Boxer Spotlight: From consulting to tech with Janet Petelo

Janet Petelo

Welcome back friends to another Boxer Spotlight. Today, we'd love to introduce you to Janet Petelo, a Technical Program Manager on our Engineering Business Operations and Strategy team. Before joining Box, Janet was mainly focused on the consulting world. Let's hear more about what made her choose Box and her switch into tech. 

JB: Thanks for sitting down with me today Janet, excited to hear more about your work history and what led you to Box. Would love if you could go over your background a bit more. So what made you get into consulting and what made you want to pivot?

JP: Thanks for having me JJ. Where do I start? I went into consulting around 2004. At the time I was in another full time role and I didn't feel that there was a lot of career growth or opportunity. I was approached by a consulting company that offered clear career development and structure. It seemed like it would be a good launching point.

JB: Was that the main thing that caught your interest?

JP: Yes, not only that but I would be able to do multiple roles. At the time I really wanted to grow my career, learn more technologies, and acquire more skill sets. I was doing whole enterprise data warehousing, integration space for a long time because it was something that I was really good at...and then I just got bored. But because of the nature of consulting, I was stuck in that silo. 

JB: That's a frustrating experience. How did you get out of that silo?

JP: I needed a break, I quit my consulting job. My former colleague, whom I worked with 10 years prior reached out to me about a role on his team for this company called Box. It was a complete departure from what I'd done in the past. 

JB: That must have been daunting.

JP: It was. But he mentioned that he wanted to leverage my consulting, process driven experience and expertise to help the team to provide some structure. With a good knowledge of supply chain, I realized it wouldn't be a steep learning curve.  The manager started telling me more about Box, the culture, the environment. There are a ton of passionate, smart, and focused people who prioritize GSDing. As a consultant, I knew how hard it was to prioritize GSD'ing. 

JB: It seems like our values were what caught your interest? 

JP: Yes, and at Box there is an emphasis on being an owner. Which is so different from consulting! In consulting, you draw upon your expertise and you make recommendations to the client. But ultimately it's up to the client whether they buy into that or not, or if they want to take your advice or not. And that's the mindset in consulting. If the customer doesn't take my advice, it's not my problem. I'm still getting paid hourly, my bill will still be set up. So you move on. There is no sense of ownership. 

Being an owner at this company is different. If someone may not agree you're more than likely to pursue it or have a conversation to work it out because ultimately you want and everyone wants what's best for Box. You're invested, you're an owner. 

JB: That is a big change! And sound like a welcome one. How were you successful in that change?

JP: This might come across generic and but it has served me well during the 20 years that I've been in the professional world. For me, and for anyone, one important thing is building relationships on basic fundamental principles like integrity, honesty, and treating others with respect. This will not only build your network but take you far in life. There are a lot of talented, smart people in this world, especially at Box. What will set you apart, is not if people remember that you were a spectacular coder, but were you a great team member, were you able to uplift your team? Certain skills can be acquired, it's the unteachable that people will remember and will follow you throughout. 

JB: That is definitely a mic drop moment, Janet! Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with me and chat on your motivators and drivers into the tech space.