Q&A: Christina Zuniga from Databricks

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Christina Zuniga from Databricks

Senior Marketing Operations Manager at Databricks and a Fearless 50 Marketer, Christina Zuniga is well, fearless. As a graduate of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, she has recently returned to her old haunt, and volunteers with the organisation, which offers over one million bucks in scholarships annually. Her catchphrase may as well be “bricks and bucks”, but I think we’ll workshop that.

Jobs in Martech are always super layered and complex. Your position is no exception! So to make things a little bit clearer, could you describe your role in five words or less?

MarTech strategy, implementation, execution

What is your biggest martech/ marketing ops gripe? Don’t hold back!

If I take the time to make a How-To Guide or document the process, it is a pet peeve when people don't use those resources and ask me the same questions over and over.

It’s a bit 2008, but do you have a personal mantra?

Aut inveniam viam aut faciam (I will find a way or make one, very loosely translated)

Have there been any women along the way, who have helped you out and supported you?

A ton of women have helped me in my career! One that stands out is a former boss who took me under her wing and taught me so much.

How do you see the martech scene in the Post-Covid days? Apart from everyone going straight to the pub, of course.

Many of the in-person software companies have expanded offerings to include virtual event support, in order to survive COVID restrictions on gatherings. I expect this hybridization of event software and consulting companies will continue as some people will still be reluctant to travel post-COVID.

What are your own plans Post-Covid? Are you looking forward to being back out, or are you enjoying the Netflix binges?

I can't wait to hop on a plane and visit my family.

Do you have any advice for bouncing back from failure or difficulties, especially for young women within the industry?

How you react depends on who you are talking to:

  •  For yourself: people are human and humans make mistakes. It's embarrassing, but be kind to yourself and commit to not making the same mistake twice.
  • -For leadership: have a plan you can refer to showing how you will prevent similar mistakes, this shows you are proactive and turn a bad situation into a good lesson for yourself and others
  • For your team members: be human and show them that mistakes happen but what matters is how you handle it. Share what happened so that they can share their own mistakes and everyone can learn from each other.
  •  For other teams: own your mistake and communicate how you will prevent future errors. This builds trust and respect.

What career advice would you give to your younger self, on how to succeed in marketing and tech?

You are the only advocate for your career. Mentors can help you get to where you want to go, but only if you know what you want to do. Bosses can be fantastic advocates, but only if you ask them to advocate on your behalf.

Your work does not speak for itself, you must speak up for it.

What are your plans for the future? By this I mean what are your upcoming projects, and what are you having for dinner?

I'm at a crossroads in my career and I'm still figuring it out!

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