Unlock your potential, forge your future – Employee success stories (Part 1)

April 16, 2024
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In today’s tech industry, it’s common to see some of the best talent transitioning between roles every few years — sometimes even more frequently. While it’s difficult to attribute one particular reason for this trend, it begs the age-old question: “Are companies truly investing in their employees’ growth and success?”

At Ontra, we’re proud to promote a culture of growth and opportunity. We’ve found that organizational success is contingent on employee engagement, which starts and ends with ensuring that the right players are in the right roles. Success often means evolving beyond the role someone was hired into. Through dedicated investment in our people, Ontra has fostered an environment for employees to not just have a job, but to build fulfilling careers.

In fast-paced, high-growth tech environments like ours, career paths are anything but linear. When you look at these in parallel, there is immense opportunity. In our first edition of this quarterly series, we aim to showcase the achievements of employees across our organization, highlighting their success through significant career milestones such as promotions, internal mobility, and impactful contributions to our organization.

For this article, we asked four of our employees, “How has Ontra been a place to have a fulfilling career?”

Lucas Heinz
Senior Employee Experience Specialist
Bend, OR

“For me, Ontra has become more than just a workplace — it’s a platform for cultivating my career, driven by three main pillars: opportunity, trust, and culture. My path at Ontra has been an epic adventure and as the saying goes, “To be an adventure, it means that you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Countless opportunities in my journey here have sprung from one simple word: “yes.” Initially joining Ontra in a recruiting capacity, I was presented with an opportunity to build out a new function within the company: Employee Experience. Despite the inherent ambiguity, I seized this opportunity because our leadership team recognized my potential for growth in a different role, and I placed my trust in their vision.

This trust extends beyond my immediate team to encompass the entire company, especially our C-suite. Belief in our joint purpose fuels my confidence in our leaders’ decisions, guiding us toward our goal of creating a world-class product. Trust forms the bedrock of our endeavors; without it, our culture lacks the stability necessary for growth.”

Josh Nulman
Principal Product Advisory Manager

“When I left BigLaw to join Ontra, we were under 30 employees, and the energy, opportunities, challenges, and constant learnings were incredibly attractive to me. I waited for the feeling of the “honeymoon phase” to wane in my new Account Manager role, but it never did. The company’s growth and culture kept giving me chances to learn new things and to better myself and our business.

Encouraged to seek out learning opportunities, embrace feedback, and refine my skill set, I quickly realized that complacency had no place in this environment. This culture of continuous improvement not only fueled my ambition but also instilled in me a sense of ownership over my career progression.

In recognition of my results, Ontra gave me the opportunity to pilot new service and pricing options within Contract Automation, which allowed me to deeply broaden my skill set and develop a team to focus on brand new areas of opportunity for our business.

Being able to grow so much in different ways within a single company is not to be taken for granted. The fact that I get to work with such amazing people, grow in my personal life, and have fun while getting to work hard on interesting problems is what makes it truly special. That continues to be my day-to-day at Ontra and why I keep building my career here.

This trend of recognition and reward has continued for me as I’ve transitioned into a new role as a Principal Product Advisory Manager, reaffirming that Ontra doesn’t simply state its culture and values, it lives them. My career here is a great example of that.”

Ella Mandell-Lynn
Business Development Manager

“Ontra was the launchpad for my career straight out of university. With no prior sales experience, I stepped into a Business Development Associate (BDA) role on our go-to-market team and was amazed by the comprehensive enablement, substantive training, and wealth of resources that were provided to me in order to drive toward success in my role.

Within a year, Ontra recognized my performance as a BDA by giving me the chance to apply for a Business Development Manager (BDM) role on the team. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity! Navigating the transition from BDA to BDM required me to quickly adapt and learn on the fly, but it ultimately allowed me to accelerate my career in a genuinely stimulating, healthy, and nurturing way.

Through strategic investment in my career, Ontra has afforded me a multi-faceted perspective on sales, encompassing both individual contributor and management roles. I’ve been lucky enough to attend a number of networking events and conferences that have helped sharpen my industry and sales knowledge, as well as hone my management skills. This thorough exposure has not only been enriching but has also been instrumental in laying the foundation for my career, equipping me with the versatility and insight necessary for continued success in any direction I choose to pursue.”

Jasmine Poon
Software Engineer

“Ontra has been a place for me to grow. For growth to occur, you must discover and pivot. It’s the same principles involved with building products and solutions that I apply to building myself and my career. In 2021, I joined Ontra with the intention of learning how to build great products and started as an Associate Product Manager. More recently, I transitioned into an engineering role, building our latest AI solutions across multiple products.

As a PM, I had the opportunity to lead projects across many teams. As a Software Engineer, I have the opportunity to immerse myself in the newest AI tools and LLM developments, collaborate with great teammates, and focus on execution. I found what I enjoyed: the exploration of new technology and creative development of said technology into novel solutions and systems, all while picking up nuggets of wisdom from roadblocks and tripping upwards to success.

Growth is never one dimensional. You discover your strengths, what energizes you, what engages you, and most importantly, you discover the flip side — what does not. I feel like a true partner to Ontra, in the sense that both the company and I have grown in tandem. I’m grateful that Ontra has allowed me the opportunity to unearth my professional motivations and that I have landed in such a fulfilling role with an embedded connection to the vision of our company.”

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