Bianca Wood’s journey to Calendly wasn’t necessarily a straight path, but that’s what makes her story so unique.
Bianca started working at Calendly in May of 2022 as Calendly’s first Customer Advocacy Manager. Hear how pivotal moments in Wood’s life led her to a role in customer advocacy, what it’s like working on the Marketing at Calendly, and how she has become a representation of Calendly’s culture.
Bianca Wood’s Beginnings
Wood attended Georgia State University to study Journalism, but after going in a different direction and choosing to leave college, Wood found herself working in a variety of customer service roles that included a server, a call center rep, receptionist at a children’s urgent care, and many more. During 2018, it became apparent to Wood that she needed to take time to focus on her mental health and evaluate her future career. In May 2019, Wood took a job in tech despite the role not being fully developed. Choosing to see the positive in ambiguity, Wood focused on networking with colleagues and offered her support in working on various projects as needed.
“I started to network, asking people about their roles and if they needed help with any of their work. Someone in marketing did and a few months later, it led to a full time role as a campaign operations coordinator. This role gave me a great look at other parts of marketing and I thought customer marketing looked pretty cool. The rest was kind of history!”
But why Calendly?
Before joining Calendly, Wood was focusing on finding a company with a [warm], welcoming culture. “I ended up at Calendly because, the older I get, the more serious I [am] about company culture. I wanted a place where I could authentically be myself. I’m a black woman with blue hair (that changes colors), piercings, tattoos, depression, anxiety, and recently diagnosed ADHD. All of these things aren’t accepted everywhere, [let alone wrapped up into one single person].”
Wood goes on to explain why this was so important to her. “I work better when my mental health and general wellbeing is valued. Calendly showed me from the very beginning that I’m welcome to be who I am and never have to mask myself.”
Since joining Calendly, Wood has become involved in Calendly’s recently formed Belonging Groups. Wood is on the leadership team of Black at Calendly, but her involvement with Calendly’s culture doesn’t end there. “I [look forward to being] involved with our [newly formed] Accessibility group, and I’m also a member of Pride at Calendly and Galendly. Community is important and we all need to feel heard and have a safe space. Belonging groups provide that. I’m also not afraid to be open with a lot of taboo topics like my mental health disorders and I think being so open helps people not feel alone and also feel open to speaking about their own experiences.”
Customer Advocacy at Calendly
In her role as the Customer Advocacy Manager, Wood gets the unique opportunity to connect with and create a community for our customers. She runs our customer advocacy program, where customers can complete challenges and earn points. The challenges are optional and range from things like, “tell us your favorite Calendly feature” to “show us your fur baby!” Members can redeem their earned points for various rewards.
As someone who loves building connections, it comes as no surprise that this is one of the many reasons why Wood loves working in Customer Advocacy. “Customer advocacy is a unique part of marketing. I get to build relationships with our customers and use their actual experiences with Calendly in marketing materials.”
If you’re wondering if Customer Advocacy is important for your business, Wood’s answer is…YES! “Advocacy is so important because people are more likely to purchase when their peers recommend a product. Every company thinks and or says what they have is the best in the market, so hearing from real people is what is important. 60% of business technology customers rely on reviews and testimonials of other customers and consumer recommendations account for 13% of sales or $6 billion per year in spend.”
Working on the Marketing team at Calendly
So what is it really like to work on Calendly’s Marketing team? “This has honestly been the best Marketing team I’ve worked on. Everybody is very supportive, collaborative, and aligned on doing whatever we need to do to achieve our goals.”
As part of evolving to a remote-first company, Calendly prioritizes in-person connection and events at least twice a year. Because of this, Wood was able to meet the entire Marketing team and build key relationships within her first 30 days of joining the team. Now, after being on the team for five months and working on a variety of projects, Wood continues to have positive things to say about her experience. “My team is great, my manager is supportive, and I have a lot of autonomy.”
Getting into tech
As I closed our conversation with Wood, I asked if she had any advice she’d share on how to break into tech. Her tips ring true to her experience in obtaining her first role in tech. “Network! LinkedIn is an amazing resource. Don’t feel like you have to go back to school or be super technical to be in tech. Most roles outside of the tech industry have a place in tech. Your soft skills matter too. Lean into them.”