Defining a Culture of Growth

Insights from four colleagues who have inspired my career journey at Smartling


By Hai Yen Duong, Partner Development Manager

I moved to New York City without a job. I figured that it would be challenging, but would make a great story one day. Cliché? Maybe. I like the idea of this adventure.

In 2016, I packed my bags for Manhattan and waved goodbye to the beautiful beaches of Southern California. This small town girl was going to the “concrete jungle where dreams are made of.”

My journey at Smartling felt right from the very beginning. From the moment I had my first call with the recruiter, to the time that I left Jack’s office after the final interview, I knew that this was the place for me.

I started as a Sales Development Representative. After a ton of hard work and perseverance, I was promoted to Partner Development Manager earlier this year. In this new role, I look forward to expanding Smartling’s partner ecosystem and strengthening relationships with existing partners. This is an opportunity for me to not only define my own success, but also create a measurable impact on the company’s overall growth.

When asked what makes Smartling the right partner for us, I always respond that Smartling has the best technology and people.

Smartling came out as the Market Leader among translation Management Systems in the 2019 CSA Marketflex Report. This speaks volumes to Smartling’s technology and how it has risen above the competition.

Beyond offering the best-in-class product for translation and localization, what makes Smartling special is its people. I am proud to be working with the brightest and most humble people.

Inclusion at Smartling

From the top down, Smartling takes care of all its people. On March 8th, our Vice President of Sales, Brian O’Reilly, sent an email to the company with a note commemorating International Women’s Day. It also included a call-to-action for Smartling to increase its efforts to recruit and grow female talent to achieve a more gender-balanced workplace.

I couldn’t believe it. Not only did the email come from leadership, but it also asked employees to participate in making suggestions on how collectively as an organization, Smartling can promote greater representation and inclusion. How cool is that?

As a woman, I often find myself seeking inspiration from other women. I am very blessed to be surrounded by confident, capable, and caring women at Smartling. So I went ahead and wrote a five-part blog series on four female colleagues who have never stopped inspiring my growth: Kate Fitzgerald, Krista Malchow, Katya Kameneva, and Jennifer Chew.

Their career journeys at Smartling can be summarized in two words: impressive and empowering.

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Kate Fitzgerald, Director of Account Management — Kate manages multinational and multi-billion dollar accounts like InterContinental Hotels Group and FedEx. She makes it look easy, but behind the scenes, the amount of preparation, diligence, and patience that is required is admirable. Kate effortlessly exudes the quiet confidence and humble leadership that I aspire to embody. It is also her work ethic and tenacity that I respect. I have admired Kate since her days as an Account Manager and she is truly an inspiration for me.

Krista Malchow, Senior Account Manager — With her recent promotion, Krista is looking forward to working with larger enterprise accounts and solving more complex business problems for customers. Krista carries herself with an infectious positivity and a never-ending strive towards self-improvement. She radiates so much warmth; it’s always comforting speaking with her. I now follow Krista’s footsteps and incorporate the gratitude practice in my everyday living. Namaste.

Katya Kameneva, Product Manager — Katya epitomizes the idea of “having it all.” In addition to being an in-house coffee expert, Katya was previously a QA Team Lead, now a Product Manager, and recently a new mother to her baby Sasha. I got to know Katya when we often ran into each other by the Speedster Espresso Machine in the Smartling Cafe. I am thankful for her continuous support in helping me with my endeavor to become a part-time barista. Katya gracefully balances work and life, one cortado at a time.

Jennifer Chew, Product Marketing Manager — Jen’s career transition at Smartling, from her work in demand generation to account-based marketing to product marketing, is impressive. She has created a path for herself based on her passion for storytelling. It is always uplifting to be around Jen and absorb her energy and excitement for this subject. Jen is the ultimate example of taking the initiative to drive your career, do what you love, and be really successful at it.

Dream big. Start small. Pursue with grit.

Smartling and its people have been invaluable in shaping my growth.

So many people have been part of my journey - I’m so grateful to everyone who has offered time, advice… coffees :)

My transition to managing Partner Development at Smartling runs parallel to my journey to New York City— a core value of Smartling: Dream big, start small. And always go all in.

I came to the city three years ago without direction, and now I am carving my own path forward. If I were to attribute one character trait that has gotten me to where I am today, it’s undeniably grit.

What’s next?

I look forward to sharing the next four blog posts co-written with Smartling’s very own Product Marketing Manager, Jennifer Chew. Stay tuned for upcoming articles with interviews and insights from Kate, Krista, Katya, and Jen!