For Mimecast’s Christina Van Houten,
realising that she can contribute in
technology has been an energising
journey for her.
to something that seemed so far outside
of what I consider my core strengths has
been such an exciting and energising
journey for me.
Christina Van Houten,
Describe your current job
role and the parts that are
I head up product and market strategy for
Mimecast. This job is relatively new for
me and I have loved every minute of it.
The best part is the culture and the way
people operate. What is challenging for
me is that this is a new area of technology
for me. The opportunity to learn about a
whole new frontier of technology while
adding value to the organisation based
on experience gained in enterprise
applications has been fun and fulfilling.
When you look back at your
career what has been the most
As a liberal arts major in undergraduate,
I never imagined that I would end up in
technology, much less being so involved
in the engineering and development
process. Realising that I could contribute
What made you think of a career
Growing up in an all-girls Catholic school
through the 70s and 80s, I never imagined
a career in technology. My job did not
even exist when I was growing up. I ended
up in technology in the most random
and unintentional of ways. I moved to a
technology company that collaborated
with large fashion brands and other
retailers to provide the systems they
needed to run stores, plan inventory, and
manage their supply chains.
While this company was small and I
was one of the first employees, it become
successful quickly and was acquired by
Oracle. I never thought that I could make
it in a large company, but absolutely loved
my experience and learned so much in my
five years there.
What style of management
philosophy do you employ at
your current position?
I have three key tenets of my value system
that I aim to achieve every day and more
broadly over the longer haul. Get your
hands dirty, and lead by example. Create
an ecosystem where others can thrive. Be
good to do business with.
What is your work style as a
There are a few things I like to initiate
when I start working with a new team.
Ask questions. Understand the
economics. Establish frameworks.
Collaborate to win. Execute.
What do you think will be the hot
technology talking point of 2019?
Cyber resilience, of course. Organisations
have so much at stake, not just for
shareholders, but for employees, suppliers,
customers, patients or citizens.
What are your personal interests
and where do you like to spend
most of your time after work?
I once saw something that said family,
friend, fitness and work; pick three. That
really resonated with me because I have
found tradeoffs are inevitable in life.
I do my best to achieve all of them, but
friendships outside of work can be tough
to maintain as time is the most valuable
and scarce asset that I have.
How do you cope with stress and
demands of your career?
Investing time at the gym has had a big
positive impact on my career and life more
broadly, cultivating a new dimension of
focus and self-discipline that I did not
know I had in me.
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