Tania Srivastava found a love for technology in high school, taking Java and web development classes. It was thrilling, she says, to see her code come to life. Today, as an Enterprise Sales Engineer, Tania helps build relationships with customers and shows them the positive impact Citrix technologies can have throughout their organizations. At Citrix Summit ’19, she won the Demo Warrior competition, a global event that tests an employee’s ability to demo Citrix products. This is the second post in a series about women at Citrix. Meet Carisa here.
What do you like about working in technology?
I like that I get to see the big picture. It’s easy to get bogged down with the details of a sale or project that you’re working on. It’s so cool to take a step back and think about all the people that you can have a positive impact on with the work that you do every day. From a doctor in a hospital, to a reservations agent for an airline, to a field worker for a railroad company, we work in an industry that helps all those people do their jobs more efficiently.
What advice would you give to women trying to build a career in technology?
I started in the tech field with a pretty technical background, but there are people from so many diverse experiences in tech. There is really no baseline for where somebody needs to be when they start. Sometimes women don’t think they can get into the tech industry because they might not have a technical background. But, now more than ever, we need the diverse set of skills they can offer. Also, women should be willing to try all kinds of roles during their careers to understand where they fit in and what they enjoy the most — technical and non-technical roles. There are so many possibilities in technology, and you don’t have to be stuck on one track your entire career. Women can be successful anywhere in the tech industry, especially in a role that they truly enjoy.
What should someone look for in a mentor?
Find somebody you can easily talk to and somebody who sees the potential impact that you can have in your career. Look for someone you can see yourself working with for a long time, even if you don’t work at the same company. And if you want someone to be your mentor, just ask! Official programs are great, but these relationships are best built organically. George Kuruvilla has been my mentor during my entire presales career at Citrix. He’s is constantly pushing me beyond what I think I am capable of, and he understands the positive impact that I can make in this industry. There are so many people that are willing to help and have really great advice, it is up to us to ask for it.
What are some challenges you’ve faced in your career and how you have managed them?
Initially, it was weird being the only woman in a room full of men. It was hard for me to fit into the “bro culture” that exists in some organizations. It took me a while to realize that I really don’t have to fit into that culture. I can still provide value in my role without changing myself to be somebody that I am not. In order to be successful, I focus on being myself, being open with my managers about my strengths and weaknesses, finding support through my mentor, and asking for help when I need it.