Welcome to our employee spotlight series, featuring profiles of team members across our Bellevue, Boston, UK, and field teams. Learn more about the people behind the product and why Smartsheet is recognized as a great place to work!
When Crystal first made the leap from education to tech — moving from an instructional coach for teachers to a content creator for the training team — she felt like a fish out of water. Quickly, she found her voice (and the free coffee), developed her skills, and kept raising her hand and leaning in to new opportunities.
One of those opportunities was leading the inaugural Hack-for-Good at our ENGAGE customer conference. During the event, four nonprofits were partnered with Smartsheet certified users to create solutions that removed operational obstacles and freed up their time to better help those in need.
Her willingness to tackle tough problems also allowed her to recently move into a new role. Crystal now works as a UX researcher, providing insights on how new Smartsheet users interact with and adopt our product, so our team can continually improve the experience.
Learn more about Crystal’s Smartsheet story and our recent Hack-for-Good in our Q&A.
What is your favorite part of working at Smartsheet?
Storytelling. I love understanding the different pathways and experiences that brought each of us here. Daily, I learn from the histories of others. By sharing these experiences, it encourages me to think differently and challenges my current understandings.
What is your favorite Smartsheet value and how you see it put into action?
Supportive. Since the day I got to Smartsheet (coming from a non-tech background), I have been elevated and supported by fellow employees who see the best version of me. It’s the positive belief and trust given to me by others that empowers me to explore questions with my own style.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I am a mom to two kids, Maguire and Harper. What gets me out of bed is the ability to show them that drive, determination, and grit make a difference.
How do you use Smartsheet in your daily work? What’s your favorite feature?
The better question is when don’t I use Smartsheet? My favorite feature (maybe not exactly a feature) is the Data Uploader. The ability to export data from an external program and bring it into Smartsheet to automate communication and report on the data is a tremendous time-saver. I love the moment when I attach a .csv to a sheet, hit refresh, and see all of my new rows populate and my calculations update.
What’s the one piece of advice you have for someone looking to join Smartsheet?
Just because you have never done it before doesn’t mean you can’t or aren’t completely capable. Embrace the thought in your head that says “I don’t know if I can do this…” and use that as your personal call to action.
When a messy problem is given to you to solve, view that as the belief from others that you are capable of tackling and working through it.
Describe the Hack-for-Good event at ENGAGE. What was your role?
I don’t think I even asked for permission before saying yes to the opportunity. The thought of hosting an event that allowed our certified users to put their skills to work for good connected with my heart in a way I can’t describe.
I do remember the day that Christa, our director of corporate events, took the event from a “maybe” to a “yes.” I believe that was the result of proposing a clear plan and projecting confidence in my ability to pull off the event. It was also bringing together a team of employees from across the company to work alongside me, so it became a team effort and that increased the chances of success.
At my core, I am an educator. In teaching, you know you have captured your student’s attention when you see elbows on the table and bottoms out of the seats. This is the literal “leaning in” moment and you wait for that moment. For me, when I saw certified users, nonprofits, and our executive team (during the presentations) with elbows on the table, I made a fist and did a “yes” elbow-pullback at my side. It was at that moment I was reminded that when you put a rich problem in front of a group of great people, the outcomes are tremendous.
Who is someone you admire at Smartsheet and why?
One person I admire is Kara Hamilton, our chief people and culture officer. Kara can confront tough topics in a manner that is open, honest, and genuine. I don’t work with her every day, but in every conversation, I get this sense that she sees my value. And it’s not just my value; she sees the unlocked potential in each one of us. How cool is that to have an executive who makes you feel like you matter?! As I grow in my leadership, I want to be like Kara.
Come work with Crystal! We’re looking for driven, supportive, and customer-obsessed individuals to join our growing team. Check out all our open roles!