“Keeping Austin weird... our way,” says the MongoDB Austin team. Energetic, vibrant and hungry for success, the MongoDB Austin office has expanded from 20 to 60 employees over the past four years, developing a deep-rooted culture instilled by their core values and spearheaded by their success.
Sarah Branfman, Senior Director of Worldwide ISV and OEM at MongoDB, shares her journey with the company as she has seen it evolve into who they are today. She is not only a trailblazer in her field, but one of the first 30 employees of this skyrocketing tech enterprise.
How have you seen the Austin office grow since you started at MongoDB?
Starting her career with MongoDB at their international headquarters in New York City back in 2011, Sarah took a big leap moving to Texas to head up the Austin office three years later.
“With only three people, we moved into a 5x5 Regus space in Austin, taking only a small piece of a floor out of a great building in Austin,” she said.
The office’s success began to snowball as the culture was built and recognition of the revolutionary database software spread across the nation like wildfire. They then moved into another space at 2222 and 360 with around 20 people. Currently, you can find the MongoDB team at 360 and South Mopac.
“We saw it go from 20 people in a tiny space, to a portion of the floor, then half of the floor, then the entire floor,” she said.
Who is in the MongoDB Austin office?
The Austin office is a melting pot of sales professionals early in their career who are hungry for wins. From sales development roles and corporate sales to operations like finance and customer success managers, this Austin team is expanding at a rate reflecting their success. Austin is also one of the main hubs for the technical support engineers as well, housing a whole team in the state capitol.
How has the culture grown and changed over the years?
Experiencing the growth of a company from 30 employees to over 1,000 as of a few months ago, Sarah had the opportunity to see the company evolve with their success while holding to their cornerstone values.
She explained, “When it was a very, very small office, it was almost more difficult to have a real culture because it was just a couple people. Culture has grown as we build the office with MongoDB’s core values. As the office has gotten bigger, we can help instill this culture with activities and awards. When we see people doing things that align to the core values, we can recognize it.”
Why did Sarah pick MongoDB?
The company was just a "few big minds" taking on a giant database project when Sarah took the leap to join MongoDB.
“I kept hearing MongoDB come up… it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to disrupt a $40B industry,” she said. “I saw that opportunity, so I took the job. What has kept me here through it, is seizing the opportunity. It is one of the biggest software markets out there - the world is looking for an alternative.”
Hired in 2011 to their base in the Big Apple, she was their first Enterprise Representative for the East coast. She watched as it grew from a 30-person company to a 150-person company, then as it hit the 500-person mark, a totally different company emerged.
“I have loved seeing the leadership as it has come on in the different phases of the company. I think about getting my MBA, but I kind of got it at MongoDB. It has been three or four different companies since I joined.”
The business reached their 1,000-person mark this past May, and their stock is soaring. Sarah is in her fifth role at MongoDB, and as she puts it, has stretched her different muscles and filled out her tool belt. For Sarah and MongoDB, this is just the beginning.
Why Austin? What do you think makes the Austin office unique?
“Culture,” she says. “It is very sales-focused. It is the North American hub for all of sales development.”
MongoDB Austin has seemed to find the perfect recipe combining camaraderie and competition. Characteristically energetic and lively, many of the sales reps in this Austin office are building the foundation for the rest of their sales career, starting in Sales Development roles with rapid internal upward mobility that motivates and drives these individuals to success.
“It’s the hungry people early in their career. The corporate team is still early in their sales careers too. There is a lot of excitement and hunger. It makes it an unique place.”
For more information about MongoDB, check out our blog post written by Meredith.
This post was written by Caroline Richardson, Will Reed Fellow 2018.