The impact of events on organizations can sometimes be lost on people who are not in the trenches day-to-day. It can impact customers, consumers, media perception and the bottom line for the company hosting the event. Often times people don’t realize the amount of work and manpower dedicated to putting together a flawless event for its attendees. Rebecca Haugen, a marketing associate at Okta, lives and breathes customer events on behalf of the Okta team and her journey into marketing is an interesting one. We recently sat down with Rebecca to learn more about her journey, marketing and her skills in the kitchen.
What do you do at Okta? Tell us about your role.
I initially started doing Field Marketing for Okta and then switched to Customer Marketing during Oktane13. To be honest, I didn’t really fully grasp what a user conference was at the time. The first time I saw the stage, it was overwhelming! Now, I work on all of Okta’s customer events, run ancillary programs for Oktane, customer advisory boards and help manage user groups regionally. It’s funny because now that I’ve been on the team longer than any of our current members, I’ve been called the “Okta knowledge queen.” If you have a totally random question, I can probably help you figure it out.
What first attracted you to the company?
I actually went to culinary school and went from a baker to marketing at a tech company. My cousin worked as a marketing contractor at Okta and set up a meeting for me with her manager. It was an interesting change, but the more I learned about the company, the more I was attracted to its culture. If you tell anyone about the essence of our products, the response is usually, “I want that, it would make my life so much easier!” I’ll never forget when the company was doing an all-hands meeting while I was still just a temp and as I was exiting the room, Todd told me that I should stay and listen. I started attending the all-hands meetings each week thereafter and it really made me feel like I was a part of the team before even being officially hired. The company’s transparency during those meetings really struck a chord with me.
What’s most rewarding about your role?
The customer interaction - getting to be close and know our customers by name. I’ve been here for so long now that I know a lot of the customers well. It’s always touching when a customer reaches out and says, “my position is changing” or “I’m leaving my current company” and they write me a personal email. It really shows that they valued the relationship. I also love seeing an event like Oktane come together. We’ve been working on Oktane16 for months and it seems like we work on it year-round. You put so much time and effort into it, so seeing all the pieces fit together is an amazing feeling.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Baking and cooking! My favorite Sunday activity is rolling my sleeves up in the kitchen. I’m a huge foodie in general, so will also eat out any chance I get. I also love hiking Redwood regional park which is pretty much my backyard in the Oakland Hills, and will never pass up an opportunity to go sailing in the Bay with my family.
If you could define Okta in one word, what would it be?
Inspiring. Not only the company, but the people who work here. Everyone at Okta has a common goal, is dedicated and works hard. It inspires you to work harder each day and really love what you’re doing.
Think you might have what it takes to join our growing team? We want to meet you. Check out our careers page for available positions.