Technology veterans sometimes paint millennials and Generation Z colleagues with a broad—and not always flattering—brush. Fortunately for SolarWinds, Paulina Cabrera inspires great optimism for the organization, and her generation at large, by delivering creative impact.
“I’m energized and motivated by my team,” Paulina said. “We are the brand, and it’s exciting to be part of sharing our story—of being transparent in our messaging and sharing our new and innovative solutions, our lessons learned, the positive effects of new leadership, and how we connect with our customers and audience around our improvements.”
Paulina has been a key project manager, producer, and content creator working closely with SolarWinds®
marketing and its video production team. She’s proud of the transparency, leadership, and impactful messaging she’s helped drive with the team at SolarWinds and is excited by the projects awaiting her expertise.
I recently spoke with Paulina to learn more about her career path and her role in helping deliver creative and compelling SolarWinds content.
Tell me about your background and career path. How did you get into end-to-end production on the creative team?I started my path to production and project management in the entertainment space during my undergraduate studies. My focus was on art for video games—it was a heavily creative and intensive two-year program. I was always interested in continuing my master's in game design and production, and I was most interested in production. I learned throughout graduate school that yes, I like art in my free time, but in a professional environment, I gravitate more toward wanting to organize art projects.
I knew it would be difficult to get into the gaming industry, and I gave it my all, but it was tough finding my start. I moved to Austin, Texas, because there are a few gaming companies here. Though I’d completed internships within the space, I didn’t encounter full-time opportunities.
As soon as I looked outside of the gaming industry, I learned about an opportunity to do project management and video production at an ad agency. After five years, I felt ready to move to an in-house environment—at the ad agency, we completed work for external clients, so it was appealing to join a team with a collective, vested interest in the projects they work on.
Tell me about your role now. What does a creative operations specialist do? Why did you pick SolarWinds?When my recruiter sent me the SolarWinds job posting, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. The job description said SolarWinds wanted someone who was an organized project manager and understood the creative process and could work with creative people. I thought, “This is exactly what I want.”
Though I love working with creative teams, it’s even cooler that it’s in tech—technology is such an interesting field. And we get to work with experts like the Head Geeks™ and product marketing managers who know everything there is to know about our products. We talk to the subject-matter experts and then create compelling collateral to support their work.
I’ve now been at SolarWinds for two and a half years. As a creative operations specialist, I organize projects for the creative team, giving me higher-level visibility into processes. I organize all the projects that come into our creative team—video and design—and I help run the queue. I also analyze how we receive requests and constantly strive to improve and optimize those processes.
What do you love about creative operations? And how do you apply your love for the creative process in your day-to-day work and interactions?So much of my love of creative operations is due to the team. We have such an amazing team, and my motivation is to build a space for our creatives to do their best work by more effectively connecting people and processes. I like helping people, making sure they’re happy, and making processes efficient.
What projects are you currently working on?I’m currently working on transitioning our forms to a more functional tool—these new forms will make requesting collateral easier and add automation to our process. We also recently launched our digital asset manager, which was a big effort. Projects like these give me the opportunity to talk to so many people across the company; whether they’re in marketing or sales, I get visibility into how our global operations work.
Tell me about a particular project you’ve worked on recently that excited you and why.I’m so excited to get my hands on our new forms. When it comes to getting a new solution, whether it’s a product or vendor, the fun part is digging in and seeing the capabilities. It’s like a puzzle, and I love puzzles. It’s fun for me to research something and learn as much as I can about it.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a similar career path?Along the way, I’ve learned to not be afraid to fail. Even if you set out to do something and you can’t quite get there, don’t let barriers stop you. I was always afraid of failing, but you learn from it when you do. I think in our world, there’s fear of failure and of missing out, but when I finally allowed myself to fail, I flourished.
Tell me about the SolarWinds culture in Austin. What’s it like working at the Austin office?Pre-pandemic, we often gathered for fun networking opportunities (we even have had chili contests)—there are at least 500 people based at the Austin office!
There have certainly been challenges working remotely the past two years—silos can happen. But when we break out of our silos and meet outside of our bubbles, I’m inspired by the knowledge of my fellow Solarians. Our team is lucky because we get to extract information from people in all aspects of the business, and I get to be behind the scenes of these videos.
Being remote has also afforded me opportunities to present to people across the entire company. They may see me virtually, but they learn what I do and know they can come to me later.
What do you like to do in Austin outside of the office? Austin is a booming and growing city. On the one hand, you can head downtown and try a new restaurant or bar. On the other, you can drive an hour west to the hill country and visit a nice Texas winery—the central location of the city with all the natural beauty gives you a mix of activities. I personally love camping, paddleboarding, and rock climbing.
Learn more about SolarWindsSolarWinds continues to grow across all sites and across many positions (engineering, IT, marketing, and sales). If you’re interested in working for an industry leader and joining a culture focused on learning and collaboration, check out our full listing of job opportunities.