Perpetual Growth with Lauren, Associate Manager, CX Solution Strategy
I started my undergraduate journey as an engineer because I loved math. I found comfort in the simplicity, the black and white nature of it all. I switched to Cornell's Hotel School thinking I'd spin it into becoming a CFO eventually.
After some not-so-productive internships, I realized I was either going to live a very miserable life or I needed to pivot, hard. I realized I was fighting to join a world of millions of people just like me, instead of a place I could thrive - that valued how my brain worked. I joined LHW to manage their Voice of the Customer program. They put their faith in a 20-something-year-old with the belief that she could quantify Guest Happiness (well beyond traditional CSAT, NPS, etc.) This was an incredible problem that I wanted to solve. It was my first professional "gap" to close.
When Qualtrics started courting me, it was a no-brainer. The opportunity to actually solve organizations' gaps for their employees and customers? Duh.
What attracted you to Qualtrics in the first place?
Qualtrics actually came to me, though the attraction was mutual. I saw a maturing start-up in technology that enabled me to go from solving a singular gap at my old company to solving many gaps, across many organizations.
You’ve been with us for a while now, so why is it still Qualtrics for you? How has Qualtrics lived up to your expectations? How has it been different?
The people. Everyone says it. It is still true. Qualtrics attracts some truly intelligent people and it is an absolute pleasure to get to work with them every day.
What was the turning point where you knew you had to have the job' at Qualtrics?
On the airplane to my on-site (so foreign to do interviews in person now). I watched Black Panther while drinking a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and knew I had to have the role. I completely changed my talk track to focus on why it should be me - how I represented everything they needed - a fearless female with a track record for success and a knack for making the unmovable, move forward.
What does your day look like?
Nowadays my day consists of developing and executing the strategy for our CustomerXM for Locations product - everything from organizing and presenting at events, building our internal documentation to help our sales teams, and working on specific deals with well-known brands from around the world (my personal favorite).
What is your favorite part of your role?
Perpetual growth - I am smarter after every call. It is incredible.
Any tips for someone looking to get into a career like yours?
Anyone looking to get into XM has two choices:
- Work at an organization and run a program, which will give you a deep understanding of how businesses run, the importance of CX, etc.
- Work at Qualtrics where you get to see customers every day looking to improve their experiences, looking to change their image.
What has surprised you most about working at Qualtrics?
The people. Being a remote employee meant I was always secretly jealous of our office employees for having that camaraderie and sense of culture. That being said, the welcoming attitude of the employees across all our offices never ceases to amaze me. Having friends at work is always good but working with some of your best friends is unreal.
What are your aspirations in your career/life?
I'd like to be a serial CXO - going in, fixing problems, and departing after a few years.
What is your top #LifeHack?
I spend a little time every day on self-improvement. Sometimes it's taking longer runs to improve my stamina, sometimes it's just reading articles about the industries I work with, sometimes it's re-reading old self-help books. I spend at least 30 minutes on this a day.
What's a favorite moment/memory of your time at Qualtrics so far? Or an impactful moment?
Shortly after I joined, we were going to IPO (the first time). Within a two-week period, we went from full speed towards IPO to having SAP share their intent to buy. We had a meeting on a Sunday and by Monday, it was global news.
One of my now-best friends from Qualtrics texted me at the time and said: Welcome to Qualtrics. Things happen fast. Buckle up.
Alternative story: Interviewing Stephanie LaBudde for our internal podcast. Stephanie brought me to Qualtrics, brought me to her team. She is the type of leader I could be (with a lot of effort). Getting to interview her and ask her all the questions I've had was just a super fun, insightful, and awesome moment in my life.
What 3 words would you use to describe Qualtrics to someone?
Fast-paced, scrappy, artistic.
How do you feel you've been able to apply what you studied at school to your career?
My job right now is helping customers build their CX vision and strategy on Qualtrics. Getting to help define these with customers is incredible.
What's a myth about working at Qualtrics that you’d like to bust?
The depth of the scrappiness of Qualtrics knows no bounds. You think you know, you have no idea.
|Lauren is an alumnus of Cornell University and started her career at The Leading Hotels of the World. She has been to more than 50 countries and all but one of the continents.|