Sometimes your team will come to you for guidance and you won’t always know the solution right away, and that’s okay. Someone once told me a good manager is the one who asks the right questions, not someone who knows everything. Don’t place value on knowing the answers to everything all the time. My approach to leadership is to be democratic and be a coach. In almost everything I do, I try to keep my team in mind. I ask myself questions like “How will this impact the team? Are there growth opportunities for my team? How can I get the team involved throughout this process or project?” I try to give my team members the independence and autonomy to make their own decisions, while always being there to guide them through any decision-making or problem-solving process. Tammy Bailey , Lead Engineer, Sydney, Australia Years ago, when I began graduate school, I was a bit dismayed to learn there was a hefty teaching requirement — as if I wouldn’t have enough work already! But I quickly grew to love teaching. My favorite students were inevitably the most difficult ones. I loved the challenge of finding alternative methods to ensure all students could learn, and finding the right motivation to inspire the uninspired. As an engineer, I missed the fulfillment that teaching provided — and quite honestly, as an extrovert, I really missed the social interaction. Thus, I set out to find a place in the engineering world that would check all the boxes. Back when I was an individual contributor, I spent most of my time working independently. Writing, testing, and debugging code were my main responsibilities, and I viewed my technical proficiency as a measure of my success. Now, as a Lead Engineer, my days are spent collaborating with others. My focus is no longer on the task at hand, but on the team assigned to complete the task. I use my technical experience to scope and design projects, and I trust in the technical proficiency of my team to see those projects to completion. I champion a culture that is friendly, accepting, accountable, inclusive, and diverse. I love so many things about my role! I love building a team culture that ensures everyone has a productive, positive, and safe environment to work in. I love to plan team events and brainstorm new ways to engage all the personalities on the team. I love working with my fellow leads, having a voice in planning and resource allocation, and setting milestones and goals. I love mentoring engineers — mapping out their goals, finding their path, motivating them to move forward, and celebrating their successes along the way. I believe the true skill of effective leaders is the ability to guide their teams along a successful path, while knowing this path may not look the same for everyone. Leaders inspire, motivate, and empower their teams. They respect the insight and experience of the team and allow everyone to have a voice, building their teams based not only on talent but also on culture and personality. They want their teams to be excited to come to work every day, and find ways to make that possible. They lead by example. If you are an engineer who would like to manage your own team, my first piece of advice is to ask yourself if you genuinely feel people leadership would be a successful path for you. Test the waters by seeking out mentoring opportunities and noncoding tasks, signing up for design review crews, and contributing to improving team processes and culture. You should find these things enjoyable and rewarding, and the people you engage with should find it enjoyable and rewarding to work with you. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, and demonstrate that you can use it to grow and improve. My second piece of advice is to find a company whose values you admire, a manager who inspires and motivates you, and a team that embodies what you hope to achieve when building one of your own. When I interviewed at MongoDB, I learned some of my teammates have worked together for decades. Decades! That is nothing short of amazing, and it was definitely a team I wanted to be a part of. My manager indeed inspires and motivates me and helps me grow as a leader simply by being a fantastic leader himself. MongoDB provides me with a successful environment built on strong core values and the opportunity to advance as a leader in the company. Jenny Liang , Lead Product Marketing Manager, New York, NY I’m very grateful for the recent opportunity to grow my career into a managerial role at MongoDB. I’ve always wanted to lead a team, and luckily, my professional goals aligned with the company’s trajectory. Currently, I lead Product Marketing for MongoDB Atlas , our core cloud product. In this role, I define strategies for how my team can create more value for the business and scale efficiently. The fast pace of product innovation combined with our ambitious growth goals have also helped justify the need for more product marketers. That said, being a new manager has been both challenging and humbling. I never expected to have to recruit and onboard team members in a fully remote environment! There’s so much learning that happens indirectly in an office that can be hard to re-create virtually. Everything is more deliberate, and it puts pressure on everyone to stay on top of things. Part of my responsibility as a manager is making sure my team feels as if they’re being included in conversations and are aware of what’s going on around them, even if it isn’t something they’re directly working on. An important lesson I learned as a manager is that there are many ways to “be helpful.” By nature, I like helping others, but I was used to expressing that by doing work or teaching people what I knew. Now that I have a team, I realize I have to help them in different ways. For example, sometimes I need to say no to requests so they can focus on the highest priorities. Other times, I simply need to be a good listener. By giving people space to think aloud, they can often find a solution on their own. One of my current focus areas is championing ways to iterate constantly and test new ideas. I see it as one way to set a good example for my team and encourage them to think about how they can be leaders in the future. I pitch my ideas as pilots, experiments, or research projects to get buy-in. Then I execute as best as I can, reflecting on what works and what doesn’t. This part is super important! If you don’t share what you learn, then you can’t inspire others to change what they do and build off your experiences. Think of it as your contribution to the team’s knowledge bank. In my experience, becoming an influencer in decision-making is an important way to show executives and people in leadership that you’re making an impact and that they should invest in you and the growth of your team. Interested in pursuing a career at MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe and would love for you to build your career with us!

March 16, 2021

Latinas in Tech: Andy Morales Coto

This spotlight is part of a blog series to amplify exceptional Latina talent in the tech industry. Through our partnership with Latinas In Tech, this article originally appeared on their site . Tell us about yourself, Andy. How did you get to where you are today? I’m originally from Costa Rica and have been living in NYC for the past six years. I’m a product designer, but I wasn’t always one: before coming to New York, I was working in multiple industries, as a game designer, a copywriter, and a digital marketer. But I guess most of that is just titles and places I come from, not really the way I got to be where I am. If I look more deeply, I would say that the moments that have led me to where I am today are a mixture of privilege and the fallout of self-discovery. I was born in an upper middle class family, the daughter of two public servants — a doctor and an engineer — and learned English pretty early on at their behest. I was able to go to private school my whole life, up until college, when I attended the University of Costa Rica, which is publicly funded by all Costa Ricans. I wouldn’t say I had a luxurious life growing up: there were certainly hand-me-downs from my sisters, but I also never had a problem buying a video game console if I wanted it — I’d just have to give up having a birthday party (and I did). Overall, I’d say my parents motivated me to follow my dreams, and would gladly take me to any classes I wanted (English, robotics, programming, drawing) from the time I was a little girl. In that sense, I always had a leg up, understood what was considered “excellence” in education, and pretty early on set my mind on studying abroad eventually. With that said, my comfortable life became, well, not comfortable at all when I came out at 19. College changed my life completely. Finally being able to understand who I was, I came out as queer to my very conservative parents, and the reception was extremely toxic. For the first time, I understood what it meant to not be able to afford a meal, or even a bus ticket. I walked miles to go to college several times, hell-bent on finishing my degree in communications (the closest thing to tech, I figured, without the toxicity of the homogeneity of computer science). Finally I graduated, but my whole perception of the world had changed: I became more empathetic and less judgmental of others, and I knew what depression and trauma were. Coming out made me a better human being with an understanding of my privilege, and I’m deeply grateful that I took that step. Coming out made me a better human being with an understanding of my privilege, and I’m deeply grateful that I took that step. I continued working for several years after graduating from college, did another degree in marketing while I worked, and finally got accepted into Parsons (NYC) on a scholarship to study transdisciplinary design. And here we are! Oh, also, and this is very important: I’m married to a lovely American and live with her and two fluffy tabby cats in Brooklyn. NYC is what I call home now (and probably forever). What inspired you to pursue a career in the tech industry? I think pretty early on I was in awe of technology, and I don’t just mean computers, but also cars, glasses, electricity, hammers. I’ve always admired anything that expands the possibilities of what a human can do. But my “aha moment” happened when I was 10 and accessed the internet at the University of Costa Rica. My mother was a teacher there and had access to connection before the rest of the country did. She’d sometimes let me use her computer, and I still remember using Netscape in complete fascination of what this meant for humanity: we would all be connected. That’s when it really clicked for me: I love this, I love computers. As a manager at MongoDB, what have been some of the most memorable and impactful projects you’ve worked on so far? I’m the most proud of the people I manage, and seeing them grow every day. My direct reports are infinitely more talented than I am in some ways, and I welcome that. I want to be surrounded by people more talented than I am, and they’re going to change the face of the design industry, I have no doubt. Watching them get better and better, lead projects of their own, and successfully navigate difficult stakeholder situations — well, it just puts a smile on my face! But, apart from that, a specific project I’ve enjoyed is Blue Sky, a yearly design-driven sprint that we do in conjunction with key stakeholders to create the “concept car” of the product I lead design for. This will be the second year we do Blue Sky, and we hope to use design thinking beyond the graphical user interface, partnering with product and engineering to imagine the future experience of MongoDB Realm in the CLI and the IDE. With each Blue Sky, design positions itself as a partner for our stakeholders, and our proposals coming out of the project tend to be implemented up to 75% of what we design. It’s exciting to become strategic partners in the direction the product will take. How has your culture (and/or other identity marker) shaped you as a leader? As a manager? Well, my culture is a mixture of queer culture, Costa Rican culture, and NYC culture. I think all of these shape me as a leader, because it means I am not a monolith as a person; I’ve learned to see the world through many different perspectives. Being able to compare and contrast how different cultures view or react to situations makes me self-aware, and puts me in a position where I strive to understand how others are reacting to situations, in the frame of their culture. I’d say this is empathy, which is a bit of a design cliche, but I actually think that it’s more than empathy — it’s vulnerability and sobering humility. Trust me, I wasn’t always super self-aware, but as I’ve gotten to know the world through different cultural lenses, I’ve realized that I have to be careful with how I help others be what they consider their very best. Whether it’s grappling with cultural expectations or navigating workplace biases, we fight through many challenges as Latinx women. What’s one you’re working through currently? I’m definitely sometimes worried about how I come off to my teammates, particularly those who are not Latin American. I can be emotionally vulnerable, honest, and bubbly: I cry at work at times, I am not afraid of jumping into difficult conversations, and I laugh loudly. Unfortunately, as a woman and as a Latina, these can be seen as vapid qualities, symbols of weakness. Why is she so loud, so emotional, so open to talking? In the past, I’ve tried to cover this up by being serious, talking softly but more deeply, and avoiding vulnerable conversation; as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that inhibiting those qualities hinders me at work, because it makes me feel miserable, and that I end up gaining more supporters in the long term by being as open-hearted as I am. I definitely think I have my upbringing in Costa Rica to blame for that: it is not the norm for women to be like that at work, but while I was growing up I certainly saw more female bosses be open and vulnerable. I can be emotionally vulnerable, honest, and bubbly: I cry at work at times, I am not afraid of jumping into difficult conversations, and I laugh loudly. This, of course, sometimes brings some internal turmoil: Am I just not meant to be in this American culture? Am I borrowing from my Costa Rican experiences without giving back? There’s a certain sense of duty that you feel toward those who are in your home country, even if your current definition of home has changed (I consider myself more a New Yorker than anything else, by now). To be honest, I don’t have a solution to that sense of duty and loss, and I struggle with it pretty often. I deal with it by donating and helping others that want to chase their dreams in the USA, but I still struggle with it. It’s hard not to miss the place you grew up in. It’s a big piece of you, no matter where you go. Looking to the future, what inspires you, and what initiatives are you most excited about right now? I’m inspired by games, and I can’t wait to continue using playful design in every product I design. Tangentially, I design live action role playing (LARP) games, and I can’t wait to be able to play with my other designer friends again, hopefully at a house by the beach. What’s one piece of career advice you’ll never ever forget? One of my professors from grad school, Mathan Ratinam, told me once that throughout his career he learned that you are lucky if you get to choose a job for one of three reasons: you love the work, you love the mission, or you love the people. I’ve tried loving the work, and I’ve tried loving the mission, but let me tell you: if I don’t enjoy working with the people, I’m not going to be happy in the long term. Whenever I consider a career move, I don’t focus on the mission or the work as much anymore, because those haven’t brought me the happiness that I thought they would. People do. Whenever I consider a career move, I don’t focus on the mission or the work as much anymore, because those haven’t brought me the happiness that I thought they would. People do. How do you reset when you’re in a funk? I let myself cry/experience sadness first, I go to therapy (cannot stress this enough: if you can afford it, please go to therapy), and I practice Muay Thai. I just love kicking a bag and sweating the problems out, you know? Any podcasts or blog recommendations? I don’t really listen to podcasts or read blogs that often. I play games and I read books; those are my two sources of design inspiration. I’d say, if you can, play “Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” to see what the epitome of design is. Also, play any LARP from the Golden Cobra Challenge: http://www.goldencobra.org/ . You can print those for free and play them with people online. Bookswise, I’ve been reading Fall ; or, Dodge in Hell , by Neal Stephenson, but sometimes it hits too close to home. Is there anyone you’d like to shout out for their support along your career journey? My wife, Crystal Morales. She’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. She is the smartest career advisor I know, and the smartest person I know. Period. Mathan Ratinam, of course, whom I mentioned before. He has inspired me so many times and listened to me talk for hours on the phone. A champ. My friends who, during college, helped me get a meal when I couldn’t: Olalla, Edith, Diana (my best friend since then), Warren, Memo, MaJo. A big hug to them all. And my college teacher Andrea Alvarado, who understood the pains I was going through at home when I came out and, instead of failing me, gave me extra work to do, showing me that part of being compassionate is never being condescending. Andy is thriving as a lead product designer at MongoDB . If you’re ready to work with what sounds like an incredible group of people, here are three open roles you should check out! Product Manager, Server Sales Development Representative Lead Engineer, Docs Platform

March 3, 2021

PowerToFly Event Recap: MongoDB’s Regional Sales Director Offers 10 Valuable Career Lessons

In November 2020, MongoDB hosted a virtual panel discussion with our partner PowerToFly . During this session, women in roles across MongoDB’s Sales organization — from entry-level to leadership — shared more about their experience working at such a fast-growing company, how they’ve owned their career growth, and advice for anyone considering a career here. One mic-drop moment during the event was when Stephanie Samuels , Regional Director of Sales at MongoDB, shared 10 unique and insightful lessons based on her experiences that anyone — early careerist or seasoned professional — should consider to guide their career success. 10 Career Lessons by Stephanie Samuels Lesson #10: You are not a label. Lesson #9: Have a strong work ethic. Lesson #8: Advocate for yourself. Lesson #7: You are not an imposter. Lesson #6: The most valuable resource you have is your time. Lesson #5: Make work-life balance a priority. Lesson #4: Create a personal board of directors. Lesson #3: Run your own race. Lesson #2: Have perseverance. Lesson #1: There will be beauty for ashes. Watch the full video Download the lessons here: About PowerToFly: MongoDB is a proud partner of PowerToFly, a recruiting platform that connects companies to women in tech, sales, marketing, and more. With a mission to improve diversity recruiting and hiring, PowerToFly is a targeted job board that offers high-visibility employer branding services to help pools of underrepresented talent discover new roles at great companies. Learn more about PowerToFly here . Interested in pursuing a career at MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe, and we’d love for you to build your career with us!

January 26, 2021