Interested in life at Ironclad? Get to know our Cladiators through our weekly employee spotlight, Take 5. This week, meet Mel Wong, Ironclad's first sales hire and a featured panelist in our upcoming event, "The Power of Women in Sales: Navigating Your Career."
Tell us about yourself.
I’ve spent the last six years in B2B sales, but before that my path was a bit non-traditional. After college I traveled Asia and the South Pacific and taught English at an all-boys high school outside of Tokyo. When I moved to San Francisco in 2008, the economy was melting down, but I fell in love with the city and was determined to stay. Law school was a bright spot for me: intellectually it was thrilling to be back in school, and realistically I started to narrow my focus on what I was and wasn’t passionate about. Ironically, I wasn’t so passionate about practicing law, so I joined a small startup and discovered that I was passionate about tech sales.
I attended an Ironclad community event back when the company was a handful of people operating out of a live-work loft in SoMa. At my day job, I’d spend 10 hours a day on the sales floor, so being welcomed into this vibrant, voraciously curious group of people was like breathing cool mountain air after a week in smog.
I saw the product a few weeks later and it was obvious co-founders Jason Boehmig and Cai GoGwilt had conceptualized and built an incredible product. On top of that, they couldn’t have been humbler or more optimistic about the future. I knew I wanted to be a part of their team and lucky for me, I got an early offer to join as the first sales hire.
What's your favorite win so far?
Without a doubt watching my colleagues close their first deals at Ironclad.
Who inspires you?
The US Women’s National Soccer Team’s fight for equal pay.
What career advice do you have for your younger self?
Max out your 401k every year. Seriously, just do it.
Have the courage to be imperfect. Too often we fall into the scary loop of self-doubt, worrying the one thing we did or said will not only destroy our career, but reveal us as unworthy of it in the first place. The lie that we’re unworthy keeps so many of us in those loops.
The challenge we face is how to break through them while embracing who we are. I’ve found good tools for ways to do this in Brene Brown’s work on vulnerability and Kim Scott’s “Radical Candor.”
What's the last book you've read?
“On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” by Ocean Vuong and “Smart Women Finish Rich” by David Bach.
What's something that most people would be surprised to know about you?
I was a Junior Olympian in track and field, and I have a killer throwing arm.
When you're not at work, you are ____?
In Oakland, tinkering on the 100-year-old craftsman bungalow I share with my husband, my daughter, and my rescue mutt, Radley.
Want to work with Mel? We're hiring! For more perspectives on life at Ironclad, check out our previous interviews with Antonio Perez (Legal Engineer), Stacey Wang (Product Marketer), Natalie Stam (Engineer), and Damon Mino (VP of Sales).