Customer Obsession with Umashankar, Associate Manager, Software Engineering
I always thought I will do well in the service industry because I'm passionate about the journey and the experiences/memories one collects along the way and not just the destination. It's a strong belief of mine that working with your customers and partnering with them through problems will earn you their trust and they will become your cheerleaders. Through my time at Qualtrics, I've seen this happen time and again, across all the different organizations.
During my master's program, I took a liking to UX and I built a web portal that focused on improving the experience for visually impaired people when browsing and reading news. What Qualtrics is doing is in essence the same; bridging experience gaps through technology.
I also wanted a role where I could interact with the customer directly. In my role as a Dev Manager in Engineering Services, I have the unique opportunity to work not only with our customers but also with a variety of product engineering teams, product managers, and sales teams alike.
Qualtrics empowers employees to own problems and solve them. Since there is no guidebook on how to solve certain problems, it presents an opportunity for everyone to explore solutions; thus allowing constant learning. In traditional product teams, the engineers don't interact with customers often. But in my role as a Dev Manager in Engineering Services, I have the opportunity to work directly with external customers, internal engineering teams, product managers, and sales teams alike.
What attracted you to Qualtrics in the first place?
The fast-paced environment, glowing reviews, and positive stories all around were all key factors for me to consider Qualtrics. But 2 things were of utmost importance to me. Firstly, a solid culture that laid emphasis on transparency, collaboration, problem-solving, and inclusion. In other words, I needed TACOS! Plenty of them. Secondly, the opportunity to work directly with external customers. I wanted to experience what it was like to be on the front lines; understanding customer pain points and solving them through technology.
A friend of mine, who had previously interviewed at Qualtrics spoke really highly of the overall culture which was evident during the interview process. And luckily for me, the role I was interviewing for would give me the experience of interacting with customers directly!
What is your favorite part of your role?
The favorite part of my role is the variety of tasks I get to do and the interaction with internal and external teams. It is a role that requires one to be flexible and be good at multi-tasking, time management, and prioritization. One moment, I might be discussing design with a solution architect; then I might be on a scoping call with a client and then I might be investigating and fixing an issue.
What has surprised you most about working at Qualtrics?
The level of ownership and impact regardless of tenure, role, or level is pretty high. You can see folks with years of Qualtrics experience working with the same vigor and passion as someone who just started and is eager to showcase the value that they bring. Similarly, new Qualtricians take part in discussions and problem solving from day one! This is truly a testament to the hiring process and high bar.
The ability and appetite to make quick decisions and pivot in a new direction/endeavor. In other words, everything exists with a purpose. If something doesn't make sense anymore, alter it, or replace it with something that does. This is visible among the highest levels of leadership as it does within individual teams.
What 3 words would you use to describe Qualtrics to someone?
Fast-paced, tenacious, customer/employee obsessed.
|Umashankar is an alumnus of the University of Illinois, Chicago, and started his career at Simplex Investments, LLC. Umashankar has stayed a week in a lodge deep in the Amazon rain forest before and is an amateur landscape photographer|
September 1, 2021