Teamwork makes the dream work, and we'd be nowhere without our talented, dedicated team of employees.
To give you a glimpse into the day-to-day happenings of our team, and give you a chance to meet the brains behind the operation, we're highlighting a new Beautiful.ai employee each month. Every employee brings their own unique ideas, skills, and perspective to the company and contribute to the overall business in different ways. To show you a behind the scenes of each department, we're interviewing members of the team on all things presentations, remote work, and everything in between.
For March's interview we caught up with Jenna Kertz, Director of Product Management at Beautiful.ai. Jenna connects with our customers, prioritizes product updates based on market research and user feedback, and helps us go to market with new releases. Today it's her turn to tell her story. Let's get into it.
Q: How long have you worked at Beautiful.ai?
A: Two years – almost on the nose! It was the day before San Francisco went into lockdown for COVID. I only had one day in the office before we went fully remote!
Q: What is your role and what does it entail?
A: Our job in product is to find creative solutions that simultaneously address user problems and contribute to business objectives. I spend a lot of time talking to users, analyzing behavioral data, running surveys, and working with stakeholders all across the company to solidify and prioritize new product initiatives.
Q: How do presentations play a role in your day-to-day responsibilities?
A: I’m a presentation fiend! I regularly use presentations to report on experiment results, reflect on team achievements, run internal strategy workshops, and document frameworks for the team to leverage. As a product org, it’s also very important for us to dogfood the product. We have a weekly “Beautiful Presentation Hour”, where we recreate a famous pitch deck and then address any bugs or improvements we uncover.
Q: What do you love most about working at Beautiful.ai?
A: We have an incredibly enthusiastic user base. Hearing their stories reinforces the reality of the problem we’re solving. It’s very motivating for the team.
Q: What is your favorite Beautiful.ai feature?
A: Smart Slides are the heart of Beautiful.ai. As one of those people who obsesses over the spacing and alignment of items on slides, I’m relieved to have software that handles those details for me. It makes me so much faster.
I also love that Smart Slides take a lot of the information architecture off my plate. I don’t have to visually hack the slide to demonstrate a point. The templates are right there to start from. (Those of you who have spent hours building makeshift diagrams out of shapes on Google Slides know what I’m talking about.)
Q: What is something exciting you’re working on right now or something work-related you’re proud of?
A: One of the biggest challenges our users face is how they can leverage Beautiful.ai when their company workflow is ingrained in PowerPoint or Slides.
We’re currently exploring some ideas that would relieve a lot of that pain for our users and meet them where they are, so to speak.
Q: What was your first job?
A: My first job was a dishwasher at our local hospital in Ste. Genevieve, MO. I started there when I was 15. Eventually I was promoted to Tray Girl (Yes, that was my actual title. To my knowledge there were no “Tray Guys”.), where I learned how to make jello in bulk and prepare a BRAT diet.
Q: The best career lesson you’ve learned so far?
A: Ideas are kind of like lottery tickets: most are duds, and to hit the jackpot, you need a lot. Cultures that encourage experimentation, learn from mistakes, and promote creative thinking tend to have better odds.
Q: How would you describe your job to a class of Kindergarteners?
A: I’d ask them what their favorite toy is, what they would change about it, and why they want to make that change. I would probably have them draw it on a piece of paper, too. Bonus points if they can get the rest of the class on board with their proposal!
Q: Favorite remote work activities?
A: We had a bug bash a few months ago where everyone was tasked with creating a few slides with random content. I made a mashup of the most interesting slides, and then we had Mitch and Jason, our Founder and CEO, blindly improv a presentation on our company call. It was a fun way to see the team’s personality shine through.
Q: When you aren’t working, what do you like to do for fun?
A: I have a two-year old, very opinionated corgi named Spritz, so I do a lot of yoga in my spare time to keep myself sane :-)
All jokes aside, my partner, Josh, and I really love food, which means we spend a lot of time exploring new restaurants in the city and cooking up recipes at home! Like the rest of San Francisco, I’ve also become a big fan of pickleball over the past year.
Q: What is one thing you cannot live without?
A: Chocolate chip cookies