How to Succeed at a High Growth Company

Collibra is the enterprise software company that helps business users find, trust, and understand their data. Founded in 2008 and backed by top-tier venture capital investors Iconiq Capital, Index Ventures, and Battery Ventures, Collibra has offices across NYC, Belgium, The UK, and Poland. Collibra is doubling year-over-year, and serves large enterprise organizations such as Dell EMC, Wells Fargo, and Verizon.

Meet top companies, like Collibra in-person at our epic networking night, Hustle Summit and check out their job openings here.

Want to learn what it’s like working in a rapidly growing “scale-up” company? We asked members of the Collibra (Hustle Summit employer) team-Head of Global Talent Acquisition, Cody Schrotel, Chief People Officer, Jarlath Doherty, HR Business Partner, Dana Bishara, Talent Acquisition – US, Carly Reasner, and Senior Director of Field Operations, Tom Murtaugh- what it takes to land and crush an entry-level position and working in sales and tech at Collibra.


What are the top reasons to join a high-growth company?

Rapid growth means there’s more opportunity for personal growth! Your personal contribution is felt and known, and you can see your impact on the business.

In order to maintain this growth, Collibra is constantly reinventing and improving itself… You have an opportunity to be a part of each reinvention, and learn an incredible amount over a condensed period of time.


What advice do you have for candidates interested in working at a high growth start up like Collibra?

It’s important to do your research on the company and make sure it’s an opportunity you can get excited about. If you’re going to pour yourself into the work, you have to love what you do, the vision you’re working toward, and the people you’re doing it with.

Ask about the team, the company’s culture, and working hours so you have realistic expectations. In high-growth companies, everyone is usually contributing to multiple jobs and each person serves as a critical part of the whole. Sometimes, this means that intense bursts of work can happen over periods of time. If that’s the case, you should know upfront what you’re signing up for. If you’re the type of person who is satisfied with a 9-5 job and isn’t motivated by rising to a challenge, high-growth companies may not be the right environment for you.

The amazing thing about companies at our stage, is a lot of time we’re figuring things out together. You have guidance from leadership who’s done it before, but it’s up to you to figure it out and bring it together. Do you gravitate toward a challenge, or shy away from the unknown? In order to be successful here, you have to keep working through obstacles toward your goal.

Also, the ability to be resourceful and creative is critical. You must be able to proactively help yourself rather than waiting for the info to come to you. A lot of the work is being done for the first time, so there isn’t usually someone before you who has defined the clear path to success.


Team Week Go-Kart Race

Team Week Go-Kart Race


How do you decide if this is the right environment for you? What are skills you should have coming into a role at Collibra and what are some skills you can expect to learn?

You have to know yourself, and know what makes you tick to be certain. Do you view ambiguity as opportunity, and are you willing to figure things out on your own? If you make a mistake, are you willing to brush it off and try again? Are you able to look around you and figure out a solution, even without all of the information or tools? Do you collaborate and seek the opinion of others while you’re building? If so, this may be the right environment for you.

Coming in to Collibra, you should have excitement, enthusiasm, and an insatiable thirst for contributing, wherever and however. You should have an open mind and embrace all kinds of feedback, and be able to partner with others well. For a Sales Development Representative (SDR) role, you should have an enthusiasm for “the hunt” of a sale, an interest in technology and a career in sales, and the resilience it takes to figure out new paths going forward. At Collibra, you’ll learn creative paths to converting prospects, phone skills, pitching skills, enterprise software, and the entire data ecosystem.


What stage is Collibra at? What is something we wouldn’t know about Collibra by searching the internet?

Collibra isn’t a start-up anymore — the buzzword for the mode we’re in is “scale-up”, emphasizing that we’re no longer that small, whatever it takes to get it done company. We’re at the stage where we’ve figured out what works for us, and now it’s about figuring out how we can make that work better, and capitalizing on our successes to drive us even further.

We have an annual team week every year where we get the whole company together. As a company that was global almost since its inception (we have offices in Belgium, Poland, London, and NYC), it’s important we get together, spend time working along side each other, and celebrating our wins. Malta, Vancouver, Las Vegas and Lisbon have been some of the previous locations. This year? New Orleans!


Collibra Masquerade Happy Hour

Collibra Masquerade Happy Hour


What does success look like for entry-level pros at your company?

In our NYC office, most of our entry level talent is hired in the role of of Sales Development Representatives (SDRs). Over the first 6-8 weeks, success is measured by how quickly and thoroughly new Collibrians can learn our process, our product, and our world. The data ecosystem and SaaS ecosystem are constantly evolving, and if you haven’t worked in technology before, it can be challenging to grasp.

Following this, they’re beginning to make calls to prospect customers, educating them on data governance, data cataloging, and GDPR, and helping drive the process alongside pre-sales engineers, account executives, and regional sales managers. Eventually, these deals close. The more leads that you bring in, the more prospects that close and the more you get to contribute to revenue growth!


Briefly tell us about one entry-level employee who’s crushed it at Collibra and how they did it.

An SDR joined our team over two years ago, after her first job in a closing sales role at a major publisher in NYC. Having zero experience in software, she knew she wanted to be in sales, but was looking for an opportunity to change industries. An embodiment of our learning culture, she dove into the role, learning all she could about Collibra through our University and on-boarding process, while building on her sales skills. After a few months in the SDR role, it was obvious she would be a success because of her attention to detail and process, as well as her focus on our prospect’s success by helping them along their data governance journey. As Collibra grew and she continued to lead by example, she helped drive an initiative to build a new team to help serve our customers and provide an additional career path for ambitious SDRs. After building a successful pilot program as a Team Lead, she has built an international team of six that has become vital to Collibra’s success. In this relatively short time, by focusing on sales fundamentals, learning and our customer’s success, she has emerged as a true leader at Collibra and we could not be more excited to see how we continue to grow together!


Describe your culture in 3 words.

Driven, Humble, Excited.


Collibra Sales Development Representatives and Account Executives in Lisbon

Collibra Sales Development Representatives and Account Executives in Lisbon


What do you love about working at Collibra?

From a career perspective, the mission that we’re on is unlike any that we’ve seen before. The world of data has completely changed in the last 5 years, and we’re at the beginning of a new frontier. Think about when the internet was nascent – just as everyone was becoming an internet user and email was emerging as the de facto form of communication. This is where data is in its adoption curve – the best is yet ahead, and we’re creating a platform central to all of that.

From a footprint perspective, we’re excited to be a part of one of the handful of New York’s truly scaling SaaS companies. We’re hopeful that we can be a part of the even smaller few who successfully exit.

From a personal perspective, we love the people we’re working with. We feel the impact, and we feel appreciated by our colleagues along the way.


What should people who want to meet Collibra at Hustle Summit know before the event?

Our NYC office is primarily sales/marketing and customer support, so we’re looking for people who are looking to contribute to the business. That said, we’re growing rapidly, and hiring technical roles in the form of support engineers, on-boarding engineers, and professional services. Our engineering and development team is in Europe.

Additionally, do your research! Check out our latest press, google what data governance is, read some blog posts, or even check out everything that’s happening with GDPR.


Collibra team members

Collibra’s 2017 Team Week kickoff with 200+ attendees in Lisbon, Portugal


What can a candidate do to stand out if they want a job with you?

Bring your personality! We have a relaxed interview culture and want you to come as you are. When we’re working hard, we want to be surrounded by people we enjoy, and folks who don’t take themselves too seriously and aren’t afraid to have fun. That, combined with tenacity and grit, is a rare but powerful combination!


What are big no-nos when applying at Collibra?

There’s a fine line between confidence and cockiness. We’re all learning and building together. We want to work with genuine and humble people who are eager to grow!


What are Collibra’s most important core values?

Depends who you ask! “We are one Collibra” is most fitting – trailblazing this road together, knowing we’re all working hard for a common goal is very powerful. What works today may not work tomorrow, and that’s ok. It’s about working together to continuously improve.

If you ask our CEO, he’ll tell you “Open, Direct, and Kind”, which is another one of our favorites. Honesty is the best policy, life is too short to beat around the bush, but none of this matters if it isn’t rooted in kindness and respect for every individual.


Meet Collibra’s team, along with other awesome, top companies at our epic networking night, Hustle Summit–in NYC’s Irving Plaza Friday, July 20th.

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