Unlock your potential, forge your future – Employee success stories (Part 2)

June 20, 2024
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At Ontra, we’re not just supporting employee career growth; we’re actively nurturing it. By fostering a culture of development,we both encourage and empower our team members to build and flourish in their careers and one example is through internal mobility.

To illustrate this, we recently asked four of our talented team members: “How has Ontra been a place for you to build your career?”

Read on to discover more.

Cooper Taggard
People Business Partner

“Ontra is not just invested in a better way to work; it is dedicated to celebrating the diverse journeys that lead us to success. By recognizing that every career path is unique and valuable, Ontra embraces the power of pivoting. My career path, like many of my colleagues, has been far from linear. Although I didn’t transition from the legal field, I feel fortunate to be part of an organization that harnesses the power of career pivots.

Throughout my tenure at Ontra, I’ve been entrusted with opportunities that might have been considered “out of reach” elsewhere. In my first year at the company, I transitioned from a Sourcer role within the Talent Acquisition team to the People Business Partnerships team despite being new to the People space. This display of trust from leadership empowered me to demonstrate my capabilities and deliver significant results. Over the past year, I have helped navigate several critical and complex workflows, and in recognition of my work, I was recently promoted to People Business Partner. I am extremely grateful for this culture of trust and the ability to grow my career in a myriad of ways.

Adam Grant, author and professor, wisely noted, ‘A strong organizational culture provides the scaffolding for employees to grow, learn, and excel. It supports their development while encouraging autonomy and innovation.’ Ontra epitomizes this philosophy, providing incredible scaffolding for its people. Within our ecosystem, employees are empowered to realize their fullest potential, where autonomy serves as a cornerstone to our success.

At Ontra, the journey is as important as the destination. The support and opportunities here have been instrumental in shaping my career, and I am excited to continue growing and contributing.”

Randi Lynn Veenstra
VP of Sales
New York

“Throughout my life, I thought I’d be one of two things – a lawyer or a doctor. For years, I deliberated between the two, but it was clear that my future lay in one of these professions. After finally making the decision to pursue law, I thought that was the end of the uncertainty. How naive. While the path was clear, my career opportunities were not. A career is defined by continuous learning, adaptation of one’s skills and interests, and pursuit of long-term goals, ideally with some opportunities for progression along the way. When I took a step back from the work I was doing, I neither saw nor desired the growth opportunities that were before me. So, I started to look elsewhere.

When I joined Ontra in 2018, I finally saw a path to a career that resonated with me. I craved the opportunity for more challenges, greater responsibilities, and the chance to help mold the future of an organization. Learning from some of the most highly driven, thoughtful colleagues, and fellow ‘students of all things,’ I wanted nothing more than to uplevel my skill set. I wanted to become a true master of working not only in sales but also in steering an organization from a start-up to a scale-up (and beyond!).

Ontra has provided me with growth opportunities beyond what I thought was possible when I joined nearly six years ago. Starting as a Sales Director, I learned the intricacies of selling and honed my self-motivation. When I was promoted to frontline manager, I developed the important skills of motivating, supporting, and training others. Finally, as the current leader of our direct sales and sales engineering functions, I’ve begun learning the importance of always considering the bigger picture while advocating for my team.

Additionally, I’ve been extremely fortunate to learn from some of the best in the business along the way — both ‘homegrown’ talent as well as seasoned sales, customer success, and revenue experts. Being challenged to expand my thinking and consistently innovate at every step has been valuable beyond measure.

I’m sure folks have heard the old adage ‘It’s better to be safe than sorry.’ To me, it’s better to be sorry. To have pushed yourself out of your comfort zone, challenged yourself, and tried something that you think just might work but you’re not 100% sure of. The reward is even sweeter than you might imagine.”

Telisa Chen
Senior Product Marketing Manager

“I tell people how lucky I am to work at Ontra every chance I get. Ontra has offered me challenges, successes, and tremendous fun.

When I transitioned from practicing law at a large firm, I was impressed by two things at Ontra: an innovative product solution I believed could revolutionize routine legal processes and a team culture characterized by intelligent, collaborative, and really good people. I am proud these qualities have remained consistent even as we’ve grown 5x since I joined in the summer of 2020!

At Ontra, I’ve had opportunities to advance in my career. I started as a Director of Account Management. I effectively managed key accounts and challenging situations, increased revenue, and was promoted to Managing Director. As an account manager, I enjoyed creating solutions and optimizing client programs. My understanding of Contract Automation led to my current Senior Product Marketing Manager role. I was eager to take on a new challenge and apply my knowledge of our product, processes, and customers in a new way. Each position enhanced my skills and capabilities.

One particularly rewarding experience was leading our marketing efforts for the launch of Atlas last year. It was a significant team effort involving strategic thinking, creating materials to showcase our newest product, and timely execution. This launch was enlightening, and I gained confidence in my new discipline. I applied what I learned when we celebrated our one-millionth contract earlier this year by relaunching Contract Automation.

I’m grateful for the opportunities Ontra has provided me to learn, grow, and contribute. I’m even more thankful for the many colleagues who have mentored, supported, and championed me.”

Taylor Sigler
Manager, Product Programs

“For me, Ontra has been more than just a workplace — it’s been a launchpad for my career aspirations. When I started here, I was stepping into unfamiliar territory, eager to make a difference. What immediately struck me was the unwavering support and guidance from my colleagues and leaders, who have not only mentored me but inspired me every step of the way.

From day one, I’ve had the privilege to learn directly from industry experts, absorbing their knowledge and gaining insights that have fueled my passion for process improvement and efficiency. Unlike my previous experiences, where such initiatives were sidelined, Ontra embraced my potential and guided me toward a pivotal role in Product Operations.

Transitioning from Learning & Development to Product Operations in November 2023 was transformative, a journey made possible by Ontra’s belief in my abilities and their investment in my growth. This experience has challenged me to broaden my skill set and take on new responsibilities, shaping me into a more adaptable professional. With my promotion to Manager of Product Programs, I now have the privilege of growing and leading a team to successfully improve and implement processes and procedures for our Research and Development department.

Nearly two years into my tenure, I’m still enthusiastic about the learning opportunities Ontra provides. Every day presents a chance to contribute meaningfully and refine my skills. Ontra has not only shaped my career trajectory but has also deepened my appreciation for continuous development and a supportive workplace culture. This is more than a job — it’s a career journey that I am proud to be on.”

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