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Tanuja Paruchuri

What does a ‘day-in-the-life’ of a Sr. Program Manager Sales Onboarding and Commercial Sales Enablement at GitLab consist of?

The thing I love most about my job is that everyday is different! We’re coming up with solutions to new challenges everyday. But, to give you the overall gist of what my day-to-day looks like, here goes! I usually start my day around 6a. After my morning stuff, I take a 3 mile walk, come home and shower.

My workday starts around 8 or 9a depending on the day. Typically, my day starts with meetings – I have 1:1s with my manager, many of my teammates, and my cross-functional stakeholders. If I’m running a Sales Training cohort that week, my training sessions usually start in the morning in partnership with our Sales Training Facilitator, John. He does all the teaching while I take care of all the logistics and background work – scheduling subject matter experts, grading, Zoom logistics (or if we’re in-person I deal with our venue contacts), curriculum design and more).

Of course, I can’t forget about lunch (though honestly, sometimes I do) – so I take a break to eat.

In the afternoon, I focus on executing on the extra work I picked up during my meetings and I’ll be honest, sometimes I need a nap, so I take one! That’s the beauty of working for a company that allows you to work from home and promotes asynchronous working! On the days I take a nap, I usually end up working in the evenings for a couple of hours. But, after I’m done with work for the day, I work out for about an hour, then I shower and eat if I’m hungry.

At night, I sometimes watch TV, sometimes I paint, or sometimes I do diamond art! I need to do something different to disengage and relax. It’s really tempting when you work from home and don’t have family responsibilities to continue working. I know that sounds crazy, but when you enjoy what you do, it comes with the territory! Force yourself to take some time off – it will benefit you down the road.

Pre-COVID, I was traveling for work quite a bit – about 1-2 weeks a month. I could have split the travel up amongst my team, but like I said, no family obligations here, so I took full advantage of being able to travel! During my tenure here at GitLab since August of 2019, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Dallas, Phoenix, Raleigh, Nashville, Las Vegas, Vancouver (Canada) and San Antonio. I was also able to take some vacations to Houston (I am from Houston, but live in Denver now), Dallas, Grand Mesa (Western Colorado), Breckenridge, South Dakota and Nebraska (for some National Parks). Before COVID, I was also scheduled to go to Barcelona, Prague, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, and St. Louis for work – sadly none of those trips will be happening this year.

As you can tell, I love my job and the freedom of being able to work from home – it can get really busy at times and the other night I stayed up for a QBR (quarterly business review) as a part of my role with the EMEA (Europe) and APAC (Asia) regions from 1a-7a. That was pretty hard, but overall it’s fun and I enjoy what I do!

What advice would you give someone considering this career?

The best advice I can give to someone considering this career or ANY career would be to work hard. Smarts are great, but you can learn most things. Nothing can replace hard work. Work hard and hone your skills is what I would suggest. For something like I do with Sales Onboarding, it’s really helpful to be good with people. Learn how to network, become confident in your abilities and skills and be easy to talk to (in order for people to trust you and like you, it’s important to be easy to be around – big surprise!). As far as more technical skills go, taking courses in instructional design, psychology, learning styles, adult learning/education and others can be really helpful. I took one college course in psychology, but otherwise, I don’t have formal education in the other skills I’ve listed above. I will likely eventually get a certification in instructional design and adult learning, but for now, my experience in Sales Enablement is enough.

Another piece of advice for any career you want to pursue in life – I highly recommend reading. I don’t do it nearly enough, but you learn so much about language, history, stories, and people through books. Whether you read traditional paper books or listen to audiobooks (like I do most of the time these days), consume as much as you possibly can. It’ll make you smarter and more interesting.

What is a book or movie that has inspired you?

The Go-Giver is an EXCELLENT book that has inspired me both in my career and in my personal life. It focuses on prioritizing giving above all else and aligns perfectly with my spiritual values. I highly recommend anyone with an interest in business and/or entrepreneurship read this book. Actually, everyone should read this book. Go get it on Amazon right now!

I also really enjoyed the movie Joy. It was very inspiring!

Do you (or your company) offer internships or job shadow opportunities to high school students? If so, how would a student go about applying for one of those?

Honestly, I’m not sure if we have internships available. I highly recommend checking out the careers page on our website (it’s updated to account for our hiring freeze, but we are still hiring for backfills and some priority positions).

If you’re not already familiar with GitLab, I highly recommend you Google the GitLab Handbook. Because of our company value of Transparency, most of our company policies and internal content is online. What’s great about that is that you can go in, see what positions are available and figure out what salary range you’d be in and what benefits we offer even before you apply for the job. And I’m not talking about what most companies do to market their company – putting a few snippets of what they offer online, rather you get very detailed write-ups of everything we offer to our employees. As you begin your career, it’s VERY IMPORTANT to do research on various positions so you know you’re getting paid fairly and that your benefits align with other companies in your industry. Personally, I know as I was interviewing that I could have gotten paid a little more for my skill set, but it was very important for me to be remote, have unlimited paid vacation, and be able to live anywhere I wanted. So because of those requirements, I settled for a little less in salary. Figure out what you’re willing to negotiate on and work on getting what you want.

Also because of our Transparency value, feel free to reach out to me if you’re interested in doing a virtual job shadow – I’m happy to be the person you shadow or set you up with someone in a field you’re interested in. Since most things are public anyway, I think our company would be happy to participate in some job shadows!

Tanuja Paruchuri

Tanuja a persistent, results-oriented global project and program manager with over 10 years of tech industry experience leading people and workflows to effectively optimize products and processes for the end user. Her relationship building is unsurpassed for strong collaboration and better results internally and externally. She has the keen ability to maximize sales operations for higher profits and customer satisfaction, and has extensive experience working virtually and remotely. Companies she’s worked for include The Coca-Cola Company, CEB/Gartner, Blackboard, Zillow, and now GitLab. Tanuja also took 2 years off from the corporate world to focus on building her business, Love Bites by Tanuja, which was a Paleo food business created out of her love for healthy living. When she’s not working, Tanuja enjoys hiking, hanging out with friends, artwork, planning community events and cooking and eating.