I don't know about you all, but between weekly work trips and weekends in New York, I often find myself living and breathing the lyric "Uber everywhere." The startup has certainly skyrocketed since its founding in 2009, and through both the good and the bad (press, that is, not service), the pervasiveness of the brand continues to enable it to remain at the forefront of industry news.
As a result, marketing for a company like Uber that reaches millions of consumers on a daily basis is no small feat. Lauren Legette, Senior Marketing Manager at Uber, has the pleasure of raising the bar daily in her role at the company. While Lauren's professional history at Uber is extensive (her works spans across various roles starting in 2014), her personal history as a marketer and a self-proclaimed hustler truly drew me in to her story and her passion for her work.
Read on for details on Lauren's journey, quotes that inspire her, and her thoughts on the importance of mentorship.
Into the Details
It's definitely a tie between "Foodie" and "World Traveler". Since my time at the Food Network, I've truly fallen in love with food. It's like a language that cultures use to communicate. I love trying new restaurants from different cuisines as well as throwing down in my own kitchen. Aside from that, I love to travel. I've actually made it a tradition that each year I take one big international trip. In addition to collecting great photos and souvenirs, traveling opens my mind and provides inspiration for new projects or campaigns. You would be surprised how much food and travel impacts business. In fact, the most important business meetings are sometimes conducted over great food. And you may find that the best business people are well traveled.
What is one example of a responsibility or expectation that has carried through your roles during your time at Uber?
I fell in love with the work that we do because we have the ability to see our impact in the community. Uber has re-imagined the way that people move around the world and for me that is breathtaking. The work that we're doing is now a part of history.
Just think: 10 years ago, summoning a stranger to pick you up and take you somewhere was completely taboo. And today, it's a way of life. That is remarkable and it's what keeps me going everyday. I'm proud to have the responsibility of helping people move around the world.
What measures do you take to prepare yourself for opportunities for advancement and to set yourself up for successful performance discussions?
First, I would say that I don't think you're ever fully ready for the next opportunity. In fact, if you were truly "ready for the next thing," I would say that maybe you're a little too late. Everyday should present an opportunity for you to learn something new or to develop a skill. In the work that I do, I work with a number of cross-functional stakeholders and as a result, I have the opportunity to engage with industry experts daily. With every interaction, I'm learning, taking notes, and collecting information. This has undoubtedly contributed to my professional growth. So often, people work in silos and have a narrow view of the business. Never stop learning!
When you're in performance discussions, it's so important to remember the impact that you bring. I'm diligent about taking notes on all of the accomplishments that I've been able to achieve in my role. It's really easy to forget when you're doing so many things, so for me, taking notes is key. It's also quite rewarding to look back on those big wins. Confidently review these items with your manager and be honest about your strengths and your weaknesses. Do not be afraid to ask for what you want!
What is one value or characteristic that you value in your own personality or character that shines through for you no matter where you're working?
I'm a hustler and I'm most excited when I'm super busy. Challenges feel like a puzzle rather than a roadblock and it's invigorating to find solutions. High pressure situations are the most inspiring for me.
How are you best able to lift as you climb?
One of my favorite quotes is by First Lady Michelle Obama: “When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed." I was very fortunate to have had a wonderful network of mentors and amazing parents who made sure to put me in positions to learn all I that I could when I was growing up. I attended summer camps and leadership seminars and was able to figure out my passion pretty early on. It's important to me that I continue to give someone that opportunity to succeed. So every year, I volunteer with the T. Howard Foundation to mentor a student. I have them shadow me on my job for a day and I coach them on ways that they can work to reach their professional aspirations. Beyond that, I worked with a group of friends and started a scholarship program in 2012 for students interested in attending a Historically Black College or University. My goal is to help as many students reach their dreams as possible. The world needs more dream chasers!
"My goal is to help as many students reach their dreams as possible. The world needs more dream chasers!."
If you had to list one go-to garb item in your work wardrobe, what would it be?
I recently moved to sunny Florida, so I'm still adjusting to the picture-perfect weather and my wardrobe is currently under construction, as I'm doing away with all of my fall favorites. That said, I'm at my best when my manicure is in tip-top shape. It's such a small thing, but it's one of my favorite things to do. It's a simple way for me to let my personality shine.
Want to learn more about Lauren's work experiences? Check out her LinkedIn page!