Intelligent Tech Channels Issue 17 | Page 60

CHANNEL CHIEF Apparel, supply chains, cybersecurity 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, Chief Strategy Officer, Mimecast Describe your current job role and the parts that are somewhat challenging? 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 memorable achievement? 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 60 What made you think of a career in technology? 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 team leader? 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.  Issue 17 INTELLIGENT TECH CHANNELS