Bianca Laurendine, senior product marketing manager for Elastic Cloud, is no stranger to bucking trends.
“Every kid wants to be a ballerina,” she says. “I was exploring mechanical engineering and making websites.”
She always knew she wanted to get into the tech industry.
According to research, only 26.5% of tech jobs in the United States are held by women. And only 7% of tech jobs are held by Black Americans.
Bianca worked in mechanical engineering and for a geospatial company before "officially" transitioning into tech when she joined Elastic in 2020.
“If you’re always worried about what people will think, you’ll never have any fun,” she says.
As a product marketing manager, she describes her job as sitting at the intersection of marketing, product, sales, and customer success. A product marketing manager is the voice of the customer. They communicate the value as the market sees and drives adoption and advocacy.
“We bring everything together to get products off the shelf,” Bianca says.
She decided to transition away from mechanical engineering because she was missing the creative aspect. And as someone who made the switch, and has helped others, she shares advice on how to break into tech, especially as a diverse candidate.
Believe in yourself
First and foremost you have to have confidence in yourself, your abilities, and what you can bring to an organization. Jot down short phrases that motivate you and keep them within your line of vision. When you have a win, either personally or professionally, write that down, too. It’s easy to compare yourself to others or forget your own accomplishments, especially in the moment.
And be yourself. Don’t be afraid to be the weird one in the group, Bianca says.
“I’m someone that believes you can do anything you set your mind to,” Bianca says. “Just because you feel like there’s no one like you doesn’t mean you can’t do it.”
Know what you want
Create a list of companies that interest you. Write down why you want to work for them and what teams or positions you think you would enjoy.
“Make sure your list is full of companies that excite you. You can learn skills but you can’t learn passion,” Bianca says.
Don’t just apply to open roles online — reach out to people on sites like LinkedIn.
Express interest and request an in-person or virtual coffee to learn more about the company, culture, and organizational structure.
“Every job in tech I’ve gotten is by networking. A personal connection is better than your resume floating around in an ATS system,” Bianca says.
Try to find the person who would be your boss first. If you can’t find someone, reach someone that could be your peer, she says.
The companies or people you reach out to don’t have to be hiring for an open role that interests you, Bianca says.
“Whenever they have an opening, because you’ve networked, you’ll be top of mind,” she says.
In the meeting, make it personal. Ask what the challenges are, what the communication style is, and what skills are needed for the role or team. Remember, you’re still discovering more about the company, too. And you have to choose them just like they have to choose you.
Don’t give up
Continue this process until you reach your goal. Ask for feedback and continue to connect with others to fine tune your skills.
“Who cares if you’re different? In your life, you will hear more 'nos' than you will hear ‘yeses’,” Bianca says. “Every no will get you closer to a yes. You only need one yes, so just keep going.”
Work for a company where you can Come, As YOU Are. Explore open jobs at Elastic.