6 things I love about working at Collibra after 6 years in sales engineering

Collibra Culture
Collibra sales engineer senior manager Tudor Borlea stands at a computer in a Collibra-branded event booth

Tudor Borlea is a Senior Manager, Sales Engineering at Collibra. When he joined in 2016, data governance was still a new concept for many organizations. Regulations like GDPR and innovations in AI and machine learning would soon change all of that. Tudor and others who joined Collibra in the early days recognized the opportunity for data to change the way organizations do business. That opportunity has been realized — and then some. 

With six years of experience to reflect on, Tudor shares six things he loves about working at Collibra:

1. The proven market opportunity working in data intelligence

I came to Collibra from the management consulting world. A friend reached out one day to tell me about this amazing company he had recently joined in the data governance space, and I immediately knew I had to be a part of what this company was doing.

I had first-hand experience with the business impact of poor data governance from my consulting work. People were clamoring for a solution, and any company that could provide one would go far.

Since joining, I’ve seen Collibra seize this opportunity and continue to define what’s next for what was then the data governance space and has now evolved into data intelligence — embracing business dictionaries, catalogs, technical lineage, data quality, data access, application inventories, and so much more.

2. Working for the data intelligence market leader

When you stay in an industry long enough, you start to see patterns. One pattern in the data industry that is impossible to deny is how Collibra leads the market. Time and time again I have watched Collibra chart a course toward what we believe our customers need next, and the rest of the competition followed.

When we started talking about trusted data, everyone started talking about trusted data. When we evolved from a purely data governance to a more expansive data intelligence mindset, sure enough, data intelligence became the new goal.

This market is still maturing, and it’s exciting to work for the company that is setting the direction for what comes next.

3. Amazing CollibriansTudor, Collibra founder, Stjin Christiaens, and Collibrian Laura Fontan smile for a photo at a staff party

From my team in the UK to mentors like Laura Fontan (pictured with Tudor and Stjin Christiaens above) and peers like Rick Thomas, who I recently worked with to create a streamlined, best-practice demo, Collibrians are some of the most knowledgeable and motivated people I’ve had the fortune of working with.

We were around 100 people globally with a contingent of about five people in the UK when I started. Today we are 1,100+ Colibrians strong, and we continue to raise the bar as a team.

We like to say that our most-recent hire should be our best hire yet — I say that as a “dinosaur” who has been with the company for more than six years. I’m proud to see how we continue to bring on the best talent, and I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to work with brilliant people who make me better and do great work for our customers.

4. Opportunities to grow my sales engineering skills and more

Working for the market leader means you get ample opportunities to take initiative and expand your skill set. Things can change quickly in this relatively nascent space, and each change brings a new challenge and a new opportunity to raise your hand and figure it out.

One example of how I was able to do this at Collibra is when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was published, in 2016 and later implemented EU wide, in May 2018. There was a lot of uncertainty in the market regarding what complying with this new regulation would mean for organizations working with data. At Collibra however, we knew exactly what it meant. In essence, GDPR cares about how organizations handle the personal information (i.e., data) of individuals. GDPR cares about that data being clearly identified, understood, and categorized, with clear ownership and a properly managed lifecycle. In other words, it cares about data governance for a very specific subset of the organization’s data.

It’s easy to see how a data governance solution would be important for organizations required to meet this standard, but understanding the intricacies and requirements of the regulation was another story. I took a course with the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), and became a Certified Information Privacy Professional. This helped me understand how Collibra’s solutions would map into the key requests of the regulation.

It was unlike anything I had done before. I studied computer science, but this felt more like becoming a lawyer (I gained a lot of respect for lawyers in the process!). After I got the certification, I participated in many conferences about the topic, evangelizing the link between data privacy and protection and data governance all along the way.

5. Internal mobility at CollibraSales engineer Tudor Borlea holds an award and wears an iconic green Collibra jacket while standing beside Felix Van de Maele and another person

Taking this leadership role with privacy is just one example of how I’ve moved around the organization to take on new challenges.

I have also enjoyed Collibra’s flexibility in how I shape my career. For example, after working on the business needs and use-cases for privacy, I decided I wanted to brush up on my hard-core technical knowledge. My interest in technical work aligned to the business needs, so I moved to the Product Sales Engineering team. There I built up my product knowledge, particularly in the field of integrations and security configuration, and I gained a great mentor in Laura Fontan, my manager on that team.

My main theme and motto throughout has been to always keep learning, and these days I’m doing that in my leadership role managing the UK&I Sales Engineering team. The challenges are even more diverse. I use all the skills I’ve gained and experiences I’ve had to coach and mentor a great group of sales engineers. I also focus on cross-functional collaboration, and ensuring a smooth handoff from Sales Engineering to the Professional Services and Customer Success teams.

6. Collibra’s customers are changing the world

I would be remiss if I did not mention our customers as one of the reasons I love working here.

Some of the world’s most influential organizations in finance, retail, healthcare, telecommunications, the public sector, and more depend on Collibra to deliver trusted data for their users.

They’re household names, and our solutions play a big role in their success. As a sales engineer, helping these organizations along their data intelligence journeys is challenging, fulfilling, and inspiring.

Looking ahead to the future with Collibra

Challenging, fulfilling, and inspiring describe my time at Collibra well. I’ll also add unique, humbling, occasionally frustrating, and constantly energizing to the list.

The sum of my experiences make me even more excited about what’s to come for my career and for Collibra.

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