What Okta Means to Me
Okta has come a long way in ten years. From just a couple desks in a room to offices all over the world, we would not be the company we are today without our amazing team of builders. Their talent, contributions and commitment to our vision are what’s propelled this company forward.
We spoke to our people about their stories of joining Okta, their experiences and memories of the team and the impact working at Okta has had on their lives.
Watch the video to hear their highlights, and read on to find out more:
Emily Roe, Account Executive When I interviewed at Okta, I was a new mother and older than the average Emerging Account Executive. I had gone back to school to get my degree and worked in software sales through my pregnancy and after my son’s birth, hoping for a new career and the ability to provide for my family. I was concerned since my background wasn’t typical, I might not get the position. Tim Stanford, my boss, told me I was exactly the type of person Okta wanted to hire. Those words meant everything to me.
Sandeep Kumbhat, Master Principal Solutions Architect I remember last year walking into a Tesla showroom with my Okta T-Shirt on. All of the employees approached me, and the first thing they mentioned was that they love Okta and it has changed the way they work. It happened again in Spain last year, when two locals asked, astonishingly, “Do you work at Okta? It’s by far the best security technology we have used.” I wondered, when did I ever hear about a security technology changing people’s lives? This is how profound Okta’s brand is.
Adam Rosenzweig, Program Manager for Nonprofit Success This is my first corporate job after ten years in the social sector. I worked for two Okta customers (both of them nonprofits) before joining the Okta team. In my second week, Eric Kelleher reached out to Okta for Good—totally unprompted—to say that he wanted the entire Professional Services organization to take the 1% Pledge. Working with the PS team to operationalize that offer has been really rewarding, and makes me super proud to be a part of this company.
Liz Kokoska, Sr. Director, Demand Generation, Americas One thing I love about Okta is that I’m challenged and learning on a daily basis and not only feel like I'm making a difference but it's also recognized. IPO day was definitely one for the history books. I had only been here a year and a half at the time, so the joy I found that day was in watching those who had built the company from the ground up celebrating their journey. Plus, Todd sang "Daydream Believers,” which was epic.
David Silverman, Regional Alliances Director, Commercial NA The opportunity to participate in a company’s trajectory from startup to publicly-traded industry leader is one not many individuals get to experience. I recall some of the first All Hands meetings, where Todd laid out his vision for the company, and made clear that some day the meetings would be global and not fit in one room. He asked us to look around and remember this moment. The vision Todd and Freddy painted remained consistent, and I believe strongly that without that firm conviction, we would not be where we are today.
Wils Dawson, Sr. Product Manager As a new graduate, I wanted to work somewhere where I would have the best chance of learning and growing. I was told I would have several "soft questions" in my job interviews, like "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" That was not the case. I had a gruelling technical interview process, which convinced me that Okta was the right place for me to learn and grow my career. Five years and five titles later, I think I've been succeeding at that pretty well.
Sharon F. Azzam, Education Delivery Manager I was a stay-at-home mom for 14 years before returning to work for Okta. In the fall of 2014, I was helping out a friend by working at her apple orchard, making pies and donuts during the day. An old friend reached out to me asking me to return to technical training. Fourteen years off was a crazy long time, but my friend told me not to worry and I applied. I started in January 2015 as a contractor. A year later, I was an Okta employee (a Technical Instructor) and I was teaching at Oktane15 (a lot different from making pies and donuts)! Meeting President Obama at Oktane18 was amazing, hearing Reshma Saujani at Oktane17 was life-changing. I was so inspired that I started my own Girls Who Code club.
Kevin Aghajani, Director of Corporate Sales Prior to Okta I was at a dead end job, in $65k of student and credit card debt, and sleeping on a friend’s floor since I couldn’t afford to rent an apartment or buy a bed. I started at Okta as an SDR and worked my way up to an Enterprise AE, and am now directing our Corporate Sales team. Today, I am completely debt free, I know that I can afford to take care of my family and myself, and let’s just say nights are spent in a proper bed.
Alyssa Smrekar, Chief of Staff to the CMO Okta has been the highlight of my professional career, and I've been saying that for years now. I've had a great opportunity to work closely with our customer advocates and learn from the brightest set of marketers I have ever met. On top of all that, I'm inspired by our leadership team to do my best work. Some of my most memorable moments include celebrating the success of our first-ever user conference in 2013, the launch of Okta for Good, and finding out that President Obama was confirmed to speak at Oktane18.
Nate Barbettini, Product Manager I've always worked for small companies, so working at Okta has been an amazing opportunity to learn how building and selling software works at a large scale. After the acquisition of Stormpath, it was eye-opening to see Okta's sales team turning around former Stormpath customers. It drove home how important the sales motion was, and that Okta had a very strong sales team.
We take great pride in our people at Okta, and we’d like to thank everyone who shared their stories with us. Each one of you has played an active role in making Okta, Okta. As we continue to welcome new faces and take on new projects, we can’t wait to hear about the impact this company has had and will continue to have on you in the years to come.
Want to join us to make an impact in Okta’s next ten years? We’re hiring and would love to hear from you!