Women of Elastic: Kathy Hsu's career in Sales

Want to know what Life at Elastic is like? You've come to the right place. Hear from our Elasticians first hand as we highlight their stories and photos from around the world. In this video, we meet Federal Sales Director Kathy Hsu and hear her take on the importance of authenticity in sales.

I discovered my passion for tech sales as a college graduate working in Silicon Valley. I worked at Apple as a Technical Consultant and got my start in channel sales and the network IP space at a large company called Brocade, which provided solutions for semiconductor and infrastructure software. These early experiences helped me find my strength working in sales, and providing customers with the solutions they needed. These jobs also gave me the opportunity to develop a strong foundation in the business of tech.

Later, I moved to a storage startup focused on enterprise sales. This was where I had my first opportunity to support Civilian agencies, the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Intelligence Community. In this role, I spent a lot of time flying between California and Washington D.C. and quickly realized that I had a great sense of fire and purpose when serving the federal government. This led me to move to Washington D.C. where I was ready to deepen existing partnerships and build an ecosystem related to federal business.

As a woman and an Asian American, two groups that are often underrepresented in the tech sales industry, I have learned over the last 15 years to not let this lack of representation influence my narrative. Instead, I focused on being myself, and learned how to develop a compelling personal brand. Through authenticity I discovered my own way of connecting with others, remaining curious with a desire to learn and become better. Using the strengths, skills, and my fostered relationships, I have developed a selling style that feels natural to me, and earns the trust of my customers — something that’s incredibly important in any client relationship, but especially so in the federal business. The intricacies of working in the federal space is highly focused on relationships, understanding how to navigate contracts, how to enable your partner community, and most importantly, understanding the critical mission of the customer at the agency level and how it all connects back to us as individuals and citizens.

With Elastic, I’ve taken on delivering mission support within the federal space with a deeply rooted obligation to being in my customers’ corner, no matter what, and understanding their challenges to help them find the solutions they need for their Elastic journey. Most importantly, I continue to stay authentic with my customers, something which I’ve learned from past experiences is important, but also because it is a crucial part of the Elastic Source Code.

As a recent new mother, I continue to evolve and learn and feel fully supported at Elastic. Our generous parental leave allowed me to cherish the special time to bond and feel eager to return to my team and customers. I am humbled and honored to serve our DoD user community - and I’m so proud to be an Elastician.

Want to learn more about Kathy and her career path? Watch the video to hear more of her story, how authenticity plays an important role in sales, and how women in the tech industry can support each other professionally.

Interested in joining a fair and equitable company with a Source Code to live by? We’re hiring. Check out our teams and find your fit! Want to read more about life at Elastic? Read more on our blog!