Spotlight on Latino Excellence with Candice Madruga Knoll
An interview with Candice Madruga Knoll, Senior Customer Success Manager at Cloudflare.
Welcome to Cloudflare TV.
Welcome to Cloudflare TV featuring Latin Flair spotlight on Latino excellence.
My name is Anna. I'm on the infrastructure team and I will be your moderator for today.
This interview is actually part of a series of Latin Flair interviews with Latinx leaders at Cloudflare.
Before we get started, I wanted to provide a quick format overview of the format will the bulk of it will be the interview will be followed by audience Q&A, and then we'll finish with a lightning round of questions.
And audience questions will be taken at the end, but at any point you can submit a question to the host by emailing live studio at Cloudflare .tv.
And Gabby is here. She is one of our Latin Flair SF co-leads facilitating our Q &A, and she wanted to say hi and tell you a little bit about Latin Flair.
Thanks Anna and hey to everyone watching.
I'm Gabby, a customer success manager and co -lead for Latin Flair.
And Latin Flair is the Latinx employee resource group here at Cloudflare.
And our mission is to support and uplift Cloudflare employees while assisting in diversity recruitment efforts.
And with that, I do want to quickly announce that we are hiring.
So if you're interested in a position here at Cloudflare, I encourage you to apply.
And I hope that Candice's story really inspires those from a diverse background to see that they have a unique perspective to bring to the table.
And with that, I'll let Anna continue with Latin Flair's second spotlight on Latino excellence.
Great. Today, as Gabby mentioned, we'll be interviewing Candice Madruga-No.
Candice has been with Cloudflare for two years. She's a senior customer success manager, and she has a very impressive background.
Candice joined Cloudflare in September 2018 with over a decade of progressive experience in account management, marketing, public relations, and investor relations across a wide range of industries.
Before joining Cloudflare, she was a senior associate at Blueprint Life Science Group, where she provided strategic advisory services to life science companies.
Prior to that, Candice acquired diverse experience working within media and nonprofit sectors in the U.S.
and her home country of Brazil.
Candice holds a BA in communications from Universidad de Portugal, and she has a product management certificate from UC Berkeley's Executive Education Program and an MBA from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business.
During her time at Haas, Candice was co-president of the Evening and Weekend MBA Association and VP of Diversity, and she also received the Berkeley Leader Award.
Hi there, Candice. Welcome. Hey, Anna. How are you doing? Wonderful.
How are you? I'm good. Did you ever think that your first time on TV would be from your living room?
I did not, but my background is covered. That's great.
I'm going to jump right into questions. You recently were promoted to senior CSM.
Congratulations. Thank you. You're welcome. CSM stands for customer success manager.
Can you tell us a little bit about your current role? Yes. I'm a senior customer success manager at Cloudflare.
Basically, as an enterprise customer, one of the added values that you get is the fact that you have a CSM to work on your account to basically make sure that you reach your goals with the company.
We work on a daily basis getting to know better our customers and understanding what are their top priorities within performance, within security, what's important for their companies.
We work with them to try to help them meet those goals and exceed those expectations whenever possible.
I think one thing that's the best part is that we work with all the different parts of Cloudflare.
On a daily basis, we interact with the product team, with the solutions engineering team, with the account executive team, the sales teams, the events team.
It's a very fast-paced role, very interactive. Another thing that I really like is I'm part of the Latin America team.
Latin America is also a particular side of the business, so I get to interact with the different teams within the LATAM organization at Cloudflare and also customers who are based in Latin America as well.
Great. Thank you for that overview. Speaking of your LATAM team, I know that culture is very important in working with regional clients.
A little bird told me that you work your magic engaging the LATAM clients.
I wanted to ask you, how does your Brazilian background bring value or assets to the team?
It's almost ironic the fact that I lived my entire life in Brazil and then I moved to the United States.
After years working in the United States, I get to work with Brazilian customers.
I did not expect that to happen, but I'm glad it did.
It's very interesting. I think there are certain cultural aspects that come into play on my everyday work.
I'll tell you, some of them were very relationship driven.
I have customers in North America and in Latin America, and I can definitely see a difference in most of them.
I think there are always exceptions, but within Latin America, the relationship aspect is extremely important.
A great example of that is we recently had our first Latin America event for existing enterprise customers in Sao Paulo.
It was great to see all of our customers together in the same room.
They were very interactive. You could see that it's definitely a business relationship, but it's definitely beyond that.
You get to know people much better and there is that strong relationship formed with your customers.
I think those are some things that definitely come in handy. I think there are other parts of Latin America that are very interesting.
I think LATAM is almost like a smaller company within a larger company because we get to interact very closely with all the different teams.
Even the socioeconomic situation in Latin America is a lot more complex and there are lots of different issues that we have to deal with that are different from those in the United States.
I think another important aspect that I learned after I started working at Cloudflare is that the way the Internet was built in Brazil is different from how it was built here.
I got some exposure to the magic world of network.
That probably resonates with you, Ana.
It does. That's fantastic. It sounds like you went full circle and your relationship and social understanding has really enhanced the team.
My next question is, how did challenges from your previous work experience prepare you for your current role?
Yes. I think the most unusual roles that I had in the past, for example, and I think this will be very valid for people who are graduating now and they're graduating in the middle of a crisis.
There's a lot of uncertainty and you end up working in roles that you wouldn't originally expect that to translate directly into the role that's your dream job.
I think the role that helped me the most in my current role was actually working as a salesperson.
I think when you work in the service industry and when I was interviewing at Cloudflare, someone asked me this question, do you have experience in the service industry?
I think working in the service industry and in these customer facing roles that you are getting to know people on the day to day and you have that pressure ongoing, you learn a lot about how to interact with people, how to motivate them, how to think on your feet and how to deal with high pressure situations on a less minute basis.
I think my role at Nordstrom was super helpful. I had a role as a hostess in the past.
I think that's super helpful as well. Obviously, I did manage accounts for a biotech investor relations company before.
That was a more, I had a book of business and I had to manage their communications and investor relations needs.
It's definitely very easily translated to what I currently do. But I definitely think that if you are able to apply transferable skills from something like you work in the service industry, I think you should not discount that because it's very relevant experience.
It sounds like it's a great foundation for working with different types of people and under pressure.
Definitely. Great. I know that you participated in an excellent MBA program at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.
Tell us how you made the decision to do the MBA program and your experience there.
I moved here in the middle of a crisis in 2007, 2008. At the time, I realized that it was really difficult to get a job in my field.
I had a little bit of arrogance from someone who graduates early in their lives.
You're like, oh, I'm going to get my dream job in the United States.
It's going to be great. But then I moved here in the worst, until now, time of the economy.
When I moved, I could not get a job in my field.
But I realized that certain things could help me a lot.
I think a strong network is very important. Unfortunately, people still look for some name on your resume, whether it's a great school or a great job.
At the time, I did not get a chance to work at one of those super famous companies because it's a chicken and egg problem.
I realized, okay, maybe if I get an MBA from a school that's recognized in the United States, that people will know the name, that will give a seal of approval, and people no longer think, oh, Madruga is a Latino name, it's a woman, probably not, this person probably is not going to have experience in this field.
I think having that name on my resume helped me a lot in terms of getting recognized and everything.
But getting into HAAS was difficult.
And one of the most important added values that I got out of that, that I did not expect, was something intrinsic, which is confidence.
I think on top of the name on your resume and your network, I think one thing that I did not expect to come out of it was to be a lot more confident.
And I think that's been extremely helpful.
Sounds like a threefold return for you. It's a great choice. My next question is, what has been a rewarding part of your job, whether it's being a CSM, working for the Internet industry, or being at Cloudflare?
I think the learning culture at Cloudflare is still one of my favorite parts.
I think you can go back to our communications, our blog posts, and you always see that we take ownership anytime that something does not go as expected, and we fix things.
We do not pretend that we know everything.
And that culture can be seen internally. I think when I first joined, I was afraid because I did not have a technical background, so I was afraid, what if I ask someone a dumb question and people make fun of me?
I think it sounds very childish when you say it like this, but it's a valid concern, right?
And I think my favorite part is that that's never happened here at Cloudflare.
I've been with the company for two years, and I still ask questions that for some people, they're probably obvious questions and probably obvious answers, but I never got a sense that I was boring someone or that I was wasting someone's time.
So I think that's one of my favorite things. And what's kind of associated with that is the fact that I love knowing something that I never thought I would know.
You know when you're talking to someone and they ask you something that you're like, oh, maybe I need help to answer the question.
And you're like, no, I know the answer.
I got it. I got it. I think that's self -assuring, right?
I love that. I love being challenged, and I love surpassing expectations.
So I think those are my two favorite things. Who knew you'd be able to answer technical questions, right?
Who knew that, Aina? On the flip side, same question.
What are the challenges of being a CSM or of this industry or the LATAM region?
I think one of the hardest parts for me personally is as a CSM, and Gabby probably knows what I'm talking about very well, is you are usually very service -driven, and you want to make sure that the customer gets what they want, right?
So in any situation that we are not able to give a response that's 100% yes, I got it, you're going to get it, I think that's the hardest situation.
I think the other difficult part, and it's difficult, but at the same time is also what keeps the job interesting, is we are in the middle of all the different teams.
So on a daily basis, we interact with 10, 15 different teams that have different communication styles.
So we have to shape that communication style as we go, and I think that's a challenge, but I don't think it's a negative.
I think it's a strength that you develop with time.
Great, I love that answer. You mentioned to me before that it was very important for you to open doors for other people.
Can you share with the audience about what you've done to fulfill this goal?
Yes, 100%. I think it's, I mean, you've looked at my resume, it's not a straight shot into, oh, I graduated, and I got a great job, and they lived happily ever after, right?
There was a lot of ups and downs, and I many times wished I had known someone, I had more resources that could help me expedite my career goals, right?
And I think that's one of the main things when you're part of an underrepresented minority group is that you most likely don't know a lot of people who had these extremely successful work histories and that they can just go in and refer you to your top five companies, and unfortunately, you kind of have to look for how to get there unless you find someone who helps you, right?
And I think one thing that helped me was I found a couple people that were able to serve as my mentors.
So I take that as a very important page in my book.
I always try to pay it forward. I was involved in the Compassionate Friends, which is a group that helps parents who lost their children at first because that was how I could help at the time.
I was a newsletter editor for them.
I then got involved with the Boys and Girls Club of Petaluma, and I helped a lot of kids with their homework, and they all made fun of my accent, but it was all good.
I currently am involved with a nonprofit organization based in Oakland called Prospera that helps Latina immigrant women start small businesses using the Cooperativa system and many other situations.
I'm currently involved also with the Eastside High School Project, and I interview with their high school students, and I help prepare them for job opportunities.
And, yeah, and then I'm always open to talking to people who are job hunting.
I'm still present in the student association at HASS, so I'm part of the diversity committee and the alumni association.
Yeah, so I always try to pay it forward whenever possible. You sound like a great role model for people that are looking for things to do or to help pay it forward.
I don't know if I would call myself a role model, but I will take that as a compliment.
It is a compliment. We've heard bits and pieces about your journey, your professional journey.
I think people might be curious to hear about how you first heard about Klausler.
I was in – when I was in Berkeley, I did a trip as part of a class that we had that was called Seminar in International Business, right?
And during that class, I met one of the – I was the TA, the GSI, in other words, basically teacher's assistant or graduate student instructor.
And I met one of the engineers at Klausler that was with us on the trip, and he told me, oh, I work at a very technical company called Klausler.
At the time, he said, oh, they deliver X percent of the traffic of the Internet, but I did not know the name at the time.
So when I came back from Brazil, I looked at LinkedIn, and I saw that they were hiring someone who spoke Portuguese.
And my first reaction was, there is no way I could get a job in this company because I don't have a super technical background.
But I talked to a couple people, and they were like, well, you should still interview, see where it goes.
And here I am, and I'm glad I made that decision. I'm so glad you did too, and so are our LATAM clients.
Awesome. Well, thanks for answering all of my set of professional questions.
I'm going to move on to the personal questions.
And I wanted to take a moment to remind everyone, if you have any questions for Candice, you can email the host at livestudio at klausler.tv.
So tell us a little bit about your younger self.
Where were you born? What was your childhood like?
What was your hometown like? What are some of your fondest childhood memories?
Yes, I was born in the northeast of Brazil at a city called Natal, which is known as the city of the sun, because it's sunny over 300 days a year.
And it's funny because whenever you say you're from Brazil, people think of Rio and Sao Paulo and Carnival and soccer, and it's very different.
The northeast of Brazil is a lot more conservative, very different from what you would expect of Brazil in general.
So I grew up with, I was very lucky, I grew up with, my father is American and he is kind of a feminist.
So in a conservative part of Brazil, I grew up with a feminist father.
And my mom also was super empowering from the get go. So that was, I think that was a life changing situation.
And I think on top of that, my parents had a company when I was, my father was in the Peace Corps.
That's how he moved to Brazil.
And he started a company that shipped fruit and vegetables from the northeast of Brazil to Europe.
And when I was about eight years old, that company went bankrupt and we lost everything, and we had to move to a bigger city.
And that was another life changing situation. So I think those are some of the things that come to mind when you ask me about my childhood.
I think I kind of always knew that I wanted to move to the United States, that I wanted to have more opportunities.
So I think that shaped my decisions. Great. Well, thank you for that.
When you were younger, can you tell us what your dream job was? My dream job was to be an anchor woman.
And I practiced that quite a bit. I would look in the mirror and go, Boa noite a todos, which means good night to all.
And practice my whole thing.
I think a few people told me at the time that I had a strong accent from the northeast of Brazil.
And most anchor men and anchor women in Brazil, they have a different type of accent.
So that was a deterrent. But now I really do think that I made the right decision, which was to stick to communications, but not necessarily being an anchor woman.
Great. This gives me a little taste of what it would feel like.
What was the first thing that you bought with your own money?
There are two answers to that.
The first thing that I got with my first salary was just a sweater and a pair of jeans.
So nothing too exciting. The first thing that I bought with any money that I made was, voluntarily or not, a book with lots of pictures.
And the reason that happened was there was this guy selling books in my school when I was a kid.
And my parents said, pick a book, any book. And I picked one that was just pictures.
And my mom said, well, we're not going to buy you a book that's just pictures.
But I don't know if it was intentionally or unintentionally. I accidentally got lipstick on the book.
So the salesperson would no longer take the book back.
And as a punishment, my mom said you need to make money to pay for that book because I'm not paying for it.
So I sold cookies and I thought I had started a great new business.
I thought I was the first person to sell cookies ever. And turns out later on, I found out that my mom was buying all the cookies that she had in her purse.
So she tried to teach me a lesson, but in a very easier way, I guess.
She seems like quite a character. She is. She is quite the character. What's a mistake you've made early in your career and what did you learn from it?
Oh, so many.
I think one that was one that I think I see a lot of people doing this is you.
We often think that if you keep your, keep your head down and you just do, well, just work, just do everything that's needed for your job.
That's enough. That's all you need to do.
And one thing that I realized is that that's great. You definitely need to do the best possible work that you can, but it's also very important how you deliver that work, right?
Because doing the work is great, but in real life, you need to deliver it in a way that will ensure that you get recognition.
And I think, especially as speaking in the Latin flair situation, I think, especially like as Latinas, we think that saying that you did something is almost like, it's almost dirty.
Like you should not say that you did this great work, but yes, you should.
So I think that was a mistake that I made was just keeping my head down and thinking that, that that wasn't off.
And I think that now I know that you do need to go out there and, and, and deliver the work in a way that it's seen.
I think that's interesting. I don't think it's a unique to just a Latina experience, but probably all across the board of all backgrounds.
I can speak for myself too.
100% agree. Yep. Next question is what advice would you give to your college graduate self?
Buy toilet paper.
That would be a good economic advice. And then the second one would probably be, be confident, be confident.
Cause I think I always thought that being confident meant that you're not humble.
And that's not true. I think you can be aware of areas of opportunities of areas where you can improve and, and be aware of the fact that you by yourself will not do it all.
You need other people to help you.
And it's a good thing that you need other people to help you, but it's okay to say that you're good at something.
It's okay to admit that you're good at something and you kind of have to, I think that was, that was something that I wish I had known and worked on early on.
And I think for a lot of us, that's almost like a muscle that you have to exercise.
That's that's some faking that goes into it, but it definitely helps with time.
Fake it till you make it or face it till you make it.
Yes, exactly. I think those are, those go, those go hand to hand. Right.
And I think you did a very great job today of explaining what you're good at without sounding cocky, you know, with your background.
So I think you're doing great.
What is a professional skill that you are currently working on? I am, so I speak Portuguese natively because that's my first language and I speak English because I've been living here for a long time and I kind of speaks, I speak Spanish, but I don't speak Spanish as well as I speak Portuguese or English.
So I'm, I'm working on my Spanish.
I would like to get that to a point that I can have a 100% professional conversation with you in Spanish and not have to ask you, how do you say that?
And I think that's one of the things that I'm working on right now. I'm taking lessons and I'm trying to practice every day.
And on top of that, one thing that's a little more subjective is basically how you can, this is an ongoing challenge I think is how you can be assertive and at the same time be warm, like be assertive to the point that you come across as confident and you can get closer to your goals, but at the same time you're warm and you understanding of people and you can forge important relationships with people, right?
Sure. That's a great example.
Constant professional development. Yeah. It's definitely one that's harder to measure, but it's very helpful.
I imagine you can ask people for feedback too.
Yes, always. Feedback is always, and feedback can be painful by the way.
That's one thing that I realized is it's, it's hard to ask people like, how did I do?
What could I do better? Because all of a sudden our, our, um, I was, our response is like, Oh no, I, I did that because of this and that.
But there's a great book that I read that's called mindset, mindset, I think mindset that basically teaches you that if you have a growth mindset, the more feedback you get, the better you can get.
Right. Yeah. Excellent. Uh, input. I'm going to inject some humor into our questions.
Uh, tell, can you tell us a fun work story? Now it's fun at the time when this happened was not fun.
But when I first moved here from Brazil, I got a job at Nordstrom and one of my, actually, I think it was my first, first week at work, someone called asking for Eileen Fisher.
And at the time I heard that and I was like, Oh, um, I'm sorry.
I, I, I, we don't have someone of that name here in the team.
And then later on, I found out that that was one of the top selling designers.
So now I can look back and laugh at it. But at the time I just felt, well, maybe I should not be in this line of work.
Cultural nuances, but also fashion industry nuances.
Yes. Yes. Uh, I learned a lot.
Uh, great. So I know, uh, Gabby mentioned, we're doing a bit of recruiting at Cloudflare and I, I believe you're helping your team with interviewing candidates.
Hopefully this question will help any future candidates in their interview process.
Can you tell me, uh, what the top characteristics you look for are in CSM candidates and what are your biggest pet peeves while interviewing?
So I love this question.
I think many times people answer this question with these requirements that are very hard to achieve and, and, and it's not super helpful because they're not things that people can go on and work right away.
But I will tell you the things that for me are very important.
I think anyone can work on this, but they're extremely valuable.
So the first one is, I think you need to be a go getter.
I think our product is changing every day, right? We get, we get updates daily, hourly about new features, about improvements.
So in order to be successful at Cloudflare, and I think especially as a CSM because you're facing customers every, every minute, right?
You need to be able to go out and seek answers, go above and beyond to try to find those answers.
So I think if you are someone who is used to waiting for things to come to you, probably not the best role for you.
But I think if you were someone who is, who is used to researching and going out and looking for information, it is, it is a great role.
So I would say definitely this kind of go getter attitude, you know, like going above and beyond to get information.
I think that's one of the, one of the main things.
The second one I would say good with interpersonal relationships.
And again, it's something that we can all work on.
It is very important as a CSM because we are communicating with an engineer, with a salesperson, with the product team, with the marketing team, with the events team.
So we need to be able to, not just that superficial relationship. They're like, hi, good to meet you.
This is my business card. But like the deeper relationship that you actually understand what is important for Anna, like how, how will I be able to really help her?
How can I communicate this to her in a way that she will understand this better?
What are, what will bother her that I need to really work on to make sure that we, that does not happen.
Right. So these are some things that I think are really important going above and beyond to, to look for information and to being good with interpersonal relationship and cross -functional interactions.
And I think anybody, not just a CSM, that would be a good trait for across the board for all departments.
Definitely. Definitely. And you mentioned, you mentioned that I almost forgot to answer the second part of your question, which was what are, what is your pet peeve, right?
With interviewing people.
I think it's as someone who went through so much to get a, to get to a point of my career that I, that I'm very happy in a company that I, that I really love and I have job that I really love.
I've had to prepare a lot for, for interviews.
And I do know that when people come in and they, they haven't done their homework, they haven't done the research.
That really shows through because Cloudflare is not a company that you can just go in and guess the answers.
It's not, you know, you really need to do the work for us to, to, to have a productive interview.
So I think my biggest pet peeve is if someone comes in and has not done their, their homework and preparing for that interaction.
Excellent advice. Speaking of advice, what's the best advice you were given and who was it from?
Ooh, this is not necessarily career oriented.
It's more personal, I think. But when I, I told you the story about when our company closed, right?
For bankruptcy. And at the time, my dad, who is, you know, one of the people that I admire the most in the world said, we can, you can, we can lose our money.
We can lose our houses, which we did at the time, but we can lose all this.
But what's in your mind and what's in your heart is something that nobody will ever be able to take from you.
And I know that that sounds very cheesy, but when you are facing that situation and you were learning by doing it, it was very powerful.
And it really, it really stuck with me.
I think the situation that we're living now should remind us all of that, right?
We're all very vulnerable. I don't care how much money you make. I don't care how many bedrooms you have in your house.
We, we all are vulnerable to bigger things.
And if you are not able to, to emotionally and intellectually hold your, yourself accountable for things, that's a big vulnerability.
That's harder to overcome, right?
Right. Your father sounds like a very wise person. He is. All right. Another funny question.
The answer to that last one ended up not being very funny. It was a really great, appropriate answer.
I loved it. I think it was very helpful for anybody listening.
Thank you. So the funny one. Okay. Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Oh, I, I would, I would probably choose Jennifer Lawrence to play me.
It would, it would most definitely be Amy Schumer. I love Amy Schumer. I could see, I could see Amy Schumer playing me.
Great comedian. Who inspires you and why? At the risk of, of being repetitive.
I think my dad more than, more than anyone. He, he's someone who moved to Brazil as part of the Peace Corps.
He helped people grow fruit and vegetables in Brazil.
He is always been someone who, if he wanted to, he could have been super wealthy and made a lot of money, but instead he dedicated his life to, to bringing people up with him.
So I think him. Yeah. I think being able to not to say that money doesn't matter.
I'm not going to be hypocritical and say that I do not care about money at all, but I think that that itself cannot make you fulfilled.
And I think my dad always took that to heart. Right. That's always been his motto.
And I, I hope to, to be able to pass along some of what I, some of what I learned from him, which is basically bring other people up with you and integrity.
I think what you do when no one else is watching is so extremely valuable and more than anything.
So I, I think that, that, that's why I see him as, as, as my idol.
You know, I think he'd be a good idol for me too. All right. And after this madness is over, I will take you out for dinner with my dad.
That sounds amazing.
All right. Some more humor. Can you tell us an embarrassing story?
I hear you have a good one for us. This is tragic. It's, this is tragic. When I first moved to the United States, I going back a little bit, I grew up in a farm, right?
So we had a lot of milk and fresh produce. So very lucky that way. When I moved to the United States, I kept on with my tradition of drinking glasses of milk every single day.
And what I like a couple months in, I was staying with my aunt at the time who has been like an angel, an angel for me.
She, she came up to me and, and I was super happy at that time with American milk because I was, Oh my God, American milk is so sweet.
So creamy. It's the best. And my, my aunt said, Oh, I'm going to the supermarket to, to buy half and half.
And I'm surprised why we're running out of half and half so quickly.
And I'm like, what is, what is half and half?
So turns out I had been drinking half and half by the glass, thinking that was 50% fat free milk and 50 % regular milk.
Not a great idea when you're trying to lose weight people, not, do not replace milk with half and half in your diet.
Sounds like another cultural nuance. Yes. It, I mean, I never thought that someone would intentionally mix half cream with half milk on purpose, right?
So I learned something else.
Like I said, like alone is more sex as you live, you learn.
And I think we have one or two more questions before we move to the audience Q and A on a non-work level.
What is something you're really good at? I think I'm an, I'm an amazing daughter.
I think I'm a really, really good daughter. Yeah. I think that's not really work related, but I think I'm a really good daughter.
Well, it sounds like you have great parents.
So you guys are made for each other.
I will tell you, I do. I'm, I, I will tell you that I think I'm really good at dad jokes.
I tell a lot of dad jokes before meetings at work, but if you ask me one right now, I won't be able to come up with one.
So I'll add that as a, as an additional, additional ability.
Well, I'll wait for them to come. On a non-work level again, what is something you're really bad at?
Oh my God.
There are so many things. I think I'm, I think I'm for, well, one thing that I'm, that I'm noticing right now is I'm really bad at disconnecting.
I just cannot, I just cannot go to sleep when I know there are things that need to be done or I just cannot just turn off my computer over the weekend when I absolutely have things that I should be paying attention to.
So I think that's definitely something that I could, that I could get get much better at.
And I think on a non -professional side, I'm a horrible singer, which is extremely sad for someone who sings in the showers, doing the dishes.
It's just, it's just not a pretty thing for my neighbors.
As long as you enjoy it. I do.
I actually really, really, if there was a mute button that you could press on my singing, that would be a great button.
All right. Well, we're going to end our planned questions there.
And I'm going to ask Gabby to join us, our Latin Flair SF co-lead.
It looks like she's probably collected some questions and she's going to moderate the audience Q&A.
Yeah. Thanks so much for submitting your questions. And quick reminder that you can still email them in by emailing livestudio at CloudflareTV.
So the first question that we have Candice is as an immigrant who grew up with English as their first language, I'm sorry, who did not grow up with English as their first language.
Do you have any insecurities with communication?
And then part two is how do you cope with these thoughts or insecurities?
Do I have any insecurities?
I think we all have insecurities. I think, I think I had them much worse in the past.
I had them to a point that it was paralyzing and compromised my own performance, my own ability to speak up on my behalf.
But I've learned that.
And I think I learned that during my MBA a lot too was when I first got into school and I saw all these people around me that had gone to the top, I, you know, to Ivy league schools and worked at these large tech companies.
And, and I, I looked at my background and I was like, what am I doing here?
Like we're all familiar with imposter syndrome.
And I learned that the first week I was the most shy person ever.
I did not, you know, raise my hand or I did not share anything because I, I felt that that would be a waste of people's times.
I was like, well, I have all these super smart people around me.
Why am I going to share this with them?
Because I probably should learn more from them. But it turns out that when you, you have an unusual background, right?
Like you go through a lot of obstacles, a lot of things that most people don't, a lot of people don't have to go through.
So when you go through those things, I think you develop a certain sensibility to things and, and a unique point of view.
And if you are in a room, you are there because you overcame a lot of obstacles that a lot of people didn't.
So you should speak up.
And that's how I started talking myself into raising my hand. Like I always, I think even at Cloudflare, right?
Like I think at Cloudflare, we have extremely smart people.
Rarely, if ever I'm the smartest individual in a room. And one of the best advice that I got is if you are the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room, right?
So we're always in the right room at Cloudflare because there are super smart people all the time.
But even if, if you are in a room with intimidating people, that does not mean that your question is any less valuable, that your point is any less valuable, right?
Your unique point of view as an underrepresented minority, as someone who has an accent or someone who came from another country, your unique point of view will bring a new color into the conversation.
So that's what I, that's what I tell myself. And I've, and I will tell you as intimidating, as intimidating as it can be to do that, I've been able to see a positive response in, in 99.99% of the interactions that I've had.
People are usually very understanding and welcoming of your point of view.
So that would be, that would be my, my, my trick.
My advice to people is basically try to, try to focus on the things that you've already overcome to remind yourself that your voice is very valuable, especially the times that we're living right now.
Yeah, I think that that's such an amazing perspective to have and, and really just gives individuals those confidence that you were talking about to be able to voice their concerns and bring their unique ideas to the forefront.
So kind of on this similar thread, another question that we got is any advice for Latinas trying to grow within a sales organization in the LATAM market specifically?
Yes. I think assertiveness, you know, I mentioned that assertiveness was one of the hardest things to work on, like being assertive, assertive while still being warm and kind and understanding of people.
I think it's that it's basically, how do you come across as confident and how do you, how you are assertive enough to, to make yourself, make yourself important in a, in an organization when you're in sales because sales requires assertiveness and, and for a lot of people that does not come naturally.
So my, my main advice is one, imposter syndrome is real and we all have it.
I've talked to a lot of super successful people and, and one of the, one of the most amazing traits that I've seen in the best leaders, the one that I admire the most is vulnerability.
So you can be assertive and you can be confident why you're still being vulnerable.
So I would say that, that, that's definitely one of the main things.
The second one, I would say knowledge, I think doing a lot of research, I think especially in tech, right?
Because in a company like Cloudflare, if you are selling our product, you need to be able to speak about the different features, to speak about the different products and to answer the different questions.
So I think that's another very, very important aspects, aspect do your research.
I think between those two things, being confident and being prepared with the information will, will set you apart.
I think one thing that, again, I, I do not like self -deprecating humor.
Like I've, I've been reminded to not say things like that about myself, but I will tell you, I am not, I'm not someone that you would go, Oh my God, she's like the smartest person I've ever met.
And, but I am very consistent. And I think consistency is something that's not glamorous.
You know, people don't go, Oh my God, congratulations. You do this every day.
This is awesome. But it pays off. Right? So at first you might get one, no, two, no, three no's, 100 no's, but being consistent definitely pays off.
And especially in sales, because a no today could be a for show tomorrow.
Right? Yeah, no, that definitely was very helpful.
So another question that we got actually is kind of related to the charity works that you spoke about.
Just really wanting to get some advice on how you stay involved, especially during this time where, you know, maybe we have to stay inside for compromise, you know, and just really, just some advice on how to give back to the community.
Yeah. I think even though I, I am, I consider myself part of an underrepresented minority group being a Latino, having moved here from Brazil, I still see a lot of privilege in how I grew up and in how I, how I ended up where I am right now.
And, and, and, and I definitely am in a strong position now to help other people.
And I think that the advice that I, the advice that I would say, and what I think we all need to keep our minds open to is there is no playbook.
If there was ever a playbook, it's crashed and it's burned at this point, right?
We are all learning how, how to help other people.
And we're all learning how to give back again, because things have changed dramatically.
Right? So I can tell you that I'm paralyzed at this point.
I, I, I get to, I get, I get to certain points that I just don't know how else I can be helpful, how else I can speak up on behalf of people that, that need help that don't have much of a voice at this time.
And I think basically doing something is the best thing you can do, right?
If you have money and you don't have time to engage that much, just donate.
If you don't have money, but if you don't have money, but you have time, help people talk to someone over the phone, help that person coaching with a job interview or submit a recommendation letter or, or clean, whatever you can do.
What I think kindness can manifest in so many different ways.
And I go back to many, many times in, in, in my career and in my personal life that it came from very unusual places.
I remember I gave you a very unusual and unexpected encouragement that I got back in the day when I work at Nordstrom, I was, I was folding jeans and selling clothes for, for more than one year.
And, and, and, and when I would tell people, Oh, I want to get an MBA and I want to go to this school and I want to work with the, and I could see some people like, Oh, cute.
And then smile. But, but a couple of times I met with people that they're like, well, I can tell you're extremely smart and they would encourage me.
And I think giving that kind of encouragement, even though that person probably will never remember that interaction, goes a long way.
So I think that's, that's my advice. I think I, I, I struggle with that. I try to stay involved with, with nonprofit organizations and, and I always feel like I'm not doing as much as I should.
I was on the board of a nonprofit until recently.
Now I'm, I'm involved as an advisor. And as much as I, I try, I always feel like it's not enough, but it's something right.
It's, it's not enough, but it's something.
And so I would say, choose something. It's the only, only advice that I can give is do something.
I like how you kind of brought it back to every day.
And like, I think people really do forget sometimes that the everyday interactions that we have with individuals can really have a meaningful impact on them.
Yeah. Yeah. I think, I think there's smaller things are easily overlooked because no one is watching, but they make a big difference.
So kind of taking it back to, you know, when you were 18, one question that we got was any interview advice that you would give your 18 year old self, or maybe somebody who's just just entered the job market, however, that was for you.
For job interview advice.
I think, I think those. One very important one that I think it took me a while to learn.
And I think a lot of people don't take that into consideration is an interview should always go both ways.
I think when you really need a job and that's the case in most, most cases we really need a job, right?
So we're, we're desperate. We're just go, yeah, I'll say, I'll say, yes, I'll say, I'll give you the answer that, that I think you, you want to hear, but it should go both ways.
You should also be interviewing the other person to make sure that that job that job is right for you.
I think that's one of the first things that I would ask myself and I will, I will go even further and I'll say that that's a privilege.
I do recognize that I was not able to, to realize that I was not able to interview someone during a job interview until much later on in my life, because in my first few, few years, like five years in this country, I was just, please give me a job.
I, you know, like I will, I will answer yes and I'll do it. I'll wait. I'll give you the right answers to the questions, but try to interview, try to ask the right questions.
The other, the other, the other piece of advice that I would give is you are your business manager.
You might be very early on in your career, but you need to think about the roles that you're taking on and how they will interfere and how they will help you build your later on career.
The reason I say this is because sometimes you get very caught up in small things and we get, Oh, I'm so frustrated of this person.
How do I get, how do I solve this problem? But then you lose track of how this will impact you in the longterm.
So I would definitely say you are the CEO of Gabby Inc, of Anna Inc, of Candace Inc.
And you are the sole responsible for how far you go and how, how you go.
I do realize that there are lots of other factors that play into it.
And I, I, this is kind of like a idealistic vision of things, but I'm trying to focus on things that we can control.
And you can control how you present yourself and the choices that you make.
I think that that was a very inspiring message to those who are entering the job force, whether, you know, it's their first time or for those who unfortunately have had to as a result of COVID.
Also quick plug, we are hiring. So please check out our jobs page.
And with that, I do just want to pass it back to Anna to finish off your Q and A.
Thanks so much guys for the question. Great. Thanks Gabby.
Gabby is the best voiceover. She should be doing voiceovers on top of her CSM job.
I'm available for hire. Quick plug in. I really like that last line of being your own CEO.
Great. We're going to top it off with some lightning round questions.
Ready? Yes, let's do it. Let's go. Dogs or cats? Dogs. Bike or scooter? I can't ride either.
That's okay. How do you like your eggs? Scrambled with cheese. Nice.
I love the cheese. What book are you reading now? Think fast, think slow. In Spanish.
That's a challenge.
What's one item that you want to own, but you don't yet? A Bowflex type, so that I no longer have to just dance around the house and then exercise by myself.
Favorite restaurant? Tamarins in my hometown. It's an amazing shrimp restaurant.
Nice. Love shrimp. Favorite city in the world? San Francisco. Favorite movie?
The Notebook. Sorry. It's cheesy, but it's the best. Karaoke go-to song?
The Girl from Ipanema, because no one realizes that I'm murdering the lyrics.
When you're singing it in Portuguese? In Portuguese. A Garota de Ipanema.
All right. Emoji you use most often? LOL. And this is my favorite question and last question for, especially for COVID.
Last Amazon or online purchase? Oh, candles.
Candles for our dining table, so that we can pretend that we're on a date night and order food in.
I love it. Great. Well, that wraps it up for us, Candice.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, with some of your career insights and learning.
We really enjoyed hearing your perspective. Gabby, thank you for leading our audience questions and thank you everyone who's been running Cloudflare TV.
I know it's been so much fun and such a challenge, but we really appreciate you letting us have this platform.
And last but not least, thank you to all of us for supporting by participating in today's event.
Hopefully we see you again in the future in Cloudflare TV or any future Latin Flare events.
CloudFlarians, you can connect with us at Latin Flare in our, with Latin Flare in our chat group, Latin Flare y Amigos.
Folks not at Cloudflare, you can check out our Latin Flare blog. We have many ERGs, ProudFlare, AfroFlare, AsianFlare, ParentFlare, MindFlare, DesiFlare, list goes on.
You can find us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram at Cloudflare.
And last plug again for jobs, you can find jobs at Cloudflare at Cloudflare.com forward slash careers.
Thank you everyone and have a great week. Music.