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Life at Kion: Tatum

Ashley Camara

Less than 1 min read

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How long have you been at Kion, and how did you find the company?

I have been at Kion for eight months. I luckily met some Kion team members at a conference last year (FinOps X) and decided I wanted to make a career pivot and join Kion!

Tell us about your role at Kion, what you're most passionate about in it, and a bit about the tools and skills you use in it.

I am a Product Manager responsible for our FinOps capabilities. In my prior role, I was extremely passionate about the importance of FinOps and its pivotal role in increasing the value of the cloud and building a strong culture of cost awareness. I love taking my experience as a former customer of a tool similar to Kion and bringing that "customer" approach to our tool. I want Kion to be a tool our users love and feel they need to succeed in their roles.

As for skills and tools, my role involves a lot of strategy, planning, and written/verbal communication (internal and external), primarily done through tools like GitLab, Figma, and Notion.

What are you currently working on that you're excited about?

I am currently developing an innovative feature that will enable our customers to customize how they allocate their spending.

How did you get started in the cloud space? What about it piqued your interest?

It was a "right time, right place" situation. My previous company was rapidly moving to the cloud for the first time, and we needed to figure out how to best pay for our usage. I raised my hand to get involved, and within 12 months, FinOps became my full-time job.

At that time, the term wasn't popularized yet, so explaining my job to others was a constant struggle. However, I knew I had found a career at the center of technology, business, and people that I was excited about.

What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute your success to and why?

My ability to create meaningful relationships. I have always valued creating individualized relationships with the people I work with. I think I have a natural trait of interpersonal communication that allows me to adapt conversations to meet people where they are.

How do you prefer to start your day?

I have a cup of coffee, New York Times Connections, Spotle (Spotify guessing game), a walk with my dog Winston, and then capped off with a 2nd cup of coffee as I open my laptop.

What sets your role at Kion apart from previous positions?

The ability to make an impact daily. In addition to being a small company, Kion empowers me (and others) to own our roles, make decisions, and make an impact. I have worked in previous roles where making a change, implementing a process, or seeing the payoff for your hard work can take weeks or months to materialize. At Kion, I can come to work every day with the ability to make the company better. I love the sense of pride and urgency that it brings, as it motivates me to do my best at work.

Which benefits are your favorite and why?

KTO—Unlimited time off! Kion's flexible time off policy allows me to plan trips while also allowing me to balance those unforeseen days off to take care of a pet emergency or when you're not feeling your best.

Additionally, I really appreciate that Kion emphasizes a minimum number of days each employee should take. Flexible time off can be an adjustment and result in people taking less time than they would have, so I appreciate Kion emphasizing a culture of taking time off for yourself.

What's the most unique part about working here?

The people—Lots of companies advertise a strong culture, but I have never experienced the cohesion and environment Kion provides. It feels as if every new hire perfectly adds to the culture, allowing us to grow in headcount while maintaining the feel of what it's like to come to work every day.

Remote work can be tough, but Kion's commitment to fostering a community stands out (15-minute randomized 1-on-1s every two weeks, monthly events, in-person all hands).

How have you grown professionally while on our team?

Kion has gone above and beyond, helping me grow professionally. Within two months of being here, I started my FinOps professional certification (which isn't a cheap investment!). That certification allowed me to continue to expand my network and knowledge as I aspire to be a leader in the FinOps space.

Additionally, my managers and leadership have consistently offered opportunities for Product Management certifications to help me refine and build out that skill set.

What keeps you busy outside of work hours?

Rec league softball and my golden retriever consume most of my free time, along with always planning the next international trip with my wife.

Give us a random fact about yourself.

I was the on-mic emcee for our college basketball games, hyping up the crowd and handing out candy bars during timeouts.

About the Author

Ashley Camara

Ashley is a People Operations Specialist at Kion.

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