People Team’s Best Career Advice

Recently, Splunk’s People Team celebrated Career Development Month by hosting a variety of professional development workshops and webinars. Topics included how to have career conversations with your manager, talent mobility, and more! In addition to these talks, we asked our People Team to share their best career advice that helped them become the professionals they are today.



"Speak up! Let people know what your interests are and what you might want to do someday."

Kristen Robinson, Chief People Officer


"Figure out who you are and who you want to be. Then be you compassionately, but unapologetically."

– Shreya Iyer, Sr. Director, Talent, Sales and G&A

"Create your own personal board of directors of people that you admire, will challenge and invest in you. They are your "go to" when you are lost or making   difficult decisions. The best personal boards will balance your best interests and their best advice."

– Elaine Mason, VP of Talent+


"The 360 feedback you get from peers and partners is more useful for your own development. It takes time and trust to nurture those relationships and garner the support of champions 2 levels above you."

Kim Luong, DEI, Sr. Manager



"1) Never send an email when you are angry or riled up. If you feel the need to send an email, write your note and save it in draft mode. Come back to it in 24 hours and see whether you would still say the same thing. Most likely, you wouldn't and will be thankful you didn't send it!

2) When you make a mistake, own it. We all make mistakes - it's a fact of life and can ultimately be a gift. If your mistake warrants an apology, say sorry. If you broke something, find a way to fix it. Taking accountability and righting a wrong is a signal of growth, maturity and humility. Not taking accountability just leads to distrust and a poor relationship, personal or professional.

3) Be nice to people! Always be kind to people and lead with empathy. You have no idea what is going on in other people's lives so try to be as empathetic as possible. Plus, you may end up working with or for this person one day so best to be nice!"

Katia Ratkovich, Sr. Manager, Early Talent


"Be curious, be a friend to all.  Build allies everywhere. And don't think success is based on level. Enjoy the buffet of opportunities that are offered to you. Try a bit of everything. And always keep your passport up to date! Because you never know when that dream job in Sweden comes knocking! And above all else, be NICE! No one wins when you are seen as a jerk! As one exec said to me 'when I retire I want to be the person who if you see on the street you'll stop and say hello. And we'll share a memory or two.' That's something worth striving for."

Peter Vogt, Global Head of Employee Engagement


"Certifications don't always matter. It's the technical (and non technical) skills you are able to learn and acquire throughout your journey that prove to be the most valuable. Shared with me by Shirley Jeu ❤"

Yvette Labiaga, Talent Acquisition Operations Lead



"Worry about the things you can control, don't stress about the things you can't."  

Lynn Luu, Early Talent Recruiter, Products & Tech


"Always be open to learning a new way of doing things. 'Because we've always done it this way' does not allow for new efficiencies or finding better ways to do something. We can't continue to grow and improve if we don't push ourselves to change."

Keisha Stephens, Director, Contingent Workforce



"If you're interested in doing something new, learning something different, or working with/on a new team, let it be known. People will remember you when the opportunity arises." 

Patrick Ngo Aquino, HR Program Manager



"Make it a priority to have a healthy work-life balance! Work will always be there tomorrow but time with your loved ones is never promised."

Robinne Depante, Intern Programs Specialist


"Avoid using the word 'just' in emails/Slack messages. It could come off as language that isn't confident or that is curt. For example, instead of saying 'Just checking in the project,' say 'How's the progress coming along?' This conveys importance and confidence. And, instead of saying 'Just letting you know....' say 'Wanted to update you on...' to soften the tone and to convey confidence."

Natasha Dones, Early Career Talent Recruiter



"Pause. This advice (often repeated over the course of these unprecedented last 15 months) was provided by Jason Brickley.

He reminds us rather than reacting to situations we’re in, to take a moment and pause, reflecting how we wish to see the desired outcome and strategically working our way towards it.

We all have a strong sense of urgency, but when we take a moment to pause and reflect, we are able to see all sides of a situation, and ensure we are crafting a response with care, understanding and strength.

Lead with love. Linda Sizelove reminds us that everyone wants to be successful. We all have different and diverse thoughts, processes and methodologies but ultimately when we come together with love and empathy, we can work together, embracing the differences we have for our shared success.

Understand the problem before providing a solution. Jubal Ince understands how easy it can be to fall back on past successful practices, but he teaches it’s when we take the time to truly understand a situation, we are able to tailor our resolution efforts to best exceed the problems at hand and scale the work which needs to be done in a thoughtful manner.

Embrace a 'yes' mentality. This is one of my own. When we look at each problem with a 'yes' mentality, we are able to explore creative ways to get a positive outcome. When someone needs help, start with 'yes'  and together innovate new paths around roadblocks."

Aimée Barrie, Forensic Sourcer and Talent Brand Strategist



Katia Ratkovich
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Katia Ratkovich

Katia is Splunk’s Global University Recruiting Manager. She is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to attract and retain top university graduates to create a diverse, global workforce. Additionally, she focuses on how university recruiting plays a critical role in achieving a diverse and inclusive environment and co-leads the planning some of Splunk's major diversity initiatives. Katia is a member of Splunk’s Women in Technology group and sits on the D&I counsel. 

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