Hello Siara, please tell us about your journey from being a Marketing and Operations Coordinator at Novum Industries to becoming the Head of Digital Marketing at Autodesk.

Siara

Thank you so much for the opportunity. Yes, I think I had always known I would be in marketing from a very young age. After I entered my career through Novum, I continued on a quest in that job, and each one after that to learning about marketing trends and innovations and all the facets of marketing from brand to online. Those lead to opportunities to grow the breadth of my skills, which has led me to where I am today.

Being a leader, have you ever been a victim of gender bias at your workplace? If yes, how do you think we can make equality a priority? 
Siara

Yes, I have. I think ensuring you are educated about the types of discriminatory or biased behavior is extremely important, so you can begin to address those issues either directly (some people don’t even know they are doing that!) or through the proper internal channels. Aligning with leaders and mentors outside of your direct reporting channel can provide an excellent opportunity for neutral insights, coaching, and guidance if you encounter difficult situations. Each individual is different, as are the companies they, so the approach to tackling equality must also be customized accordingly. 

Who do you think are your biggest competitors in the industry and how do you differ from them?
Siara

We have a lot of competitors. Autodesk software spans several industries, from engineering to motion picture animation. In each sector, we have a different set of competitors. Still, as a company, Autodesk strives to differentiate itself from competitors through its offerings and workflow integrations to its digital practice to help customers purchase more online. The most significant differentiating factor would be Autodesk’s quest for digital excellence in my immediate area, which has customer and business insights at its core.

What is the most innovative product/service/project you have worked on till now? What has set it apart from the others? 
Siara

The most innovative project I’ve been on (and continue to be on) is to help Autodesk grow and innovate in its quest for digital excellence. Autodesk has attracted and onboarded critical talent from across many industries, which are part of teams working cross-functionally to develop a complete MarTech/Insights ecosystem. This site optimizes based on the customer insights we gain and improves our omnichannel marketing tactics. As marketing technology and practices are always changing, it’s exciting to see how marketers will leverage newer approaches and tech for the future.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, work from home has become the new normal. What was your hack to manage your teams and improve performances during the crisis?
Siara

My team is global – so most of the folks were meeting on zoom anyway, and for us, not much has changed outside of not being able to meet in person on some cadence for planning. 

Aside from meeting in-person, the more massive challenge for us today is handling an increased meeting workload. We’re all finding that commute times now have meetings booked during those slots, and this is resulting in much more extended workdays. Adding to that, normal hallway conversation has also been replaced by a zoom meeting. 

To help avoid burnout, I have regular check-ins with my team and ensure they are taking time off. In addition to that, Autodesk is encouraging us to reimagine the workplace. Our CMO has mandated meetings be only 45 minutes- and the remaining 15 minutes be used for personal needs (helping kids who are also at home) or a “hallway” conversation via slack and not zoom. We will need to reimagine some of the tools we use at work differently to help ensure workers aren’t frustrated and overwhelmed.

How would you define your communication style? Do you prefer to be close to your employees or maintain a healthy distance, and why?
Siara

I have a personal relationship with each person on my team, and I make it a point to talk about non-work related items often. I prefer to be close to my employees because I feel understanding them on a personal level helps me know what they need from me as a manager, or from the team structure to help them be more productive.

Apart from work, what all you are passionate about? Please share your hobbies with us.
Siara

I love to cook and garden, so you can often find me experimenting with cuisines from all around the world or planting veggies & exotic plants.

Lastly, any advice for the budding entrepreneurs, or words of wisdom for our readers?
Siara

Try to experiment with as many ideas as possible through your career – both work and personal because that exposure will help you find your passion. Your passion will carry you through all the twists and turns of life.

Oishee Mukherjee is a blogger, published author of 2 books, and a full-time content writer. She has worked for various industries like entertainment, technology, finance, sports, social, and digital media to name a few. Her educational background includes graduation in English Literature and an MBA in Media & Communications, which has taught her the power of storytelling that she implements to bring out the voice of the brands she works for.

Posted in Interviews By Oishee Mukherjee   Date October 12, 2020

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