We’re excited to feature an in-depth interview with Brickster, Özge Bekleyen! Based in Zurich, she leads a team of Specialist Solutions Architects. In this blog, Özge shares her experience at Databricks and her involvement in the Women’s Network Employee Resource Group. Read her story and see how she’s empowered to raise the bar!
Q:Why Databricks? What drew you to work here?
A: Databricks is a hyper-growth company where I knew my work could have a wider impact. All of the people I met during my interview process were welcoming and demonstrated a glimpse into what working at Databricks could be like, which I can now confidently say was proven accurate by my own positive experience.
Q: What support is available at Databricks to foster an inclusive environment and how has it helped elevate your experience as a Brickster?
A: At Databricks there is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team that organizes company-wide programming throughout the year focused on increasing awareness around our collective diversity and building a more inclusive company. We also have six Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that are employee-led communities to connect with colleagues and support each other.
I am part of the Women’s Network ERG, which has been beneficial because it allows me to feel a part of a community with many shared challenges and experiences. Learning about the diversity in our backgrounds makes an organization more powerful.
Q:What has been one of your most challenging career obstacles?
A: The most challenging career obstacle I have faced before Databricks was being in a work environment where my personal challenges were not acknowledged and supported. I have been a single parent for 4 years, living and working outside of my home country with almost no external support mechanism. I have also moved a lot, making it more challenging to establish a community.
Q:How did your manager at Databricks support you in your most recent relocation and career transition?
A: Moving to Databricks was a huge step for me. Prior to Databricks, I had been at the same company for 13 years, which created a comfort zone to some extent. However, I was looking for an environment where I could find further support for career growth despite the challenges my life brings from time to time.
At Databricks, one of the culture principles is ‘Raise the Bar’. Since the start, my manager, my team, and the senior leadership of my function, have been enabling me to do my best work by encouraging me to carry out my duties in the way that makes the most sense to me. For example, onsite team gatherings are adjusted to my availability as much as possible, allowing me to participate and feel included. As a parent of a school aged child, it is crucial for me to be in a space where I have the flexibility to tend to personal matters that arise during this adjustment period for my daughter. I appreciate how my peers and managers always provide support whenever a school emergency has come up, which tends to happen at the very worst timings :).
Q:What advice would you give to someone looking to join Databricks?
A: I’ve noticed women often experience imposter syndrome. We have the ability to accomplish a lot, but often still question our worth and ability. Some could see being a parent as an obstacle in their career. On the flip side, being a mom made me much more organized and more efficient at time management. I noticed an increased efficiency at work. On top of that, if you find a workplace like I did here at Databricks, you will feel empowered with a strong support system even when you live hundreds of kilometers away from your family. I am super happy to be part of this organization. By the way, did I mention that we are hiring? If my story made you feel like you would like to be part of us, please check our openings.
Q:Outside of Databricks, what do you enjoy doing most?
A: I am a foodie and I like to travel to try new cuisines and learn the stories behind the traditional dishes. Coming from a country rich in ingredients and dishes, I remember a few daily trips to the southeast part of Turkey to eat some of my favorite foods of the region. The next destination I’d like to travel to and learn more about traditional cuisine is Japan!
If my story made you feel like you would like to be part of us, please check our openings.